In a brave and honest chat with Holly Willoughby, the 57-year-old TV presenter spoke out about the pain he’s been experiencing over the years.
He said: “You know this has been bothering me for a long time and I think everyone does these things at their own speed and when they think the time is right.
“In recent times it has consumed my head and has become an issue in my head, so I got to the stage when I thought we sit here every day and some amazing, brave person is telling their story, and I’m thinking I have to be that person. I think all you can be in your life is honest with yourself.”
Schofield has been married for 27 years to his wife Stephanie Lowe – with whom he has two daughters.
Speaking about his wife and children, Schofield admitted he felt “guilty”, adding however that he couldn’t be happier for their “love and support.”
Visibly emotional, he said: “I feel a little lighter but I am also very aware that there’s no question that it causes pain and upset.”
The presenter insisted he’s “never had any secrets” with his wife despite coming out after two decades of marriage, and revealed it’s something they’ve both dealt with together.
He continued: “It’s tough but this is not something that has happened quickly. We’ve gone through this together and we’ve been honest and open.
“I can’t write in any statement what I feel about this woman. She is amazing. There is no one in my life that has supported me as a wife like she could.”
Recalling the moment he came out to his daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, he said: “It wasn’t easy but they are so amazing in their love and support. I sat them down and I told them, and they gave me a hug and said, ‘This is fine and we’ll always be a family. We’ll always be that.’”
As she comforted her co-host on the ITV breakfast show, Willoughby asked whether Schofield had thought about “future relationships”, although he admitted dating is a long way off.
“I don’t think so, I’m not thinking there. I’m doing each day as it comes,” he explained.
“It’s always been a slow process and there’s no fast process after this. This was the big day, and I couldn’t have done it without you. I’m not rushing out to anyone. There’s no one!”
Schofield’s brave interview was met with a warm response from viewers and friends – who rushed to Twitter to share their support.
Taking to the social media site, presenter Jake Humphrey wrote: “So proud of, and pleased for, @Schofe. Testament to his and his families strength, and equally a testament to the fact we now live is a society where you can be yourself & be accepted for that. Lots of love pal.”
“So proud of you @Schofe,” Dr Ranj Singh added, sharing a love-heart emoji.
Former The Only Way Is Essex star Mario Falcone also reached out, saying: Well done to @Schofe… must have taken his everything to be so open and honest. And to his wife and children being so supportive.”
“After being married for 27 years, Phillip Schofield has come out as gay. Fair play to him to face things head on,” a viewer commented.
So proud of, and pleased for, @Schofe.
Testament to his and his families strength, and equally a testament to the fact we now live is a society where you can be yourself & be accepted for that. Lots of love pal ❤️
— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) February 7, 2020
— Ranj Singh (@DrRanj) February 7, 2020
View this post on Instagram
So proud of you and your family Phillip. Welcome to your truth and authentic self. The nation loves you for who you because you are @schofe Can’t wait to hug you and don’t worry we got your back we are #LGBTQ+strong welcome to the family❤️❤️????????JB . . @thismorning @dancingonice @itv
It comes after Schofield shared a personal statement on Instagram, as he revealed: “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.
He added: “With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay.”