Fiona Phillips

Former GMTV presenter, Fiona Phillips, talks to woman&home about embracing change, her career dreams... and keeping her fingers crossed

Fiona left her job as the main anchor woman for GMTV last December, after 12 years on the sofa. She is married to the programme editor Martin Frizell and they have two sons – Nathanial, nine, and Mackenzie, six.

Fiona Phillips on leaving GMTV
I’m getting my enthusiasm for life – and my marriage – back. I’m a naturally optimistic, positive person, who looks forward rather than backwards. Being tired, though, makes you see the dark side of everything, and 12 years of dawn starts did become debilitating.

It’s not worth sacrificing everything on the altar of your job. I gave it up because if you have a great job and all the things that supposedly go with it, but you’re not actually enjoying your life, then there’s no point.

At 48, I feel the world is opening up, not closing down. It was a huge gamble to give up my job and my salary, and just for a moment, especially as the financial climate worsened, I did think, “I’m in my late forties now. What if no one ever calls me again?” You have to embrace change, though, and age has never been an issue for me. I had my first child at 38, which some people think is really late, but it never crossed my mind that I was an old mum.

What is really positive is that since I resigned I haven’t felt people are thinking, “Oh, she’s too old for telly”. On the contrary, I’ve had lots of meetings with lots of different people – at their behest – and I feel this isn’t the end; it’s a beginning.

Fiona Phillips on family
Family is far more important to me than fame. At the weekends it’s just the four of us. I really believe that my boys, my children, are the real loves of my life. I think if you asked any mother she would honestly say that her child – not her husband – was her true love, which I think some men find very difficult to cope with.

I’m determined that my children will not be spoilt brats. I want them to know what the real world is like, and they’re going to have to work. They’re not going to be left big things in our will – we’ve already done that. They’ll have to work and save up for everything. I’m never going to say, “Here’s a hundred grand for a deposit on a flat.” I think they appreciate it so much more if they work for it. They don’t appreciate anything if they’re just given everything. The excitement of life goes.

I have this huge feeling of excitement about the year ahead. I know I did the right thing in leaving GMTV. It was wonderful, but it was time to move on. Not just for the sake of my marriage and my children, but also because it’s so important to allow yourself to be open to new ideas and new challenges. Turning my back on the sofa has opened up a new world of opportunities.

Read this interview in full in the February issue of woman&home magazine. Fiona gives an insight into her marriage to Martin Frizzell, shares her thoughts on Botox and reveals her ideal job... Don't miss it!

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