Fern Britton’s ‘world turned upside down’ after Phil Vickery split: ‘A lot on my own’

Fern Britton discusses her life going 'upside down'

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The former This Morning star announced her split from TV chef Phil Vickery in January 2020 after 20 years of marriage. The 64-year-old met the chef thanks to Ready Steady Cook, one year after separating from her first husband. Fern has openly spoken out about the breakdown of her marriage before, but in an appearance on Friday’s Loose Women, the presenter explained that she and Phil are “working it all out” following their split.

“My marriage coming to the end of the road is very sad,” Fern began. “But we are working it all out.

“My life did go upside down, not just unfortunately with my marriage going wrong.

“My mum died three years ago, and my dad died two years ago this Christmas. He died on December 22.

“So, I am having to…I think after 30 years of being married but to two different men, 33 years altogether.”

She continued: “Wonderful men I have to say. Wonderful, interesting, and clever men.

“I am having to do a lot on my own,” Fern admitted. 

“Make my own decisions and so, I miss not being able to ring my mum and not being able to say to my father, ‘How do you think I should do that?’

“It is normal, but grief takes you in funny ways.”

“You think, ‘I am okay’,” Fern added. “And then suddenly a wave of it bangs into your face.

“And you start to cry a bit. I am not saying ‘poor me’, I am just saying for other people out there, that is the way it is.

“I don’t know how to be for a minute or two, or for a couple of years.

“But it is good, life is good.”

The presenter went on to explain that her friends have been a great support network for her.

“Great friends,” she said. “I have found about four or five really good women friends.

“In fact, today I am going out to lunch with a couple of them.

“So, within about an hour and a half I won’t make any sense, even less sense,” Fern joked.


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

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.

Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.

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