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Fern Britton breaks silence with emotional message following shock split from Phil Vickery

The former This Morning star has thanked fans for their support

Hanna Fillingham

Fern Britton has taken to Twitter to thank her fans for their support following her announcement that she and husband Phil Vickery had decided to separate. The former This Morning presenter penned an emotional message on the popular social media site on Sunday afternoon, which read: "Hello. Thank you so much for all your kind messages. They are so appreciated. More than you know. The kindness of strangers is overwhelming." Many of the star's followers were quick to respond, with one writing: "You are much loved Fern and you, Phil and your family are in many people's thoughts," while another wrote: "Thinking of you lovely lady, good to know that Twitter does have a good side." A third added: "Big hugs Fern you are a wonderful lady."

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Fern Britton thanked fans for their support following her split announcement

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The mother-of-four issued a statement on Wednesday evening, revealing that she and Phil had decided to go their separate ways after "20 happy years together". It read: "After more than 20 happy years together, Phil and I have decided to go our separate ways. We will always share a great friendship and our lovely children. We would appreciate it if our privacy is respected at this time. Thank you for your continued kindness and support." TV chef Phil shared the same message on his own Twitter page. The popular couple have since received an outpour of support from their fans, as well as their friends including former BBC Breakfast star Steph McGovern, who was one of the first to comment on the announcement post, writing: "Sending lots of love xxx." Steph wasn't the only famous name to express sadness over the news. Lisa Faulkner wrote: "Am so sorry to hear this. Sending you both love."

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Fern and Phil Vickery were married for 20 years

It was only last year that Fern gave a candid interview about her marriage to Phil, revealing they had not spent much time together in the previous 12 months. "We haven't seen much of each other in the past year, as I have been on tour with Calendar Girls and he has been filming, but our solid base is absolutely there," the TV star told Good Housekeeping.

And Fern had nothing but kind words to say about her husband. She added: "He is an incredible man and he does make me laugh a lot. He has always been my best friend and he always says I'm his best friend, too, which is amazing." Fern and Phil share 18-year-old daughter Winnie. Fern is also a mother to twin sons Jack and Harry, 25, and a daughter Grace, 22, from her first marriage to Clive Jones.

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