Phillip Schofield has said he is shocked by how many people have told him that his public coming out as gay “saved their lives.”
On February 7, 2020, he revealed his sexuality, first using Instagram to share a statement before appearing on This Morning to discuss his news with his co-host and best friend Holly Willoughby, bursting into tears.
And in a joint interview with The times With Holly, 40, ahead of Sunday’s BAFTA awards, the presenter, 59, reflected on the impact his revelation has made on people, noting that “the side effect of what I did surprised me,” while also adding his pal’s support as ‘therapy’.
Brave: Phillip Schofield has said he is shocked by the number of people who have told him that his public coming out as gay ‘saved their lives’
Looking back at the moment, Phillip admitted there was “an element of selfishness” coming out as he did, because he “protected” himself in a way, but he didn’t realize the positive effect this would have on those watching. . .
When asked if the warm response to his coming out reflects more permissive times, Phillip said he “hoped so.”
He added: ‘What I will say in addition to what I have said before… the side effect of what I did surprised me. Because when you do something like that, there’s an element of selfishness in protecting yourself.
‘[But] I suddenly realized, and it was emphasized by the closing, the number of people who said, ‘You just saved my life. What you did saved me…’
Close: The presenter, 59, reflected on the impact his reveal has made on people, noting that ‘the side effect of what I did surprised me’, while also hailing his friend’s support as ‘therapy’
The TV personality added that the help people were getting wasn’t necessarily a “sexuality thing” but added that he had been approached by people who had drinking or gambling problems and had “seek help” thanks to his courage.
He continued, “Whatever the problem, I took strength from what you did and I spoke to someone.” I spent time talking to people and talking them off the ledge. I’m not a therapist, but at least I could provide a little more insight into what I was doing. It’s a good thing you got out of it.’
During the chat, Phillip also shared how the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, the first of which came just a moment after he publicly disclosed his sexuality, put everything in perspective.
Courage: On February 7, 2020, he revealed his sexuality, first taking to Instagram to share a statement before appearing on This Morning to discuss his news with his co-host and best friend Holly Willoughby, in which he burst into tears
While discussing how his reveal was overshadowed by something “much more important,” Phillip shared how the timing may have been a “good thing,” as it allowed him to “look at the world” and realize there are “bigger things.” were happening than what was going on in his head.
He added that he felt “lucky” to be able to continue working through the pandemic and to have his friend Holly by his side to give him “therapy” throughout the period, adding that he never imagined through something as monumental as the pandemic.
Phillip, who shares daughters Molly, 28, and Ruby, 25, with his wife, spoke on This Morning about his struggles with keeping his secret and the relief of coming out.
Shock: What I’ll say in addition to what I’ve said before… the side effect of what I did surprised me. Because when you do something like that, there’s an element of selfishness when you protect yourself.”
Holly kicked off the subject, supporting Holly said, “I think we’re all taking a breath in that moment, reading that I can hear your voice, the pain, how hard it is for you, this is a big day. I know you’ve been living with this for a long time.”
Phil replied, “It’s funny because everyone I’ve talked to, and you, have all been so supportive and so loving and caring, and my whole family to one person grabbed us and said it’s okay, we love you we are proud of you…
“Everyone I tell is getting a little lighter and a little lighter, at the same time I made this decision that is essential to me and essential to my head and that is the main reason why I did this.
Positive outcome: ‘[But] I suddenly realized, and it was emphasized by the closing, the number of people who said, ‘You just saved my life. What you did saved me…’
“They’ve been supporting us as we come at this time because we all know it was coming…” We never had any secrets. It’s heavy but it’s not something that happened quickly, I’ve been dealing with this in my head for a long time…
“We’ve been through this together, we’ve been honest and open and Stephanie, like I said, you know.”
Quick to lavishly praise his wife, he said, “She’s amazing, she’s incredible, there’s no one in my life who would have supported me. The way she has supported me as a wife is amazing, literally amazing, it’s a good question, you know this has been bugging me for a long time…
A friend indeed: He added that he felt ‘lucky’ to be able to continue working through the pandemic and to have his friend Holly by his side to give him ‘therapy’
“Everyone does these things at their own pace in their own time when the time is right, there’s no doubt it’s been consuming my head lately…
“It’s become a problem in my head, and so I got on stage where I thought we’re sitting here every day and I’m there and an incredibly brave incredible person sits here and I listen to their story and think oh my god , you’re so brave, and I think I should be that person.
“The only thing you can be honest with in your life is being honest with yourself and I got to the point where I knew I wasn’t being honest with myself that I didn’t like myself very much, so when’s the right time to do it? And as a family you know it’s the right time.’
Important: While discussing how his reveal was overshadowed by something “much more important,” Phillip shared how the timing may have been a “good thing,” as it allowed him to “look at the world” and realize that there is “bigger things’ were happening
‘I’ve come to terms with being gay’: Phillip’s full statement
You never know what’s going on in someone’s seemingly perfect life, what issues they’re struggling with, or the state of their well-being — and so you don’t know what’s been scaring me for the past few years. With the strength and support of my wife and daughters, I have come to terms with the fact that I am gay.
This has led to many heartbreaking conversations at home. I have been married to Steph for almost 27 years and we have two beautiful grown daughters, Molly and Ruby.
My family has kept me so close: they have tried to cheer me up, suffocate me with kindness and love, despite their own confusion. Yet I still can’t sleep and there have been some very dark moments.
My inner conflict contrasts with an outer world that has changed so much for the better. Today, being gay is, rightly so, a reason to celebrate and be proud. Yes, I feel pain and confusion, but it’s only because of the pain I inflict on my family.
Steph has been incredible – I love her so much. She is the kindest soul I have ever met. My girls were amazing in their love, hugs and encouraging words of comfort. Both mine and all of Steph’s family have stunned me with their love, instant acceptance and support.
Of course they’re worried about Steph, but I know they’re going to get us both.
My friends are the best, especially Holly, who has been so kind and wise – and hugged me while I sobbed into her shoulder. At ITV, I couldn’t hope to work with more great, supportive teams.
Every day on This Morning I am 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 and I understand, but only by facing this, by being honest, can I hope to find peace of mind and find a way forward. Please be kind, especially to my family. Philip’.