Fern Britton co-hosts This Morning on ITV1 with Phillip Schofield

Fern Britton has announced that she won't be returning to This Morning until after Christmas.

The 51-year-old is currently taking part in a charity cycle race in Cuba.

But she told replacement host Ruth Langsford via phone link from Havana today that she won’t be rushing back.

‘I've decided to take 3 weeks off to be a proper mummy at home,’ Fern said. ‘I'm absolutely fine and dandy and there's no problem.’

But the news is said to have left bosses reeling.

‘No one understands why Fern isn't coming back until after Christmas,’ says a source.

‘It wasn't pre-planned. It was a last-minute thing and she has dropped the show right in it. They are not happy.’

Fern recently signed a new deal to keep her on This Morning for another 3 years.

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