Phillip Schofield praises Holly Willoughby for support when coming out

Phillip Schofield praises Holly Willoughby for support when coming out

October 15, 2020

‘The secret was going to give me a breakdown’: Phillip Schofield pulled out of This Morning filming and ran off set to vomit while struggling with his sexuality… as he insists he would have NEVER married if he knew he was gay

  • Phillip has revealed he once forced his driver to turn around while on the way to film This Morning as he felt unable to film while struggling with his sexuality
  •  The TV presenter, 58, has opened up about his struggles in his new memoir Life Is What You Make It which details his path in deciding to come out
  • In the book Phil divulges how he realised he needed to seek professional help when he had to dash off the This Morning set to throw up
  • Explaining the turmoil that led to his pubic coming out interview, Phil revealed he ‘sobbed quietly in the dark’ while watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks 
  • Phil made the decision to come out earlier this year as he shared an emotional Instagram statement and was interviewed by best friend Holly Willoughby

Phillip Schofield has revealed he once forced his driver to turn around while on the way to film This Morning after refusing to appear on the show while struggling with his sexuality.

The TV presenter, 58, has opened up about his struggles in his new memoir Life Is What You Make It, where he detailed how he ran off set to vomit during the darkest days of hiding his secret.

Phil explained how he contacted his wife of 27 years Stephanie Lowe to tell her he couldn’t film the show that day, as she was the only person who knew about his hidden sexuality at the time.

Struggling: Phillip Schofield has revealed he once forced his driver to turn around while on the way to film This Morning after refusing to appear on the show while struggling with his sexuality 

Detailing his decision to pull out of filming, he said: ‘I sat alone in the flat, staring at the walls, as This Morning started on the other side of London. It was a very stupid thing to do… all my closest friends knew how ragged my head was but no one except Steph knew why.’ 

Phil said he realised he needed to seek professional help when he had to dash off set to throw up, while he also began taking prescription medication in order to cope.

The This Morning host made the decision to come out earlier this year as he shared an emotional Instagram statement with his followers, before being interviewed by co-host Holly Willoughby just moments later.

Explaining the turmoil that led to his pubic coming out interview, Phil revealed he ‘sobbed quietly in the dark’ while watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks just weeks prior.

Emotional: The This Morning host made the decision to come out earlier this year as he shared an emotional Instagram statement with his followers, before being interviewed by co-host Holly Willoughby just moments later (pictured at the time)

While he would tell colleagues his weekend was ‘fine’, Phil admitted the reality was he would stare at the flames in the fire and ‘wish they were consuming him’, as he detailed some of the dark places his mind went to.

In the autobiography, Phil revealed he became ‘increasingly aware’ of his sexuality over the past five years, and his wife was made aware at the same time.

He also confided in his two daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, but claimed he ‘felt sick’ before opening up to them about his sexuality. 

Phil insisted he ‘unequivocally’ did not know he was gay and wouldn’t have got married to Steph if he did.

Tell all: The TV presenter, 58, has opened up about his struggles in his new memoir Life Is What You Make It, where he detailed how he ran off set to vomit during the darkest days of hiding his secret

Unconditional: n the autobiography, Phil revealed he became ‘increasingly aware’ of his sexuality over the past five years, and his wife was made aware at the same time

Another person who supported him wholeheartedly was his friend and colleague Holly, who was the first person he told at work.

Phil invited Holly to his dressing room to talk about it after Holly grew suspicious and increasingly worried, and after their chat they saw a white feather on the floor outside the dressing room.

Phil recalled: ‘She picked it up and gave it to me, and she said “see it’s all going to be okay.” The feather is still in my wallet.’ 

On Wednesday Phillip told how the support Holly gave him when he came out as gay was ‘absolutely vital’. 

Family: He also confided in his two daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, but claimed he ‘felt sick’ before opening up to them about his sexuality

Speaking on BBC’s The One Show, Phillip admitted Holly was the first person at work he told about his sexuality and he met up with her in a London bar to discuss how they would handle his coming out on the show.

He said: ‘[Holly was] absolutely vital, couldn’t have done it with anyone else, I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to be sat beside me. 

‘We had a big lead up, Holly was one of the first people I told when I knew what I had to do, she is such a wise person.

‘She has got such a calm sensitive aura to her, at home everyone was saying it’ll be fine and Holly was saying at work, “it’ll be fine”, she was the only one that knew at that time at work.’

Phillip admitted he knew there would be a ‘massive amount of scrutiny’ on him after he came out. 

Support: He said: ‘[Holly was] absolutely vital, couldn’t have done it with anyone else, I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to be sat beside me’

He said: ‘We had to figure out how to do something like that, it had to bHone public. I knew there would be a massive amount of scrutiny. 

‘I said to Holly: “I’ll do it on a Thursday morning and then ill go and you carry on,” and we were in a bar in London secretly having this meeting and she said: “Are you joking? There’s no chance that you leave and I carry on.”

‘She said: “No, we’ll do it on a Friday and ask Ruth and Eamonn if we can knick 10 minutes from their show, so we do it and then both leave together.” ‘

In April, Phillip moved out of the £2 million modern rustic property near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire and is living in a central London apartment where he commutes to ITV’s White City studios. 

