Former This Morning presenter Fern Britton has been under intense scrutiny recently, including from a man she labelled a "slimy Paparazzi" who she said on Twitter had "left me really distressed and shaking".
The increased attention comes after her former co-host Phillip Schofield resigned from the show after admitting to an extramarital affair with a much younger man who used to work on the programme.
Fan favourite Fern has had quite a challenging few years for a variety of reasons, which she reflected on in a new interview with Yours magazine.
In a heartfelt interview, the star admitted: "The last three or four years have been difficult for the whole world in general and for me on a personal level. I got a bit lost."
The presenter-turned-author announced her split from her husband of 20 years, Phil Vickery, in early 2020. Just a few months earlier, she lost her father, actor Tony Britton, at the age of 95 and the previous year, her mum Ruth died aged 94.
The star described herself as feeling "healthy and fit" these days, despite needing to have an operation on her arthritic shoulder. She credits therapy with giving her a more positive attitude to life and told the publication, "I'm starting to rather enjoy being alone".
Asked whether she misses being on TV, she candidly agreed: "Sometimes, yes. I remember walking into This Morning meeting Michael Bublé or Dolly Parton or Goldie Hawn, which is very exciting. But I've been blessed with a second career."
Asked, before news broke, whether Phillip might leave soon, she commented: "It wouldn't amaze me if he stepped down. It's an arduous job at any age".
Fern left the show in 2019 after a ten-year run, with Holly Willoughby taking over her role. At the time, it was rumoured that she left in a dispute over pay. An exclusive chat with HELLO!, however, Fern said: "I did ten years of it and I loved that show - I can't tell you how much I loved it. But after ten years I just felt it was right to stop."
Addressing rumours that she left because of a pay disparity, she commented: "That certainly wasn't true, not least because I had no idea what Philip had been paid; I knew what I was being paid and it was more than fair.
"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.
"It is wrong for someone else to be paid more than you are for the same job. But it’s terribly important to find out where your 'enough' is because everybody's different and I was very happy with my 'enough'." Fern also said she has grown more confident with age.
"When I was younger I was always worrying about how people would perceive me and now I have abandoned that. People like me or they don’t and I don't really give a damn anymore!"
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