Popular UK television host Phillip Schofield has come out as gay in an emotional social media post.
The daytime TV presenter appeared on This Morning with co-host and friend Holly Willoughby just minutes after posting a statement on his Instagram page.
He revealed his 83-year-old mum, Pat, told him “I don’t care” when he travelled to Cornwall, in England’s southwest, to tell her the news, and thanked his friends and family for their love and support.
“She’s been on the phone all morning, ‘hope you’re ok’... ‘thinking of you’. I told her and she said, ‘Oh, okay – well, I don’t care’,” Schofield, who has been married to wife Steph for almost 27 years, told Willoughby.
“And it’s been the same with everyone.”
"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."— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 7, 2020
Phillip Schofield explains the timing of why he came out as gay to Holly Willoughby.
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The 57-year-old presenter said he had started to feel “lighter” after telling his family and friends.
“This has been bothering me for a very long time,” he said.
“Everyone does these things at their own speed, in their own time – when they feel the time is right. There is no question that, in recent times, it has consumed my head.”
Schofield said he felt guilty about the impact the news would have on his wife, Stephanie, and their two daughters.
“I am very, very conscious of the hurt and so my overriding emotion for my family is obviously going to be guilt because I do feel guilty that this can’t be anything other than a painful process,” he said.
In his Instagram post, 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 wellbeing – and so you won’t know what hs 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.
“That is something that has caused many heart-breaking conversations at home.”
Schofield went on to say his family had “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,” he said.
The host said his and his wife’s families had “stunned me with their love, instant acceptance and support”.
The presenter married Stephanie Lowe in March 1993, after meeting while she worked as a BBC production assistant and he was working for BBC children’s television.
The couple have two daughters, 24-year-old Ruby and 27-year-old Molly.
Support from friends and family has been echoed across the media since Schofield came out.
Holly Willoughby led the way, saying “Never been more proud of my friend than I am today”.
His colleague, Eamonn Holmes, told him: “Nobody should be embarrassed about their sexuality and it’s fantastic you have spoken out.
“There will be so many people who have been strengthened by what you’ve said.”
– Yahoo News UK
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