Fern Britton: "I'm working out what’s next for me"

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Photo credit: DAVID VENNI
Photo credit: DAVID VENNI

Fern Britton has entered a new phase of her life, and she's spoken about it honestly in a new interview with Good Housekeeping.

The presenter, author and national treasure explained how she’s “not afraid” of change, having gone through a tremendous amount of it recently.

“The last three years have been very hard; I lost my parents, I lost my marriage. I lost my other home in Buckinghamshire, too, because Phil [Vickery, Fern’s ex-husband] lives there now and I’m in Cornwall," she says.

"But the magic I’ve found here is incredible. I’ve made some wonderful girlfriends and that’s been a lovely surprise.”

Photo credit: DAVID VENNI
Photo credit: DAVID VENNI

Fern was married to chef Phil for 20 years, and revealed that she's found both advantages and disadvantages to living alone.

“Being wholly in charge of a situation and not having someone to discuss it with is a double-edged sword,” she says.

“I can say, ‘Let’s blow up the house and build something else,’ and I don’t have to justify it, which is great.

“But it’s also a big decision – and I have to arrange everything myself! I’m not lonely but I’m in this transition period where I’m working out what’s next for me.

Photo credit: DAVID VENNI
Photo credit: DAVID VENNI

"My approach has always been, head down, keep going, and for the first time in my life, I’m thinking, ‘Hang on, where shall I go now?’ – and that’s quite nice. Suddenly, the world is my oyster.”

As for her long and varied career, Fern pointed out that there have been plenty of difficult moments amidst her success.

“I’ve been fired a couple of times from jobs and thought, ‘Hmm.’ But then it toughens you up,” she says.

“The roughs in life make you much less precious about yourself, and that’s important.”

Photo credit: david venni
Photo credit: david venni

Over time, Fern feels she's learned a lot about happiness. “First of all, that you’re only as happy as your unhappiest child. But also, not to rely on anyone else for your happiness," she says.

“Reassurance and reaffirmation doesn’t work, it comes from you thinking, ‘Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Yes, there are things I’m sorry about doing. But actually, I’m all right. I’m not too bad.’”

Read the full interview with Fern Britton in the September issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale from 28th July. It is available in all supermarkets and online at MagsDirect.

Fern’s book, Daughters Of Cornwall (HarperCollins), is out now.

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