‘I had no idea’ Fern Britton kept in the dark over family secret No one told me
Fern Britton recalls ‘seeing pixies’ during walk in Cornwall
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Speaking to presenter and comedian Graham Norton on his podcast, author and television presenter Fern Britton, 64, explained the inspiration behind her latest book, which delves into family secrets. Fern admitted that she’d always wondered why her father hadn’t lived with her as she grew up, and that nobody had ever told her the true reason why, leaving her stunned when the truth came out.
Having written nine best-sellers, Fern’s latest book, Daughters of Cornwall, was released last year.
Fern described to Graham the several secrets that came out about her family as she grew up, and one in particular which stuck with her.
“In the book, Clara has a daughter called Hannah,” she told Graham. She continued: “Who is loosely based on my mum and my father.
“I never understood why I never lived in a house with my father – I have no memory of him being around, ever.
“So once when I was about four or five, I remember saying to my mum ‘Why isn’t dad here? Why doesn’t he live with us?’ and she said ‘Well, he married another woman before he married me, and he had to go back to her’.
“And I thought ‘Oh fair enough’. So then we were talking in school when I was about seven or eight, for some reason the subject came up of bigamy, so in school they were talking about bigamy and I shot my hand up saying ‘Oh my father’s a bigamist.'”
She laughed: “No one explained that to me! And then my father about eight or nine years ago said to me ‘I’ve got to tell you something darling’.
“He said ‘The reason I was never at home, I’d left mummy – and my sister who was broken hearted, obviously – I’d left them and gone to be with my lover, who I was going to marry – which he did.
“But before he got home he did nip home to see my mother and my sister, and somehow I was conceived.
“And so then he was in trouble because he had to tell his new girlfriend, my mother was stuck.
“And none of them told me this! And then when I was about 17, I met the brother that my father had had with his second wife, and I had no idea he’d existed – no ne told me anything – that’s quite something.”
Fern has made a few TV appearances recently, and has launched a new series, My Cornwall.
The Channel 5 show sees her exploring the county, delving into the language, heritage and customs.
The former This Morning host frequently takes to Twitter to share picturesque photos taken in and around her Cornish home, showcasing the seaside views.
Her lifelong connection to the area spans childhood holidays to working and living in the region.
This week, she posted a photo of the coast to her 88,000 followers.
The caption read: “At Low tide the camel estuary. #Cornwall.” One fan replied to say: “You’re doing wonders for Cornwall’s tourist trade. I am planning a visit with my wife and dogs based on the photos you are posting.”
Another wrote: “You are soooo lucky to live in Padstow! #lovepadstow.”
“Lovely Fern. We’ve just visited the tin mines at Botallack. Stunning, saw them in your show last week.”
My Cornwall with Fern Britton airs Thursday at 8pm on Channel 5.
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