Phil Vickery discusses 'talking' to Fern Britton in 2019
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Former This Morning host Fern Britton, 63, has detailed the “tough time” she has been through over the past few years, as the star suffered several painful losses. The mum-of-four opened up on her struggles, which included her split from estranged husband Phil Vickery, 60, after 20 years of marriage, in January 2020.
In a new interview, Fern gave a rare insight into the difficulties she had faced alongside the heartache over her marriage ending.
However, the author insisted “there is life afterwards”, as she credited her friends and her beloved pets for getting her through it.
She said: “I’ve had a bad two or three years.
“Both of my parents died, my beloved cat died and, unfortunately, my marriage died.
“It was a bit of a tough time but we are getting through. And it is all OK.”
Fern’s late father was actor Tony Britton, who was best known for starring in The Day of The Jackal.
The ITV presenter revealed her pals helped in making her smile during the tricky time.
They also assisted Fern in the emotional task of unpacking when she moved to Cornwall after her split from This Morning chef Phil.
She recalled to The Mirror: “I’ve got a couple of very good girlfriends and they just make me laugh all the time.
“I could not face unpacking it all. They came round a while ago to help me clear my garage. Now that’s a friend isn’t it?”
Fern and Phil first met while hosting Ready Steady Cook together in 1999.
The pair then tied the knot the following year before welcoming their daughter Winnie in 2001.
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They went on to entertain viewers on This Morning together, which Fern hosted for a decade from 1999, while Phil made his debut as the show’s resident chef in 2006.
Fern is also mum to twins Harry and Jack, and daughter Grace from her first marriage to TV executive Clive Jones.
The former couple married in 1988 but separated 10 years later.
Despite all the changes in her life over the past few years, Fern revealed she is “stepping into another big chapter of life” ahead of turning 64 this week.
Fern said of her upcoming birthday: “I just think ‘Where has that gone?’
“I am stepping into another big chapter of life.”
It comes after Phil accidentally referred to his estranged spouse as his wife on This Morning earlier this month.
During his cooking segment, he spilled: “I love trifle in any shape or form but there’s something quite nice about having a summer theme, and Pimm’s is one of those things…
“To me, it’s very simple, it’s sponge with jam, no jelly, absolutely no jelly – that caused a lot of consternation in the family.
“My wife – my ex-wife didn’t like that, I should say.”
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