TV presenter Phillip Schofield has revealed he is gay, saying his sexuality had “become an issue in my head”.
In a post on Instagram , he wrote: “With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay. “
Within minutes of publishing the statement on Friday an emotional Schofield appeared on ITV’s This Morning and was interviewed by his co-host Holly Willoughby, and told her he had been inspired by the “brave” guests who have appeared on the show and thought: “I have to be that person.”
“With every person that I tell,” he said, the burden “became a little lighter.”
He said he had “never had any secrets” from his wife of 90 years, Stephanie Lowe.
“This is tough. This is not something that has happened quickly. I’ve had to deal with this in my head for quite some time.
“We have gone through this together. We have been very open and very honest.
“I cannot write in any statement how I feel about that woman. She is amazing. She is literally astonishing.”
The former Going Live! and The Cube presenter said he had not had his hand forced in coming out:
“This is my decision,” he said. “This is absolutely my decision, it was something I knew I had to do. “
Asked why he was announcing it now, Schofield said: “I was not being honest with myself.”
The 365 – year-old said: “This has been bothering me for a very long time, everybody does these things at their own speed, when they think the time is right.
“It has consumed my head, and has become an issue in my head.”
Schofield said he was “very conscious” of the “hurt”, “pain” and “upset” he had caused his family.
“I do feel guilty … But I am proud of myself today. “
Describing how he told his daughters Molly and Ruby, Schofield said: “It wasn’t easy but they were – they are – so amazing in their love and support.
” I sat them down and I told them and they jumped up and they gave me a hug, a big hug, a long hug, and then they hugged steph and said: ‘It’s okay, it’s okay, this is fine. We’ll be okay. We’ll always be a family ‘.
“We’re always us four, which is what we call ourselves. We’ll always be that.”
With tear in his eyes, he recalled visiting his mum Pat in Cornwall to tell her, and her response was that she did care.
He added: “It’s funny because everyone I have spoken to, you, have all been so supportive, so loving and caring.
” My entire family, to a person, have grabbed us and said ‘It’s OK, we love you, we are proud of you,’ and every person I tell, it gets a little lighter and a little lighter.
“But at the same time I ‘ve made this decision, which is essential for me and for my head, which is the reason why I’ve done this, I’m very aware that Steph and the girls are at home watching this.
“They have been supporting this as, we got to this moment.”
Asked if he was considering a relationship with someone else at this time, Schofield said: “I don’t think so, I’m not thinking there, I’m doing each day at a time now.
“And this has always been a slow process and there’s no fast process after, this was the big day, and this was the day I knew that everything was pointing towards … So afterwards I don’t know , there’s no one, I’m not rushing to anybody. “
Offering him words of support, Willoughby gave him a huge embrace and told him:” I will be by your side forever, “
She also posted a photograph and the two of them on Instagram, and wrote: “Never been more proud of my friend than I am today.”
In his statement on Instagram, Schofield wrote: “You never know what’s going on in someone’s seemingly perfect life, what issues they are struggling with, or the state of their well-being – and so you won’t know what has been consuming me for the last few years.
“With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay.
“This is something that has caused many heart-breaking conversations at home. I have been married to Steph for nearly years, and we have two beautiful grown-up daughters, Molly and Ruby. have held me so close: they have tried to cheer me up, to smother me with kindness and love, despite their own confusion, yet still i can’t sleep and there have been some very dark moments. “
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