Phillip Schofield coming out interview

Phillip Schofield fights back tears as he gives his first TV interview after coming out as gay

The TV presenter announced the news on Friday morning

Francesca Shillcock

Phillip Schofield has appeared on This Morning to speak candidly about his announcement that he is gay. Taking to the sofa on Friday morning, Phillip sat alongside his co-star Holly Willoughby as she interviewed him on the news. Holly began the interivew by introducing her co-star, saying: "I have never been more proud of my friend than I am today, we're going to do this together," before going on to read out Phil's statement, that he shared on his Instagram stories, in full.

WATCH: Phillip Schofield fights back tears in first TV interview since coming out as gay

After the statement was read out, Phil went on to speak candidly about his decision to announce the news. He began: "It's funny because everyone I have spoken to, you [Holly], have all been so supportive, so loving and caring. And my entire family, to a person, have grabbed us and said: 'It's okay, it's okay, we love you, we're proud of you' and every person I tell it gets a little lighter and a little lighter. But at the same time I have made this decision which is essential for me and essential for my head and that's principally the reason I have done this."

He continued: "Of course I'm really, very aware that Steph and the girls are home watching this, and we're all together, we spend a lot of time together, and they have been supporting us as we got to this moment, as we all knew it was coming."

READ: Holly Willoughby reacts to Phillip Schofield coming out as gay

Phillip Schofield coming out interview

Holly and Phil appeared on Friday's This Morning to discuss Phil's announcement

Phil, who was clearly overwhelmed during the interview, went on to discuss his wife Steph, to whom he's been married for 27 years, and how supportive she has been. "We've never had any secrets," he said, before going on to state how she was coping. "It's tough, but this is not something that has happened quickly. I have had to deal with this in my head for quite some time. We've been honest and open. And as I said, I can't write in any statement what I feel about that woman. She is amazing. She is incredible, there is no one in my life who would have supported me the way, as a wife, as the way she has supported me. She is astonishing, literally astonishing." 

Holly went on to ask Phil why he had decided to speak out on his sexuality now, and what lead him to go public. "It's a good question," he began. "You [Holly] know this has been bothering me for a very long time," he said. "And I think everyone does these things at their own speed, at their own time, when they feel the time is right. There's no question that it has, in recent times, consumed my head. And so, I got to the stage where I thought, 'we sit here everyday, I sit there, and some amazing incredible person is sitting here and I'm listening to their story and thinking 'oh my god you're so brave', and I'm thinking, I wasn't honest with myself, I have to be that person." 

MORE: Who is Phillip Schofield's wife? Everything you need to know about Stephanie Lowe

Phillip Schofield coming out interview

Holly and Phil were overcome with emotion during the interview

The This Morning presenters went on to discuss the emotional conversation that Phil had with his family, specifically his daughters Ruby and Molly. Holly stated: "Telling them can't have been easy." Phil agreed: "It wasn't. But they were, they are, amazing in their love and support. I told them and they jumped up and gave me a hug, and said 'It's okay, it's okay.'" 

On Friday morning, Phil took to his Instagram stories to make the announcement. He 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 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."

The heartfelt post continued: "My inner conflict contrasts with an outside word 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 my family."

"Every day I sit on This Morning, I sit in awe of those we meet who have been brace 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, being honest, can I hope to find peace in my mind and a way forward. Please be kind, especially to my family. Phillip."

Stephanie and Phil met while both working at the BBC, when he was working on children's television and she as a production assistant. The couple got married at Scotland's Ackergill Tower in 1993 and celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in 2018. They are also proud parents to daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24. 

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