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Fiona Phillips Quits Show to Focus on Family

09/22/2008 at 02:30 PM ET
Stuart Wilson/Getty

British fans of GMTV Today were shocked in August when Fiona Phillips, a main anchor on the program for 12 years, announced her intention to retire in December. Now Fiona has opened up about the rationale behind that decision; she tells the Daily Mail that because her mom suffered from Alzheimer’s before her death and because her father was recently diagnosed, himself, she fears she "may only have ten years left" of life as she knows it.

If that does prove true and she goes on to develop the debilitating brain disease, Fiona, 47, says she wants to make the most of time she has with husband Martin Frizell and their sons Nathaniel, 9, and Mackenzie, 6. In her efforts to care for her loved ones and continue on with her career, Fiona says she felt "crushed between opposing forces."

"I want to be 100 percent professional, 100 percent wife, mother, daughter and you cannot do it all, you really, really can’t."

The decision to give up her spot at GMTV came about after the family vacationed this summer. "We went for long walks with the boys, climbed trees, climbed rocks, and I thought, ‘I can’t face going back into the tunnel that’s my life again, getting up at four in the morning and meeting the boys from school already feeling bad-tempered because I’m so tired,’" Fiona recalls. "At one point my husband said to me, ‘It feels as though we’ve got you back again,’ and though it sounds silly, that’s how I felt, too. I just knew I couldn’t go on."

Source: Daily Mail

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BebeB on

I know nothing about this woman yet applaud her decision and thank CBB for bringing me this story. I’m currently wrestling with the same questioning of my values – and at the same time I’m reading a great book about women’s career choices, The Sexual Paradox (by Susan Pinker), which really brings home to me that not all women can have kids AND a high achieving career. My financial reality is that I need to work, and in the past I enjoyed my career, but now that I have my son, work feels hollow and I don’t want to be without him. Fiona Philips is for me yet another reminder of what is true and authentic and important in my life. I feel bad for Fiona that she probably had a lot of heartache on the way to finding out that “I want to be 100 percent professional, 100 percent wife, mother, daughter and you cannot do it all, you really, really can’t.” I feel the same, and for me, personally, I think she’s made the wise choice. It’s just a shame that it has to BE a choice.

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