Fans of Fern Britton are outraged after the TV presenter admitted that her weight loss was due to a gastric band – and not dieting and exercise.

Some feel so strongly that the This Morning host has deceived viewers by not telling them about the operation, that they have called for her to be axed from the show, according to reports in The Mirror.

One said: “I like Fern but she is a hypocrite here.

“She is a public figure, she has lots of fans and therefore has a responsibility not to mislead – especially as she promotes Ryvita.”

Another said: “This is the most sickening act of deception I think I have come across.

“She is hardly a big woman’s role model now. I hope she loses her TV contract. This has upset me deeply.”

Fern earns £200,000 a year as the face – and body – of both Ryvita Minis and Ryvita Crispbread, a deal which began four years ago.

Fern did not tell the makers of Ryvita that she had had the gastric band fitted and continued to promote their products, which are aimed at those wanting to lose weight. But the company says there are no plans to axe Fern.

On Monday’s edition of This Morning, Fern hit back at the criticism, refused to apologise and implied that she had never been asked directly about having a gastric band.

She told viewers: “Two years ago I had a gastric band and do you know what? I did it for me because I wanted to. I didn’t feel that I had to need to ring around and let everyone know.”

She added: “For the last two years, I’ve said yes, I eat less and exercise more, which is absolutely true.”