Fern Britton on ageing disgracefully

Posted on: 13 July 2011 by Rhian Mainwaring

Fern celebrates her 50s with a tattoo!

Fern tattoo

Fern Britton has hit the headlines in recent years for her drastic weight-loss, her struggles with depression and her public IVF treatment. But this week it's her new addition that's getting everyone talking, sparking yet another debate on age. Her new butterfly tattoo on her hip, which she got to mark her 5th decade has had the media asking at what age it is appropriate to get a tattoo - here at 50c, we think there's no better time to get some ink! 

Her personality, honesty and zest for life makes her one of 50connect's female role models – here she talks candidly about her age, depression and IVF treatment.

Fern says “At Christmas, I got a tattoo of two butterflies on my tummy. It’s Felicity Kendal’s fault. I read about hers and thought, “Why not?” Some of my friends have them and I’d been talking about getting one for ages. Then Winnie found some stick-on tattoos and applied one to my tummy.”

Of course Fern had to go to her hubbie, TV foodie Phil Vickery for his advice, not permission - “He agreed that it looked good, so in my head that was a green light. I had to ring him from the tattooing table because I was going to be late collecting Winnie from school. The conversation went, “Where are you?” “About half an hour away.” “What are you doing?” “Having a tattoo.” “WHAT?!” He’s still a bit iffy about it, but the children think it’s cool and I can tell them that yes, it does hurt.”

Fern has made it no secret that she has struggled with depression and is one of few celebrities who has spoken out about dealing with dark times. For the general public who also have issues with mental health, Fern has become an inspiration – showing that battling with depression, running a family and having a successful career is possible, but certainly not easy! On controlling her depression Fern says:

“I take a low dosage of antidepressants every day, the way a diabetic takes insulin. It keeps me on an even keel, so I can take bad news without terrible dips. I can have black moments when I feel death round me and I know I’m not alone in that. With depression there are times when you are in so much torment, you want to turn the light off, but I don’t want to miss out on my children and their children. And while I’m not a particularly good Christian, I believe that we have an afterlife. It’s quite a childlike faith.”

Woman & HomeHaving undergone IVF treatment for her twins, Fern made the decision to donate her eggs, a decision she didn't take lightly, “Of course, I think about what happened to those. I will never know until maybe that person is 18 and comes to find me. It’s a funny feeling all these years later. At the time, you’re so grateful that you’re pregnant that you want to give someone else the chance. Would I feel that child was mine? I’ve no idea. I certainly would want to be a friend to that person and their family, though.”

To read more from the fifty and fabulous Fern, get the August issue of Woman & Home magazine

So what do you think? Have you recently got a tattoo - or would you never dream of getting one now? Let us know your thoughts below...

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