Fern Britton has said she won’t join fellow presenters who have complained about being cast aside for younger models.

The former This Morning presenter has turned her hand to writing novels while also presenting TV shows such as current BBC2 series The Big Allotment Challenge.

Fern, 56, said: “TV is an addiction to some presenters because if they are not seen, then where are they? Well, that doesn’t really bother me.

“It’s time for other people to have their turn. You can’t clog it all up. It’s like clogging up a hospital bed. Get out! Let someone else in.

“I’m a realist. You know it [old age] is coming but it’s only in your head. When I watched [The Great British] Sewing Bee, there was an older lady on there whose face was full of vivacity and that’s her life force, and it’s what makes her very interesting to watch.

Youth is great but it’s not everything.”

Fern agreed that she has seen dumbing down of television since she began in the industry 34 years ago.

“It’s annoying when you know the viewer is being treated like an idiot. We’re not idiots. I sometimes do think that programme ideas, actors and presenters become flavour of the month not because the audience necessarily likes them, but because someone in television thinks, ‘Oh, they’re on the front cover of magazines all the time, they must be popular’. That doesn’t always equate.”

The Big Allotment Challenge, BBC2, Tuesday, April 22



– Press Association