Phillip Schofield reveals bitter rival Fern Britton didn't text him when he came out as gay – but did contact wife Steph

PHILLIP Schofield has said he never received a message from his old This Morning co-host Fern Britton when he came out as gay.

The 58-year-old writes in his new book Life's What You Make It that she instead chose to contact his wife, Stephanie Lowe, after he made the announcement in February.

The beloved TV presenter penned: "When I came out, she didn't text me. She did text Steph though, which was really kind."

Phillip joined Fern, 63, on the This Morning couch in 2002, replacing regular host John Leslie and the pair proved a hit with viewers with their banter.

All speared to be going swimmingly to those tuning in at home, but there was more to the story behind-the-scenes.

Phillip has now claimed that the pair had a row in a makeup room in 2009 over the content of a show – and he was "stunned" when she accused him of "meddling."

Writing in his book, he said: "I walked back into the makeup room and calmly said, 'Please don't do that to me again.'

"I think, for whatever reason, that was the point Fern decided she didn't want to do This Morning any more."

Then after a decade in front of the camera, Fern decided to quit the show in 2009.

Adding even more fuel to the fire, Fern noticeably didn't mention her co-host of seven years when she released a statement announcing her departure.

At the time, rumours swirled that Fern had quit after discovering her co-host was earning significantly more than her, but she recently insisted that wasn't the case at all.

Speaking on The Ray D'Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio 1, she said: "I began not to enjoy it so much and the morning I resigned, I didn't know I was going to resign.

"Something happened and I thought, 'That's it really' and I walked away and resigned.

"I was treated pretty poorly, actually. And after awhile I just thought, 'Sod it'."

In June, Fern said how she feels for Phillip's family after he came out as gay and thinks it's good that he felt confident enough to share his sexuality.

Speaking to The Sun's Executive Editor Dan Wottoon on his talkRADIO Drivetime show, she said: "We haven't seen each other for a very long time or spoken for a while. I'm glad for him.

"It's none of my business. He's getting on really, so, good. It's terrible that people have to hide who they are."

Fern, who has split from chef husband Phil Vickery, 59, added: "I feel for his wife.

"Steph's a lovely girl and, you know, that's difficult – as I've been talking about difficult transitions and processing stuff for me, it will be the same for her."

Since leaving This Morning, Fern has gone on to become a best-selling author and has also starred in Calendar Girls the Musical.

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