Now comments made by Fern Britton during their marriage have come to light, signalling that things perhaps haven’t been right for some time.
Chatting in 2018, former This Morning host Fern revealed that, when it came to the couple’s bedroom antics, she preferred a cuppa to sex.
She told The Mirror: “Sex is great but a cup of tea is great, too.”
She added: “There’s nothing nicer than getting into bed with a cuppa and having a hug and a chat – that’s love.”
Fern continued: “Lust is great, but when you really love someone and you trust each other, and you’re in bed together drinking tea and chatting, that is a true relationship.”
Fern married Phil in 2000 after first meeting on the set of Ready Steady Cook.
They share a daughter, Winnie, 17.
The TV presenter had previously admitted to have “humdinger” arguments with Phil and said she didn’t believe people who said they have been married for years and not had a cross word.
She told The Telegraph: “Yes, we have humdingers, but then we’re normal. Anyway, that’s good for the children to see. This is a real relationship.”
She added: “You hear people say: ‘Thirty years and not a cross word.’ Sorry, I simply don’t believe that. But, if it is true, how boring.”
Fern was previously married to TV exec Clive Jones for 12 years. They have three grown-up children together.
Lust is great, but when you really love someone and you trust each other, and you’re in bed together drinking tea and chatting, that is a true relationship.
Announcing her split from Phil on Twitter, Fern said: “After more than 20 happy years together, Phil and I have decided to go our separate ways.”
She added: “We will always share a great friendship and our lovely children. We would appreciate it if our privacy is respected at this time.”
Phil, too, shared the same statement.
After more than 20 years together Fern and I have decided to go our separate ways. We will always share a great friendship and our lovely children. We would appreciate it if our privacy is respected at this time. Thank you for you kindness and support P
— Phil Vickery (@philvickerytv) January 29, 2020
It’s been a tough time for Fern of late, who announced her father had passed away just before Christmas.
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