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Fern Britton details 'difficult' time in candid interview

The This Morning star opened up about a challenging few years

Fern Britton on BBC's Question Time
Diane Shipley
Diane ShipleySenior Online Writer
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Former This Morning presenter Fern Britton has been under intense scrutiny recently, including from a man she labelled a "slimy Paparazzi" who she said on Twitter had "left me really distressed and shaking". 

The increased attention comes after her former co-host Phillip Schofield resigned from the show after admitting to an extramarital affair with a much younger man who used to work on the programme. 

Fan favourite Fern has had quite a challenging few years for a variety of reasons, which she reflected on in a new interview with Yours magazine.

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

In a heartfelt interview, the star admitted: "The last three or four years have been difficult for the whole world in general and for me on a personal level. I got a bit lost." 

Fern Britton chatting on TV© Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock
Fern during her time on This Morning

The presenter-turned-author announced her split from her husband of 20 years, Phil Vickery, in early 2020. Just a few months earlier, she lost her father, actor Tony Britton, at the age of 95 and the previous year, her mum Ruth died aged 94. 

fern britton and phillip schofield on this morning© Rex
Fern and Phil are no longer close

The star described herself as feeling "healthy and fit" these days, despite needing to have an operation on her arthritic shoulder. She credits therapy with giving her a more positive attitude to life and told the publication, "I'm starting to rather enjoy being alone". 

Asked whether she misses being on TV, she candidly agreed: "Sometimes, yes. I remember walking into This Morning meeting Michael Bublé or Dolly Parton or Goldie Hawn, which is very exciting. But I've been blessed with a second career." 

Fern Britton with her new book© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Fern has built a career as an author

Asked, before news broke, whether Phillip might leave soon, she commented: "It wouldn't amaze me if he stepped down. It's an arduous job at any age". 

Fern Britton and Eamonn Holmes this morning© Shutterstock
Fern with fellow former This Morning stars Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes

Fern left the show in 2019 after a ten-year run, with Holly Willoughby taking over her role. At the time, it was rumoured that she left in a dispute over pay. An exclusive chat with HELLO!, however, Fern said: "I did ten years of it and I loved that show - I can't tell you how much I loved it. But after ten years I just felt it was right to stop." 

Fern Britton smiling and holding her book© Shutterstock
The star now lives a happy life in Cornwall

Addressing rumours that she left because of a pay disparity, she commented: "That certainly wasn't true, not least because I had no idea what Philip had been paid; I knew what I was being paid and it was more than fair. 

Fern Britton and Phil Vickery sighting in 2009 © Getty
Fern and her ex-husband Phil in 2009

"It's appalling that, if you are doing the same job as a man, you are paid less and I am absolutely all for equal pay but at the time, even if Phillip had been paid more than me, he was doing more programmes on television. 

Fern Britton signs copies of 'Fern: The Autobiography' in Waterstone's© Getty
The star is now a popular author

"It is wrong for someone else to be paid more than you are for the same job. But it’s terribly important to find out where your 'enough' is because everybody's different and I was very happy with my 'enough'." Fern also said she has grown more confident with age. 

Fern Britton attends the TRIC awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel on March 12, 2013 © Getty
Fern is feeling happier these days

"When I was younger I was always worrying about how people would perceive me and now I have abandoned that. People like me or they don’t and I don't really give a damn anymore!"

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