Exclusive: Fern Britton opens up on 'difficult' marriage breakdown as she reveals her therapy is 'very much a part' of her life

In our exclusive interview, Fern Britton spoke on her split from Phil Vickery - and how therapy has helped her through the 'grim stuff'

Fern Britton on woman&home July 2024 cover
(Image credit: David Venni)

Fern Britton spoke to woman&home about the breakdown of her marriage to Phil Vickery, how therapy helped her through and the potential of finding love again, in an exclusive interview for our July issue. 

The iconic daytime TV host, who is turning 67 this year, got candid about the loss of her marriage to chef and former colleague, Phil Vickery, after two decades together, revealing that while it was tough, there's no bad blood between them now. 

Fern, who has twin sons Jack and Harry, 30, and 26-year-old daughter, Grace, with ex Clive Jones, also shares 22-year-old daughter Winnie with Phil. She says that her and Phil's split was "difficult" but the "hurt" has gone - with Winnie their key priority now.  

Fern Britton on woman&home July 2024 cover

(Image credit: David Venni)

"My marriage breakdown was a very difficult time. Phil was 20 years of my life and we share a daughter. It’s not ideal that our marriage didn’t work, but it didn’t towards the end and so here we are," Fern said.

"Now, in general, there’s no hurt or feeling any more. Winnie wants to see us both happy and settled, so he and I connect on important issues like ‘Is Winnie OK?’ or ‘Do you think we should get together and buy her a new car because the old one is now older than her?’," she added, admitting that that's where their connection ends. 

"On those basic levels [we connect] but I don’t need to know what he’s doing in his personal life. That’s not my business any more."

But what was it that helped her through the worst? Fern hails a close focus on therapy as something that has been pivotal.

"I’ve had a lot of therapy over about 12 years. We have breaks but my therapist is very much a part of my life and has navigated me through grim stuff," she said.

And when it comes to opening up her heart once again, the former This Morning host admits she isn't ruling it out or putting her walls up - although, she'd want things to be a little different the next time around. 

Fern Britton on woman&home July 2024 cover

(Image credit: David Venni)

"Love would be wonderful. I’m not looking for it but if it arrives, I’d welcome it with open arms.

"I don’t want to ever marry again. I don’t ever want to live with anyone again. It’s enough to look after myself and I’ve done enough looking after other people," she declared.

"I haven’t dated anyone properly for 25 years. It’s been a long time!"

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There's certain boxes a prospective partner would have to tick when it comes to time in the bedroom, too. 

"I want the ideal sex, which is romantic, gentle, fulfilling and looking into each other’s eyes. No gymnastics, not being given accessories to wear or use, not sex for sex," Fern explained. 

You can read Fern's full exclusive interview with woman&home in the July issue of the magazine, on shelves from May 30th. 

Caitlin Elliott
News Editor

Caitlin is News Editor for woman&home, covering all things royal, celeb, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Caitlin started on local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree. She also worked in Fashion PR as a Press Assistant for Arcadia's Topshop before becoming a part of the Now team. Caitlin went on to add the likes of Woman, GoodtoKnow, WhatToWatch and woman&home to her writing repertoire before moving on to her current role.