TV presenter Fern Britton is in ‘pain all the time’ with arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis: NHS on common signs and symptoms

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While Fern Britton puts on a smile for her latest instalment of My Cornwall, the TV presenter has to contend with a painful condition. In a candid interview, Fern revealed she suffers from a “really bad” knee and shoulder. “I’m waiting on a list for a surgeon to sort it out,” she told Woman and Home in 2022.

Fern explained: “I’ve got arthritis settling in everywhere. My knee is really bad and so is my shoulder.

“It’s very boring when your body starts to be in pain all the time.”

The leading charity Versus Arthritis points out that millions of Britons suffer from arthritis.

“The word arthritis is used to describe pain, swelling and stiffness in a joint or joints,” the charity clarifies.

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“Arthritis isn’t a single condition and there are several different types.”

Joint pain can affect anybody of any age; the main types of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout and calcium crystal diseases
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis.


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, which begins with the roughening of cartilage.

Versus Arthritis elaborates: “If this happens, the body can put in place a ‘repair’ process to try to make up for the loss of this important substance.”

Consequently, extra bones – called osteophytes – can grow at the ends of a bone within a joint.

There could be an increase in the amount of thick fluid inside the joint, and the joint capsule might stretch and lose its shape.

“If your osteoarthritis becomes severe, particularly in your knees and hips, your doctor might discuss with you the possibility of surgery,” the charity adds.

This consideration is typically only made after all other treatment options have not been effective.

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Treatment options could have included painkillers, losing weight, and keeping active.


Another form of arthritis is gout that can cause painful swelling in the big toe joint, for example.

“Joints affected by gout can become red and hot. The skin may also look shiny and can peel,” Versus Arthritis says.

“It’s caused by having too much urate, otherwise known as uric acid, in the body.”

Having small amounts of urate in the body is completely natural, but an unhealthy diet can cause urate to accumulate, which causes issues.

High levels of urate can turn into crystals that remain in and around the joint.

Versus Arthritis adds: “A knock to a part of the body or having a fever can lead to the crystals falling into the soft part of the joint. This will cause pain and swelling.”

Medication may be prescribed to help reduce the amount of urate in the body.

Episode two of My Cornwall With Fern Britton is on Channel 5 on Wednesday, January 11 at 8pm; episode one of season two is now available on

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