Phillip Schofield, the 57 years old This Morning presenter, has come out as gay in a heartfelt Instagram message.
Schofield took to Instagram on Friday morning to reveal the news in a lengthy and impassioned post before appearing on the magazine show to discuss the news with his co-star and best friend Holly Willoughby during which he broke down in tears.
After 27 years of marriage to his wife Steph, Schofield has now revealed that he has suffered 'inner conflict' and is now ready to 'celebrate and be proud' of his sexuality.
Phillip, who shares daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, with his wife, spoke on This Morning about his battles with keeping his secret and the relief of coming out. Phil met Stephanie when she was a BBC production Assistant and he was working for the BBC Children’s television.
Kicking off the subject on This Morning, Holly said: 'I think we all just take a breathe at that point, reading that I can hear your voice the pain how difficult it is for you, this is a big day, I know this is something you've been living with for a really long time'.
He responded: 'It's funny because everyone I've spoken to, and 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...
'Every person I tell it gets a little lighter and a little lighter, at the same time I have made this decision which is essential for me and essential for my head and that is principally the reason I have done this. They have been supporting while we get to this moment because we all know it was coming.
'We've never had any secrets. It is tough but it's not something that has happened quickly, I have had to deal with his in my head for quite some time, we've gone through this together, we have been honest and have been open and Stephanie as I said, you know...
'She's amazing, she's incredible there's no one in my life who would have supported me, as a wife the way she's supported me, she's astonishing, literally astonishing, it's a good questions, you know this has been bothered me for a v long time...
'Everyone does these things at their own speed in their own time when the time is right, there's no question it has in recent times consumed by 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 incredivle [person it sitting here and I'm listening to their story and 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 getitng to ythe point where i knew I wasn't hones tiwht myself I didn't; like myself very much, so when is the right time to do it? And you know as a family, you know it is the right time.'
Holly threw her support behind her This Morning co-host, sharing a selfie of the pair behind the scenes on Dancing On Ice. She wrote: 'Never been more proud of my friend than I am today. We’ll be together at 10am on This Morning x'.
In a surprise move, he was supported by his rumoured enemies Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes, with whom he has been locked in a 'civil war' behind the scenes on ITV. The married couple walked on to the set to hug the star.
Phillip Schofield's Instagram statement about being gay
"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 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 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, 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 wife - 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 not it's my turn to share mine.
This will probably all come as something as 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.