Fern Britton is apparently quitting This Morning after learning that co-host Phillip Schofield is paid three times as much as her.
Fern announced on Wednesday that she was quitting the ITV1 show after 10 years, saying she wanted to ‘explore other things’ and spend more time with her family.
But reports in The Sun claim that Fern is upset that ITV has failed to give her more high-profile work – while Phillip has a £2 million contract with the channel as the host of reality show Dancing On Ice as well as This Morning.
Phillip, pictured with Fern, is also due to front a major new gameshow called The Cube.
And while Fern is believed to earn £750,000 a year for This Morning – the same as Phillip – it recently emerged that he will be paid £45,000 per episode for co-hosting Mr and Mrs with Fern, who will earn just £15,000 a show.
An source told the paper: “Phillip is a huge name at ITV these days and is absolutely raking it in while Fern hasn’t done much else.
“It hasn’t sat well with her the way she’s been treated by ITV, so many of us are not surprised she is off.”
In her statement, Fern said: “After ten years with This Morning, I have decided to leave at the end of the series. I will present my last show on July 17, my birthday, which seems appropriate.”
Describing her This Morning colleagues as ‘simply the best’ she added: “So many thank yous to all our viewers who have shown me so much kindness and loyalty.”
Phillip said he was ‘very sad that Fern had decided to leave’, adding: “From day one we clicked, and I’m proud of what we have achieved together.”
Former GMTV host Fiona Phillips and Ruth Langsford, who hosts This Morning on Fridays, are favourites to replace Fern.