Fern Britton quits 'This Morning'

Fern Britton has quit 'This Morning' after 10-years presenting the show because she feels "undervalued"

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Fern Britton

Fern Britton quits 'This Morning'

Fern Britton has quit 'This Morning' because she feels "undervalued".

The presenter is reportedly unhappy at being paid less than co-host Phillip Schofield - with whom she also teams up with on quiz show 'Mr. and Mrs.' - and felt he was given priority over her.

Fern stunned fans of ITV's flagship morning programme yesterday (25.03.09) with her decision to leave after 10 years, but friends say the move has been a long time coming.

A source said: "Fern has not been happy with the way things have gone and feels she and the show are being undervalued.

"As one of the most recognisable faces on TV, she is not paid anything like what Phillip is. She felt she was living in Phillip's shadow and it was time to move on."

Fern - who is married to chef Phil Vickery and has four children - reportedly earns £750, 000 a year in contrast to her co-host's £1 million. Phillip reportedly takes home £45,000 an hour when they present 'Mr. and Mrs.' - three times the £15,000 rate 51-year-old Fern gets.

The source added: "Fern felt Phillip was considered the prime-time star and paid accordingly, while she was just a daytime name."

Fern's last show will be on her birthday, July 17.

In a statement Fern said she was planning to "pursue new projects and spend more time with her family."

Posting on his official website, Phillip - who also presents 'Dancing On Ice'- wrote: "I wish Fern all the very best, lots of love, and hope she can get a few well deserved lie ins.

"I will look forward to launching the new series in September, with a new partner, who I'm sure will enjoy the uniqueness of 'This Morning', the wonderful team and our loyal viewers."

Ex-'GMTV' host Fiona Phillips and Ruth Langsford, who presents 'This Morning' on Fridays, are favourites to replace Fern.

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