Fern Britton has pulled out of hosting the British Soap Awards, two days after quitting as a presenter on This Morning.
The 51-year-old was due to front the glitzy show alongside This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield, but has pulled out to attend her sister’s birthday party.
She has dismissed reports of a rift with Phillip which emerged after she announced that she was leaving the daytime favourite after 10 years.
The soap awards are scheduled to take place in early May, but ITV said the date was not yet being made public for scheduling reasons.
Fern said: “I’m very disappointed to miss this year’s British Soap Awards, but it is sod’s law that I have arranged a big birthday bash on that day for for my sister.
“Her children and I have had it planned for about a year and so I absolutely cannot miss it.”
An ITV spokeswoman said it had not been decided whether to replace her with another host or let Phillip do the show alone.
Fern will host her last edition of This Morning on July 17 – her 52nd birthday – and said she is looking forward to working on a vegetable plot afterwards.