Fern Britton Felt Like A 'Liability To ITV' Before This Morning Exit

She said her decision to leave was motivated by "gastric band-gate".

Former This Morning star Fern Britton has admitted she felt like she’d become a “liability to ITV” before quitting the daytime show.

She and Phillip Schofield presented This Morning together for 10 years, until she made the decision to leave in 2009, after which Holly Willoughby took over her role.

During a recent interview with talkRadio, Fern spoke about her exit, claiming the furore that surrounded her gastric bypass band surgery was a contributing factor to her exit.

She explained: “It was all gastric band-gate. It ruffled a few feathers, and I think perhaps I became a bit of a liability to ITV. I really don’t know.”

Fern Britton and Phillip Schofield on her last day of presenting the show
Fern Britton and Phillip Schofield on her last day of presenting the show
Ken McKay/Shutterstock

Fern revealed that she’d undergone the procedure at a time when she was the face of Ryvita, leading some critics to suggest she’d “lied” about the way she lost five stone, which the presenter has always refuted.

She said: “I know that the day I decided to leave [This Morning] – and I’m not going to get into this now – something happened that morning and I thought, ‘I’m done’ and ITV went, ‘Thanks very much. Goodbye’.”

During the interview, Fern also reiterated that her exit “had nothing to do with money”, despite reports in the tabloid press at the time.

“That got into a story and it was not to do with that,” she insisted. “I didn’t know what Phillip was earning. But I knew that I was earning plenty for me and you have to know what is enough for yourself.

“I’m old fashioned enough not to question what other people are earning. I was very well looked after.”

Fern Britton pictured in 2016
Fern Britton pictured in 2016
Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images

Fern made a brief return to This Morning in 2018, for the show’s 30th anniversary celebrations, and took the opportunity to throw shade at her former TV home for failing to invite her to a Bafta celebration.

It later transpired that she had been sent an invitation, but it had not been passed along to her by her team.