Phillip Schofield talks ‘tough questions’ from Holly amid fears of coming out as gay on TV

Phillip Schofield recalls telling his mum he’s gay

This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield, 58, came out as gay in a lengthy statement on his Instagram page back in February and spoke further about his announcement on the ITV show alongside his co-host Holly Willoughby, 39. Almost a year later, Phillip has recalled the build-up to him announcing the news.

That was a very difficult gig for her but she was so magnificent

Phillip Schofield

The host said he couldn’t have gone on the show to discuss his announcement without his long-term co-host Holly by his side and revealed he also encouraged her to ask tough questions so he could be honest with their viewers.

He explained: “I said to Holly, ‘It has to be on This Morning – I owe it to our viewers because you know it is all a family, they have to be the first to hear’.

“Eamonn [Holmes] and Ruth [Langsford] were brought into the conversation much later but they were as obviously as gracious as you would expect them to be that I needed to nick 10 minutes of their show.

“And so that was it, that was decided.”

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He added: “The date was decided because we didn’t want it to be too close to the NTAs (National Television Awards).

“We didn’t want to look like it was a publicity thing. And then I can remember saying, ‘This is ridiculous … this is the biggest thing I’m ever going to do in my life. How is this a publicity stunt? For what?'”

Speaking further about the arrangement, Phillip continued on Simon Thomas’ The Life, Interrupted podcast: “There’s no way it would have been anyone else. There’s not a single person on this planet that I would have done that with other than Holly, it was only going to be her.

“And she was unbelievable. When you’re sitting opposite a mate who is doing this… It’s a fine line.

Discussing the questions she asked him, Phillip went on to say his co-star “couldn’t” give him an “easy ride”.

“It had to be tough questions,” he added.

“But at the same time making sure that I was OK because she knew that I wasn’t. It was tough.

“That was a very difficult gig for her but she was so magnificent.”

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During his announcement, Phillip discussed how his announcement had impacted his wife Stephanie and their two daughters; Molly and Ruby.

He said: “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.”

And speaking about Steph, he added: “Steph has been incredible. I love her so very much.

“She is the kindest soul I have ever met. My girls have been astonishing, 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.”

Phillip addressed claims he and his wife have discussed divorced, during an interview with Chris Evans in October.

He told the host: “I’m still married to Steph. There is a great deal of talk of divorce – we have not discussed that at all.

“With divorce…that has not been discussed. We are picking our way through and however that works and it’s a work in progress. I am a work in progress. Steph is a work in progress.”

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