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Fern Britton makes surprise return to This Morning 15 years after her departure

The Celebrity Big Brother star returned to her old stomping grounds on Wednesday

Fern Britton on This Morning
Megan Bull
TV Writer
27 March 2024
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Fern Britton returned to This Morning, 15 years after she departed the programme. Joining hosts Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard on the sofa, the 66-year-old discussed her recent stint on Celebrity Big Brother

Fern Britton joined Ben Shephard and Cat Deeley on This Morning© Instagram
Fern Britton joined Ben Shephard and Cat Deeley on This Morning

After opening up about her experience as a housemate, Fern was shown a throwback clip from her time on This Morning, to which she replied that it was "lovely" being back. 

Fern served as a main presenter on This Morning for a decade, before announcing her departure in 2009. The star's exit sparked rumours of a feud between herself and co-star Phillip Schofield, who went on to host the series alongside Holly Willoughby until 2023. 

Ben Shephard, Cat Deeley, and Fern Britton chatting on This Morning© Shutterstock
The presenter said it was "lovely" to be on the sofa

"After ten years with This Morning, I have decided to leave the show at the end of the current series," Fern said in a statement at the time. 

"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 but I am looking forward to the freedom of exploring other things I want to do, and also spend more time with my wonderful family. So, many thank yous to all our viewers who have shown me so much kindness and loyalty."

Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton on 'This Morning' TV Programme - 2008© ITV/Shutterstock
Fern left This Morning in 2009

It was later rumoured that Fern and Phil had fallen out after she'd discovered that her co-host was taking home a bigger paycheck, however, Fern quickly dispelled the reports. 

Speaking to HELLO! in 2018, she said: "That certainly wasn't true, not least because I had no idea what Phillip had been paid; I knew what I was being paid and it was more than fair. 

fern britton and phillip schofield on this morning© Photo: Rex
It was reported that Fern had fallen out with her co-star Phillip Schofield

"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."

During a 2020 appearance on the Ray D'Arcy Show in 2020, Fern was quizzed about her departure once more. "Something happened and I thought, 'That's it really' and I walked away and resigned," she explained. "I was treated pretty poorly, actually. And after a while I just thought, 'Sod it'."

MORE: Inside Fern Britton's feud with Phillip Schofield: Everything she's said about former This Morning co-star

READ: Fern Britton breaks down in tears as she is reunited with her daughter inside the CBB house

Since leaving This Morning, Fern has gone on to present Fern Britton Meets…, For What It's Worth, and Watercolour Challenge. She's also enjoyed stints in Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Big Brother

Meanwhile, Phillip announced his resignation from This Morning in May 2023, after admitting to an affair with a younger male colleague at ITV. At the time of the relationship, the presenter was married to his wife of 30 years, Stephanie Lowe. 

Prior to his exit, it was also reported that Phillip had clashed with his co-host Holly Willoughby behind the scenes. "I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story," Phillip explained in a statement. 

Phillip Schofield with blank expression© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Phillip left This Morning in 2023

"Throughout my career in TV – including the very difficult last few days – I have always done my best to be honourable and kind. I understand that ITV has decided the current situation can't go on, and I want to do what I can to protect the show that I love.

"So I have agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future." 

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