Schofield and Britton still friends

Former ‘This Morning’ presenting team Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton are “still pals”.

Phillip – who presented ITV daytime show ‘This Morning’ with Fern until her decision to quit earlier this year – is still in touch with her, and has revealed it was their close bond which made him support her through the furore which surrounded her gastric band surgery.

Before the operation was revealed, Fern had claimed she was losing weight thanks to a new diet and exercise regime.

Phillip explained: “We've been through a lot but we're still pals.

“After the gastric band story came out my first reaction was to support Fern 100%. I knew it was going to be tough for her so it was important that I stood by her. My role was as a mate.”

Phillip also dismissed reports he and Fern fell out because he received a higher salary than her for presenting gameshow ‘Mr. and Mrs.’

He told Britain’s The Sun newspaper: “We have different contracts. Mine plays out for two years so it looks a bit strange. She has a different agreement.

“We were paid the same in a way but the figures look distorted because of my deal.

“We have a ball on the show and it's made it easier for me to cope with her not being on ‘This Morning’ as I still get to see her.”

Phillip is delighted Holly Willoughby, who he presents talent show ‘Dancing On Ice’ with, will be replacing Fern.

He said: “In my mind it was only ever her. It was a no-brainer. And of course Holly has the gravitas. ‘This Morning’ is not ‘Question Time’ or ‘Newsnight’.”

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