This Morning's Fern Britton says she was "treated pretty poorly"

Susannah Alexander
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

This Morning's former host Fern Britton has spoken once again about her decision to leave the ITV daytime show in 2009, saying that she was "treated pretty poorly" towards the end of her time working on the show.

Fern presented This Morning for a decade between 1999 and 2009 but quit her role after "something happened" and was replaced by Holly Willoughby, who still sits on the sofa alongside Phillip Schofield now.

Speaking on The Ray D'Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 on Friday (July 10) she explained that she had stopped enjoying working on the show towards the end and said that she was unhappy with the way she was being treated.

Photo credit: ITV

Related: This Morning's Holly shares heartfelt Instagram post

"I began not to enjoy it so much and the morning I resigned, I didn't know I was going to resign. Something happened and I just thought, 'That's it really' and I walked away and resigned," she said. "I was treated pretty poorly, actually. And after a while I just thought, 'Sod it'.

"There was also a persistent rumour that I left because Phillip was being paid more than me and I always say to people, 'Why would I leave a show to go to nothing if I was worried about money?'"

The presenter, who also took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2012, added that the intrusive behaviour of the paparazzi also took a toll on her, revealing that she actually had to have a police escort to be able to take her children to school as the situation got so out of hand.

"I would have three or four or five (paparazzi) outside the house all the time for a couple of years," she said. "The police were wonderful and every Friday they would actually escort me to school so I could take the kids in without them taking pictures. The photographers would also block my car in so I couldn't get in or out – they were just awful."

Photo credit: ITV

Related: This Morning's Phil admits to "kicking off" just before going live

She also spoke about Phillip coming out as gay earlier this year, saying that she "didn't know and yet somehow it wasn't a shock" and adding that she is pleased that he is being true to himself, calling him "a good man".

Fern recently said that she felt like she "became a bit of a liability to ITV" before she left the daytime show, saying that news reports about her having a gastric band fitted had "ruffled a few feathers".

Meanwhile, earlier this year Fern announced her separation from her husband, TV chef Phil Vickery, after 20 "happy years" of marriage.

"After more than 20 happy years together, Phil and I have decided to go our separate ways. We will always share a great friendship and our lovely children," Fern wrote. "We would appreciate it if our privacy is respected at this time. Thank you for your continued kindness and support."

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.

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