But insiders insist presenter hasn’t quit show for good

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Fern Britton has decided to take some time away from This Morning to let the controversy over her weight-loss surgery die down.

The TV host admitted last week that she had a gastric band fitted to help her lost 5st to slim from a size 22 to a size 16.

But the public criticism over the fact she kept the op secret for 2 years has hit 50-year-old Fern hard.

‘She is very down and we’re very worried about her,’ says a pal. ‘She feels she’s let her fans down. She’s just getting her head back together after a torrid week. She’s devastated by the backlash, especially from her fans.’

Ruth Langsford, 47, replaced her on the ITV show yesterday, alongside co-host Phillip Schofield, 46.

But show bosses insist she’ll be back.

‘Fern is having some time off and we are hoping to see her back at work very soon,’ an ITV spokesperson tells the Daily Mirror.