She was a firm fixture on TV screens during her decade-long stint presenting This Morning.
The former daytime stalwart host, 61, cut a stylish figure in a lilac trench coat as she appeared in the vibrant cover shoot and spoke about how she embraces her ‘boobs and knees which are going south’ and feels a much ‘stronger person’ after therapy.
Open: Fern Britton candidly discussed getting older, her battle with depression and how she drank copious amounts of gin after her mother’s death in an interview with Prima Magazine
Fern, who is currently starring in Calendar Girls’ UK theatre tour, said: ‘I’m loving every minute of being back on stage in Calendar Girls – but I have to keep telling everyone, I don’t get naked in the show.
‘But if I had to do it? I would. I hate that people care so much about what size and shape women’s bodies are now. I’m not perfect – my boobs and my knees are going south – but am I bothered? Not really.
She added: ‘I’m at a point in my life where if I want to grow a moustache and beard, I will. And if I haven’t shaved under my arms, I’m not going to get myself in a spin.’
Role model: The former This Morning host, 61, spoke about how she embraces her ‘boobs and knees which are going south’ and feels a much ‘stronger person’
Fern, who is married to This Morning chef Phil Vickery, has been throwing herself into the tour after feeling lost when her mother Ruth died last April.
Following the funeral, the television star tried to drown out her grief with gin but was left feeling worse-than-ever in the aftermath.
‘The grief hit me the day her ashes were scattered,’ she said.
‘As soon as it was over, I thought, “I just want to sit and drink gin and go to bed,” and that’s what I did.
Devastated: Fern has been throwing herself into the tour after feeling lost when her mother Ruth died last April
Fern added: ‘I woke up with a terrible headache, of course. I’m not ashamed to say it because we all have different ways of coping.’
The mother-of-four admitted to doing some ‘bonkers things’ as she struggled to cope with her overwhelming sense of grief and decided to book a cruise on the Queen Mary 2.
‘I cried a lot in those two weeks, but I also wrote a lot, and I found that very soothing,’ she candidly admitted.
‘I never know when the grief will come now, but I feel in a much better place. Having had years of experiencing depressed episodes, I recognise when it’s coming now and it doesn’t frighten me anymore.’
Admitting she still finds her mother’s death difficult to accept nearly a year on, Fern told the publication, ‘she’s so very present in my mind.
‘I can still hear her in my head, I dream about her and the dreams are so vivid. She’s always telling me off about something. ‘
Fern said one coping strategy which has helped her tremendously over the past 11 months is weekly therapy sessions, which she has had for the past five years.
‘You learn so much about yourself when you sit in a room and feel safe enough to tell somebody absolutely everything. It’s made me a much stronger person,’ she said.
The twice married television star also discussed having a blended family. Fern formerly married to TV executive Clive Jones and had three children; twins Jack and Harry 24, and Grace, 21.
The full story: The full interview appears in the April issue of Prima, on sale March 8
After ten years of marriage, the pair divorced and Fern went on to meet Phil while presenting Ready Steady Cook.
The couple married two years later and went on to have their 18-year-old daughter Winnie.
Speaking about her children coming from a broken home, she said: ‘I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect family, is there?
‘Phil and I have this wonderful blended family, but of course it has its challenge – no one can make the perfect blend.
It’s very difficult as the mum when you’re trying to keep two dads happy. From one side you get, “What do you mean they’ve gone off in the car?” and the other one’s going, “What do you mean she had a party while I was away for the night?”.
She added: It’s difficult. But then I remind myself that both dads are very good and the kids are lucky to have two of them.’
The full interview appears in the April issue of Prima, on sale March 8.
Stronger: Fern said one coping strategy which has helped her tremendously over the past 11 months is weekly therapy sessions, which she has had for the past five years