Phillip Schofield comes out as gay, and says 'there have been some very dark moments'

7 February 2020, 23:25

This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield has announced on his Instagram page that he is gay.

The presenter, who has been married for almost 27 years and has two grown up daughters, said he hopes to "find peace of mind and a way forward".

In a statement posted on Instagram, Phillip Schofield said: "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."

Phillip Schofield with his co-presenter Holly Willoughby
Phillip Schofield with his co-presenter Holly Willoughby. Picture: PA
The couple have been married for almost 27 years
The couple have been married for almost 27 years. Picture: PA

Schofield's statement added: "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."

He sat down with long-time friend and co-host Holly Willoughby to speak about the announcement on the This Morning sofa on Friday morning.

The TV presenter married his wife Stephanie Lowe in March 1993.

They have two daughters together, Ruby, 24, and Molly, 27.

Phillip had previously marked his silver wedding anniversary in 2018 on Instagram, gushing: "2 birthdays and a Silver Wedding Anniversary in one week!"That’s a lot of cards. Happy 25th Mrs S."

Holly Willoughby threw her support behind Phillip, writing on Instagram: "Never been more proud of my friend than I am today.

"We’ll be together at 10am on This Morning x"

Schofield first began his career in 1982, working in New Zealand as a radio presenter before returning to the UK to work for the BBC.

He has presented ITV's This Morning since 2002, previously with Fern Britton.

Phillip Schofield has two grown up daughters with his wife Stephanie
Phillip Schofield has two grown up daughters with his wife Stephanie. Picture: PA
He asked people to "be kind" to his family
He asked people to "be kind" to his family. Picture: PA

Appearing on This Morning together, Holly Willoughby told Schofield: "I know that is something you have been living with, that inner conflict, for a long time."

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."

He added: "I feel a little lighter but I'm also very aware, there is no question that it causes pain and it causes upset."

Phillip Schofield has presented This Morning since 2002
Phillip Schofield has presented This Morning since 2002. Picture: PA

He said he has "no secrets" from his wife, adding: "We have never had any secrets.

"It's tough, this is not something that has happened quickly, I've had to deal with this in my head for quite some time. We've been honest and open."

Asked why he was announcing it now, he said: "It's a good question, the thing is you know 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 added: "I got to the stage where I think we sit here every day and I'm over there and some amazingly brave, incredible person is sitting here and I'm listening to their story, thinking 'Oh my god, you're so brave' and I'm thinking 'I have to be that person'.

"All you can be in your life is honest with yourself and I was getting to the point where I wasn't being honest with myself and I didn't like myself very much because I wasn't being honest with myself."