Phillip Schofield comes out as gay in emotional Instagram post

This Morning presenter pays tribute to his wife of nearly 27 years and their daughters

British television presenter Phillip Schofield has come out as gay, saying that he "had to be honest" with himself. Video: ITV/This Morning

 

Phillip Schofield, the British television presenter, has revealed that he is gay and paid tribute to his wife of nearly 27 years.

“I am gay,” Schofield, one of ITV’s biggest stars, said in a post on Instagram. “This is something that has caused many heart-breaking conversations at home.”

Schofield, who hosts the long-running daytime show This Morning, later told ITV : “This decision is essential for me and essential for my head. Every person I tell, it gets a little lighter and a little lighter.”

The 57-year-old said he had been unable to sleep and had gone through “very dark moments”. He expressed sorrow at the pain and confusion he had caused his family, including his wife, Steph, and two daughters, Molly and Ruby.

“Steph has been incredible – I love her so very much,” Schofield said. “My girls have been astonishing. Today, quite rightly, being gay is a reason to celebrate and be proud... Only by facing this, by being honest, can I hope to find peace in my mind and a way forward.”

His copresenter Holly Willoughby told him today: “I know that is something you have been living with, that inner conflict, for a long time.”

Schofield 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 okay, we love you, we are proud of you...’ 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.”

The duo were then joined by fellow This Morning presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford. After a round of hugs, Holmes said: “Nobody should be embarrassed about their sexuality, and it’s fantastic you have spoken out, and there will be so many people who have been strengthened by what you’ve said.”

He added that he and Ruth, his wife, would be “the first to stand by you”.

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.

On Instagram, Willoughby then posted a photograph of the two of them together, writing: “Never been more proud of my friend than I am today.”

David Walliams, the writer and comedian, said on Twitter: “I am sending all my love to Phillip Schofield today. I have always held him in the highest regard, and now have nothing but respect and admiration for him. Let’s hope we are moving towards a world where no-one has to come out anymore, they can just be who they are and celebrate that.”

Phillip Schofield’s Instagram statement

“You never know what’s going on in someone’s seemingly perfect life, what issues they are struggling with, or the state of their wellbeing – 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 27 years, and we have two beautiful grown-up daughters, Molly and Ruby. My family 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.

“My inner conflict contrasts with an outside world that has changed so very much for the better. Today, quite rightly, being gay is a reason to celebrate and be proud. Yes, I am feeling pain and confusion, but that comes only from the hurt that I am causing to my family.

“Steph has been incredible – I love her so very much. She is the kindest soul I have ever met. My girls have been astonishing in their love, hugs and encouraging words of comfort. Both mine and Steph’s entire families have stunned me with their love, instant acceptance and support. Of course they are worried about Steph, but I know they will scoop us both up. My friends are the best, especially Holly, who has been so kind and wise – and who has hugged me as I sobbed on her shoulder. At ITV, I couldn’t hope to work with more wonderful, supportive teams.

“Every day on This Morning, I sit in awe of those we meet who have been brave and open in confronting their truth – so now it’s my turn to share mine. This will probably all come as something of a surprise and I understand, but only by facing this, by being honest, can I hope to find peace in my mind and a way forward.

“Please be kind, especially to my family.

“Phillip” – Reuters, PA