‘My children have kept me alive’ tearful Fern Britton admits issues after divorce

Fern Britton talks about her first heartbreak

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Fern Britton, 65, has opened up on her “resilience”, admitting she doesn’t believe she would still be around if not for her children. The former This Morning host reflected on the difficult times in her life, including divorcing Phil Vickery. 

Speaking on Emily Dean’s Walking the Dog podcast, Fern talked about her four children – twins Jack and Harry, 28, Grace, 25, and Winnie, 20. 

“They’re nearly 29 and doing their thing,” she said of her twins.

“They’re great boys actually, I am really proud of them – or young men, I should say.”

Of her daughters, she said: “They’re having a wonderful time working in Cornwall.

“The older one, she’s just bought a house and is struggling keeping the payments going, but she’s doing it, and the little one, she lives with me.

“I did say to her the other day, ‘Darling, you’re nearly 21, do you really want to live with a 65-year-old mother?’

“She said, ‘Yeah!’ so that’s nice.”

Emily told Fern: “Your life sounds really lovely!”

“Yes,” Fern replied. “It has come to me and I try hard to really appreciate it, to slow down and smell the air.”

Emily said: “You’re very resilient, I always get this sense from what I know about your life, these things would happen to you, your marriage would split up or a job would fall through, or something.

“You say, ‘Right, leave that house, on to the next!’

“You’re quite resilient, aren’t you?” she asked. 

Fern, who burst into tears at the end of the heartfelt chat, replied: “I’m not afraid of change. I think I am [resilient], that doesn’t mean I haven’t had issues with lack of confidence, anxiety.”

Emily asked: “Do you think you’ve got better at thinking, ‘I am having a bad day, I don’t always have to cope?’”

Fern said: “I am learning it now, yes. The thing is with life, you can’t be happy every day, every hour, every minute.

“Life is really a big endurance challenge, it really is, isn’t it? Things go bad, you have to have resilience. If I didn’t have the children, I don’t know what I’d have done. 

“I might have just shrivelled up and disappeared. The children have kept me alive, for sure.”

Fern and her ex-husband, TV chef Phil, were married for nearly 20 years before announcing their surprise split in 2020. 

The TV presenter, who revealed in a statement that she would remain good friends with her former flame, later told fans she had given up their family home in Buckinghamshire.

Phil was set to keep the property while Fern packed her belongings and relocated to Cornwall.

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