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Phillip Schofield comes out as gay after 26 year marriage: ‘I am feeling pain’

PHILLIP SCHOFIELD has come out as gay in a lengthy statement on Instagram, after telling his wife of 26 years and two children of being “consumed” by his feelings.

Phillip Schofield, 57, came out in a lengthy statement posted on his Instagram story, before going on to This Morning to be interviewed by his co-host Holly Willoughby, who said “I will always be by your side”. In view of his 2.7 million followers, the presenter, who has two daughters with his wife of nearly 27 years, Stephanie Lowe, 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.

“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.”

Phillip went on to thank his family for their “kindness” in spite of their “confusion” over the news.

He continued: “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 I still 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 so 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. Phillip.”

Phillip opened up about his announcement on This Morning today in a heartfelt appearance with Holly, who hugged him and assured him she would “be by his side forever” amid applause from the ITV team.

Holly asked her co-star how he was feeling about speaking out. 

He said: “It’s funny because, everyone that I’ve spoken to have all been so supportive, so loving and caring.

“My entire family, to a person, have grabbed us and said it’s okay, we love you, we’re proud of you. With every person I tell, it gets a little lighter and a little lighter.”

On how his wife is feeling, he replied: “It’s tough. But this is not something that has happened quickly. I’ve had to deal with this in my head for quite some time.

“And so we’ve gone through this together, we’ve been honest and we’ve been open.

“I can’t write in any statement what I feel about that woman. She is amazing. She’s incredible. I have never in my life, there is nobody in my life who would have supported me the way, as a wife, the way she has supported me. She’s astonishing. “

His co-star went on to ask why he decided to speak out today.

He replied: “It’s a good question. The thing is that. You know this has been bothering me for a very long time. I think everybody does these things at their own speed in their own time. There’s no question that it has in recent times, consumed my 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, incredible person is 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 is honest with yourself. And I was getting to the point where I knew I wasn’t being honest with myself. I was getting to the point where I didn’t like myself very much because I wasn’t being honest with myself.

“And so, when is the right time? As a family, it is the right time.”

Holly then quizzed Phillip about a potential new partner in the future.

He added: “I’m doing each day at a time, this has always been a slow process. There is no fast process after this.”

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford shared their support to the star in the studio today.

The married couple hugged Phillip as Holly teared up.

Eamonn then said to the presenter: “I’m disappointed in a couple of ways.

“First of all, I heard it was a big announcement from Phillip – I thought you were going to come in and announce you had resigned and I would get the job! But that wasn’t to be.”

As the team laughed, Eamonn launched into his second joke, saying: “And the second is…there’s this great imponderable in life that has always irritated me.”

Britain’s Got Talent and I’m a Celebrity stars Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly said they are “sending love” to Phillip after he was announced he was gay.

In a tweet the multi-award winning presenters said: “Huge respect and admiration for our friend @Schofe. Sending love to you P, and to your 3 lovely girls.”

The tweet comes after famous faces ranging from Peter Andre to Martin Lewis have come out in support of Phil.

Following his annoucement, many other celebrities have flocked to social media to comment, including The Chase star Jenny Ryan.

She wrote on Twitter: “Huge love for @Schofe and his family today.

“This can’t have been an easy statement to write, but it will be a huge weight off their shoulders – and it will open up dialogue all over the country.

“Maybe one day it won’t be so hard or painful for *anyone* to come out.”

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