Phillip Schofield: I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay
TV presenter Phillip Schofield has revealed he has "been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay."
The This Morning host, who has been married for nearly 27 years, made the announcement in a message posted on Instagram.
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.
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."
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."
'It was something I knew I had to do'
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."
Schofield added that it has helped to talk to someone, saying: "It's brought me back from some dark places. Talking to someone does bring you back and sometimes talking to people saves you."
He also said that his hand had not been forced to share the news, saying: "It's my decision, this is absolutely my decision, it was something I knew I had to do."
Willoughby said she could "feel the relief" from her fellow co-presenter.
Asked if he was considering a relationship with someone else at this time, Schofield said: "I don't think so, I'm not thinking there, I'm doing each day at a time now.
"And this has always been a slow process and there's no fast process after, this was the big day, and this was the day I knew that everything was pointing towards and I could not have done it if it hadn't been you, so afterwards I don't know, there's no one, I'm not rushing to anybody."
Willoughby offered words of support saying she would be by his side "for ever and ever".
The duo were then joined by fellow This Morning presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.
After a round of hugs, Holmes said: "Nobody should be embarrassed about their sexuality and it's fantastic you have spoken out and there will be so many people who have been strengthened by what you've said."
He added that he and wife Ruth would be "the first to stand by you".