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Fern Britton reveals she will leave Celebrity Big Brother if Phillip Schofield enters house

Fern Britton left This Morning in 2009

Philip Schofield and Fern Britton during 2004 TV Quick Soap Awards© Simon Seed
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
March 7, 2024
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Celebrity Big Brother star Fern Britton has said that she will leave the show if Phillip Schofield arrives as a surprise contestant in the series. The former This Morning presenter was chatting to housemate Gary Goldsmith on the ITV show, when they discussed her time at the popular breakfast show, and touched on her relationship with Phillip. 

She explained: “I haven’t been there for 15 years. I got off the train and it’s way over the horizon now so I honestly don’t know. I can’t say anything. Anything I would say would be supposition. Fern, 66, added that it could be “tricky at times” to work there, adding that it “rocks but it gets back together again”. 

WATCH: Fern Britton makes rare comment about her daughters

The TV personality was also full of praise for Ben Shepherd and Cat Deeley, who will be taking over as the new presenters on the show. She said: “I think Ben and Cat are going to do a really good job. I think it’s a new era.” 

However, she was less enthusiastic when it was suggested that Philip might be coming into the house as a surprise contestant, saying: “Well that didn’t happen yet. Maybe he’s coming in as a surprise? I might have to leave at that point.”

Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton during the Prince's Trust reception in 2009© Barry Batchelor - PA Images
Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton during the Prince's Trust reception in 2009

Fern left This Morning in 2009, sparking rumours of a fallout with her co-star. At the time, she released a statement that read: “After ten years with This Morning, I have decided to leave the show at the end of the current series. I will present my last show on July 17, my birthday, which seems somehow appropriate. The This Morning team are simply the best and I will miss them all very much.” 

In 2020, Fern delved into why she quit, alluding to a behind-the-scenes fallout. Speaking on the Ray D’Arcy Show, she said: “Something happened and I thought, 'That's it really' and I walked away and resigned. I was treated pretty poorly, actually. And after a while, I just thought, 'Sod it’."

The pair had a fallout which led to Fern quitting This Morning© Justin Goff
The pair had a fallout which led to Fern quitting This Morning

In his memoir, Phillip shared his side of the event, saying that Fern quit after they argued. He wrote: "I walked back into the make-up room and calmly said, 'Please don't do that to me again. I think, for whatever reason, that was the point Fern decided she didn't want to do This Morning anymore.”

Phillip left the show after his “unwise but not illegal” affair with a younger man who had worked on the show came to light. During this time, former This Morning host Eamonn Holmes publicly slated Phillip, while Fern alluded to the incident in a post that read: “Unexpected calls from old mates are so lovely. Just had the loveliest catch up with Eamonn Holmes.”

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