Advice: Phillip admitted Holly was the first person at work he told about his sexuality and he met up with her in a London bar to discuss how they would handle his coming out on the show

The presenter, who shares Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, with Stephanie, previously revealed he had been leading the ‘perfect life’ after getting married and raising his two children, claiming he hadn’t wanted anything to get in the way of his happiness.

But he said he was ‘naive’ to think he could suppress his sexuality when he married Stephanie 27 years ago, and he didn’t consider his sexuality as it was such a ‘joyous time’ for him.

Phillip also admitted he battled depression as he struggled with his sexuality, and even sought therapy to come to terms with it, before deciding he found it more helpful speaking to friends in private.

Phillip said: ‘[Holly was] absolutely vital, couldn’t have done it with anyone else, I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to be sat beside me’ 

Between 10am to 10.15am on February 7, when Phillip segment was on, the show racked up 1.83million viewers, compared with the previous week’s ratings of 800,000.

Many people unable to witness the extraordinary episode live flocked to YouTube, where the show shares snippets to its channel.

The interview has been viewed more than 6.6million times on YouTube, becoming one of the daytime programme’s most watched ever clips. 

The One Show airs weekdays 7pm on BBC One and is available on BBC iPlayer.

‘I’ve no secrets’: Full transcript from Phillip Schofield’s interview with Holly Willoughby on This Morning

‘It’s funny because, everyone I’ve spoken to, you, have all been so supportive and so loving and caring.

‘And my entire family to a person have grabbed us and said it’s OK, it’s OK, 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, you know, I have made this decision which is essential for me and essential for my head and that’s principally the decision why I’ve done this.

‘Of course I’m really very aware that Steph and the girls are at home watching this and we’re all together, and we spent a lot of time together, we spend a lot of time together obviously.

‘And they’ve been supporting us as we got to this moment and we all knew it was coming.

A pillar of support: TV presenter Phillip Schofield on ITV’s This Morning talking with Holly Willoughby today about his announcement that he is gay

‘So, yeah, I mean I feel a little lighter, but I’m also very aware, there’s no question that it causes pain and it causes upset. I’ve no secrets. We’ve never had any secrets. Tough, it is tough, but this is not something that’s happened quickly. I’ve had to deal with this in my head for quite some time.

‘We’ve gone through this together and we’ve been honest and we’ve been open. Steph, as I said, I can’t write in any statement what I feel about that women.

‘She is amazing, she’s incredible. There’s no one in my life who would have supported me the way, as a wife, as the way she supported me. She’s astonishing, literally astonishing.

‘It’s a good question (why now). You know this has been bothering me for a very long time and I think everybody does these things at their own speed, at their own time, when they feel the time is right.

‘I’ve no secrets’: Full transcript from Phillip Schofield’s interview with Holly Willoughby on This Morning

‘And there’s no question that it has in recent times consumed my head and has become an issue in my head.

‘And so I got to the stage where I thought 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 and thinking ‘oh my God, you’re so brave, oh my God, you’re so brave’.

‘And I’m thinking ”I have to be that person, I have to be that person”. I think all you can be in your life is honest with yourself. I was getting to the point where I knew I wasn’t honest with myself, I was getting to the point where I didn’t like myself very much because I wasn’t being honest with myself.

‘And so, when is the right time, when is the right time to do it? And as a family, it’s the right time.

‘There are people around the world, there are people in this country, there will be people watching this, and we always say talk to someone, and believe me, believe me, when we say that and we do say that a lot on this show, you must talk to someone, you must talk to someone, i have and it’s helped a lot.

‘And it’s brought me back – i mentioned those dark places in the statement – talking to people does bring you back. And in some cases talking to people saves you. You have to discuss it, with my friends, with my family, with my wife, we’ve talked it through – and we have to talk it through.

‘This is my decision, this is absolutely my decision. It was something I knew that I had to do. And I don’t know what the world will be like now – I don’t know how this will be taken, or what people will think.

He said: ‘But at the same time I will sit here and say actually, I’m proud of myself today. And I am proud of myself today’

‘But would I say is that yes, I am very conscious of the hurt, and so my overriding emotion with my family is obviously going to be guilt, because I do feel guilty that this can’t be anything other than a painful process for them.

‘But at the same time I will sit here and say actually, I’m proud of myself today. And I am proud of myself today. It wasn’t easy but they (my daughters) 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 they said it’s OK, we’ll be OK, we’ll always be a family, always us four, is what we always call ourselves. We’ll always be that.

‘It was the same with my mum, my mum is watching this today. She’s been on the phone this morning – hope you’re OK. I went down to see her, she’s down in Cornwall, and I went down to see her. And I told her and she said ‘oh, OK, well, I don’t care’ – and that’s the same with everyone.

‘No I don’t think so (thinking about future relationships) – I’m not thinking there. I’m doing each day at a time now, this has always been a slow process and there is no fast process after this.

‘This was the big day and this was the day that I knew everything was pointing towards and I could not have don’t it if it hadn’t been you. So afterwards I don’t know, but no, there’s no one, I’m not rushing out to anybody.’

His side of the story: Phillip was open and honest during the appearance in which he chatted to his good friend

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