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Fern Britton recalls heartbreaking moment her marriage to Phil Vickery fell apart

The TV couple ended their 20-year marriage this year

Sharnaz Shahid

Six months on after confirming their shock split, Fern Britton has opened up about the heartbreaking moment her marriage to Phil Vickery crumbled. Appearing on Friday's Good Morning Britain, the former This Morning host confessed they "grew apart" during the final years and months of their relationship.

MORE: Fern Britton applauds Phillip Schofield for coming out as gay

"My mum died and my father died and unfortunately Phil and I fell apart," Fern revealed as she discussed her latest book, which is based around family heartache. The former couple, who share one child together, surprised fans when they announced they had parted ways after 20 years of marriage in January.

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WATCH: Fern Britton recalls moment marriage to Phil Vickery broke down

"I had to write this book and get it out on the deadline and I was very late with it so thank goodness for my publisher and my editor for sticking with me," she added. "Then lockdown happens and you think, 'I needed that rest', you know? I think a lot of people are thinking like that. And I think a lot of people feel guilty because we are not on the frontline."

READ: Fern Britton opens up about single life after ending marriage to Phil Vickery

Earlier this month, the presenter-turned-author revealed that it had taken her a long time to make the decision to separate, but that she now feels "liberated".

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The former couple married in 2000

"We had a wonderful time. We were the best of friends. And I miss that friendship," she told Weekend Magazine. "Here comes a point when the children are substantially off your hands and you look at each other and wonder where you're going to go from here.

MORE: Fern Britton gives fans sneak peek into her study after moving house

"I took a long time to make my decision yet I have faith that it's going to be alright. Now I'm looking forward to the last third of my adult life."

Fern, 62, and Phil, 59, are doting parents to 18-year-old daughter Winnie. Fern is also a mother to twin sons Jack and Harry, 26, and a daughter Grace, 23, from her first marriage to Clive Jones. The exes met on the set of Ready Steady Cook, where they worked alongside each other. They started dating in 1999, and after Fern's divorce from Clive was finalised, the two TV stars married in spring 2000.