This Morning host Phillip Schofield announced he is gay by posting on Instagram.
The presenter, 57, was emotional as he spoke to close friend and co-host Holly Willoughby on Friday’s This Morning, just minutes after posting a statement on his Instagram page.
He said: “You know this has been bothering me for a very long time.
“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.”
He admitted feeling guilty about the impact the news would have on his wife of 27 years, Stephanie, and two daughters. He said: “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.’”
Here is the statement in full.
“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.