Fern Britton: It's 'embarrassing' how shows 'canvass' for NTA votes

·4-min read
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 17: Fern Britton sighting on July 17, 2009 in London, England. It was Fern Britton's last time presenting
Fern Britton sighting on July 17, 2009 in London, England. It was Fern Britton's last time presenting "This Morning". (Neil Mockford/FilmMagic)

This Morning and Loose Women star Fern Britton has hit out at the 'embarrassing' way presenters have to canvass for votes for TV awards saying she 'couldn't bear' to do it.

The broadcasting legend told Kate Thornton she never felt it was her place to be the star on daytime TV shows.

Speaking on White Wine Question Time, she said: "The very important thing, as well as to be a real presenter, in terms of Loose Women, This Morning, those kind of shows, is you are not the star.

"The person, the story, is the star. I always wanted every guest to be comfortable to know that that story had been told. They've been able to tell their story properly, fully, been listened to and heard.

WATCH: Fern Britton on family secrets, her struggles with IVF and where she keeps her NTA

"That was the most important thing and is the most important thing. I couldn't bear it then, I can't bear it now, when all the programmes for the National Television Awards, they're all: 'Oh, you must vote for us. vote for us, vote for us.'

"You think: How embarrassing is that? I couldn't bear to do that. People are gonna vote for you if they like you or not. I'm not canvassing, we're not prime minister. It's just to get a silly statue... like this!"

At which point she turned around and got her own NTA off the shelf behind her, explaining to Kate that TV bosses gave it to her for This Morning after Richard and Judy had left because it was 'just sitting on a shelf'. She says she took it to a jeweller's and got the inscription changed.

This Morning presenters Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton during the British Soap Awards at BBC TV Centre in west London.   (Photo by Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
This Morning presenters Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton during the British Soap Awards at BBC TV Centre in west London. (Photo by Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Thornton said: "You've literally repurposed it, that's brilliant! You're so right, for all the times that we won NTAs or BAFTAs on the shows that I worked on, I haven't got a single one.

"Why would I? It was for the show, but it would be nice to have something to reflect your involvement. You're quite right. Well stolen my friend!"

Listen to the full episode to hear about Fern's IVF journey, her early days working in journalism and how she really feels when people stop her on the street

Britton also told Thornton about the tumultuous period of her life when she had three young children and her marriage with her first husband ended when her daughter was five months old.

She said she had a year of 'really digging deep' but now realised she had learned a lot about herself in that time and said she 'wouldn't change it'.

She said: "It does teach you a lot about yourself and a lot about your capacity to work without sleep, under enormous pressure. Dealing with yourself as well as a family as well as, the press.

Fern Britton (left) and her husband Phil Vickery leaving the London Studios in central London, after her final day on This Morning television programme.   (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Fern Britton (left) and her husband Phil Vickery leaving the London Studios in central London, after her final day on This Morning television programme. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

"I very much felt that I could put that person, that woman onto a television screen. She had nothing to do with me in my life. And then I could go home and be me."

She said she was told early in her career to never complain about her life on air because viewers wouldn't understand and that now she has managed to find a way to blend the on-screen Fern with the real life.

She said: "Now I'm blended, and I'm one person again. But I think it was just the only way I could deal with it was, when you go to work, and you have your face put on and your hair and everything else, that person doesn't have any problems. She can be honest and everything else, but she doesn't have problems.

Read more: Fern Britton says her marriage with Phil Vickery 'fell apart'

"Very early on, someone said to me, never complain about your life on air. Because as far as the viewers are concerned, you are in Hollywood La La land, and they are having difficult lives. So there's no point.

"But now, I'm older and I'm contented. And so I think I can say these things now. I've given myself permission to and there's no one telling me: 'Oh, don't tell them that, don't tell them this.' Sod it here I am telling you."

WATCH: Fern Britton on taking her newborn daughter to work with her on 'This Morning'

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