Fern Britton tearfully opens up on refusing to acknowledge her mother’s ‘unbearable’ death

Fern Britton impersonates Rosemary Shrager on a boat

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Former This Morning presenter Fern Britton tearfully explained the difficulty of losing her beloved parents who died a year apart. The 64-year-old told Iain Dale on his Book Club podcast that losing her mother was “almost unbearable” and admitted she could not deal with their deaths. 

Broadcaster Iain Dale invited the award-winning presenter onto an episode of his podcast last year, where the duo had a candid conversation about dealing with the loss of loved ones. 

During the episode, Iain asked Fern: “How did you cope with the loss of your parents? It always comes to us in the end, but it sometimes comes as a shock and people can find it very difficult.”

An emotional Fern replied: “I think that I am finding it so difficult I can’t even address it.”

She explained her father Tony died on December 22, 2019 and her mother Ruth passed away on April 17, 2018. 

When opening up about Ruth’s death, Fern told Iain that “thankfully” she was there alongside her daughter and niece when she died. 

“We were all grateful that she was at peace, but at the same time the loss has, for me, been so almost unbearable I honestly don’t acknowledge it yet,” she admitted. 

“And I feel my parents are still both so present in my life that I am finding it very hard. 

“I mean I am saying this to you know and my eyes are welling up because I just can’t deal with it. 

Iain sympathised with Fern and said it is “especially awful” when older people die around the Christmas period. 

He told her that he also lost his father around Christmas time in recent years. 

Fern later said: “I can’t even really begin to explain it, but they are so present and with me so much of the time that I haven’t taken it on board. 

“Too much [has] happened in the past couple of years – I’ve lost my marriage and I moved out of what was our family home.”

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Fern announced her break-up from TV chef Phil Vickery in January 202 following 20 years of married life together. 

At the time Fern wrote on Twitter: “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.”

Following their split, Fern moved to Cornwall and is now fronting her own show on Channel 5 called My Cornwall. 

Reflecting on Fern’s father’s career as an actor, Iain told her: “As a child I used to watch your dad in various things and remember what a good actor he was, he was a real English man if you see what I mean. 

Fern replied: “Yes, he was an Englishman born in Birmingham and he had a very good Birmingham accent when he wanted to. 

“He had a beautiful voice, and a wonderful voice and he was very charming. He was a super charming man who would always smell beautiful. He was lovely.”

Iain Dale’s Book Club podcast can be listened to on Spotify or Apple Music. 

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