‘Part of my history!’ Fern Britton reflects on ‘very painful time’ in her childhood

Fern Britton talks about her first heartbreak

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Fern Britton, 64, spoke out on her childhood and her father’s absence during a conversation on Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question Time podcast. The former This Morning presenter also revealed the conversation she had with her father about her childhood later on in life.

During the candid chat, Fern said she questioned why her mother never spoke about her father not living with them and her sister.

Fern said: “I’ve told this story before but it’s still only about eight years ago that my father told me what had happened.

“He had left my mother and my sister, and then he came back to see mummy and my sister, fell into bed with my mother, disappeared – very shortly after – and had started me.

“And nobody told me that’s why I hadn’t ever lived with him.

“So that’s amazing isn’t it?”

She continued: “So, when he was in his 80s he told me. I said, ‘well, that explains it all’.

“But nobody else had ever told me.”

Kate interrupted: “Why not? I mean, surely that was a key piece of your own life story jigsaw.

“You would have though someone might have imparted that sooner.”

Fern insisted: “None of them. I did tell my mother when I found out. I said, ‘why on Earth didn’t you tell me?’

“And she said, ‘well, you know, I didn’t talk about that sort of thing…’

“And I said, ‘but it’s my history!’ and she said, ‘oh, you and your history’.

“So I think it was obviously a very painful time for her.”

Kate then enquired: “So when we talk about childhood, actually, you’re still piecing parts of it together even at this stage in life, right?”

Fern explained: “Yes, absolutely. So my young days are still very much present and I’m piecing it together.

“But I think growing up I was a very independent child because I only had my mother as a parent and my sister, and I had a fantastic uncle and aunt, and lovely people around me.

“But I became very independent because nothing much was really expected of me.”

Tony, Fern’s dad, died in 2019 at the age of 95.

Fern paid tribute to him in a tweet that read: “Our father, Tony Britton, died early this morning. Great actor, director and charmer.

“May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

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