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Friday, March 27, 2009

Stroppy Fern shoots herself in foot



I am not a fan of TV presenter Fern Britton for reasons I will explain below. She was all over the papers yesterday having walked out of her "This Morning" job because she discovered she gets paid a lot less than Philip Schofield.

I imagine she thought that if she threw a strop the powers-that-be would offer her more money and beg her to come back. I fear she is sadly deluded and may have shot herself in the foot. She will indeed be "spending more time with the family" and hopefully not raiding the biscuit tin now that her gastric band has enabled her to lose all that blubber.

There are very few TV presenters over the age of 40 - Fern was an exception. Fiona Bruce, a very presentable 42, got shuffled off to Antiques Roadshow and how often do we see Carol Smillie, Carol Vorderman, Anthea Turner, Angela Rippon, Selina Scott etc etc these days? Sometimes they crop up in those ghastly daytime shows that no-one watches but prime time? Not when the TV moguls consider a woman's prime is her 20s or 30s. I would suggest they look at some current trends - the success of Mamma Mia for example - and at the powerful women in cinema and music who are reversing some of the stereotypes: Julia Roberts (42), Halle Berry, Madonna (50), Tina Turner (late 60s).....

Anyway, back to Fern and the reason why I find her fake and false with her faux sympathy and smiles.

A few years ago she was a presenter on BBC Spotlight in Plymouth and I was a gauche reporter on BBC Radio Devon.

The TV people were somewhat sniffy about sharing "Broadcasting House" in Plymouth with the radio goons but we called them the dead legs because they had the easiest job ever: tearing off the stories we had filed through ringing the police, going through council minutes and so on.

Anyway, on Children in Need Night a swimming pool had been provided in the garden and the idea was to film some silly stunts and show them live on TV.

I borrowed a Plymouth Argyle strip and gathered pledges to be thrown into the pool. I went into the studio to tell lovely Alan Dedicoat and Fern all about it - they were doing a Children in Need radio special.

The interview went OK and I left the studio. I then heard Fern tell the nation (well, one or two people in Barnstaple) that "she had never seen such big thighs."

My dip in the pool that very cold night was blighted by the thought of my gargantuum thighs and Fern's cruel comment.

Well over the years she got very fat and I was pretty smug on the thighs subject - but now of course she is off loading the weight. But she's out of work now and the spectre of Cash in the Attic or a return to Ready Steady Cook looms. Not so good, eh Fern?

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