Fern Britton is to quit as co-host of This Morning after 10 years.

Fern – who fronts ITV1’s flagship daytime magazine show alongside Phillip Schofield – will leave when the current series ends in July, ITV confirmed on Wednesday.

Fern said: “After 10 years with This Morning, I have decided to leave the show at the end of the current series. I will present my last show on 17 July, my birthday, which seems somehow appropriate.”

She went on: “The This Morning team are simply the best and I will miss them all very much but I am looking forward to the freedom of exploring other things I want to do, and also spend more time with my wonderful family.

“So many thank yous to all our viewers who have shown me so much kindness and loyalty.”

Fern’s exit marks the end of a seven-year This Morning presenting partnership with Philip, who was brought in to replace John Leslie in 2002.

Phillip said on his website: “I’m obviously very sad that, after 10 triumphant years on This Morning, Fern has decided to leave the sofa.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work with her for six of those years and can honestly say that they have been amongst the best of my career. We have cried together over stories and we have laughed ourselves breathless too.

“From day one we just ‘clicked’ and I’m really proud of what we have achieved together on the show.”

In February, it emerged that Fern was only thought to be getting a third of the salary paid to Phillip for another ITV1 show they present, All Star Mr and Mrs.

A source for the programme said that Fern would receive £15,000 a show, while Phillip would be paid £45,000 a show, when the series returns later this year. ITV denied these claims.

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