‘It was really beginning to trip me up’: Phillip Schofield says coming out was the only way he could ‘save himself’ as things had got ‘that dark’
Phillip Schofield has emotionally revealed that coming out was the only way he could ‘save himself’ as things had got ‘that dark’ in his head.
Talking on Friday’s RTÉ One’s The Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy, the This Morning star, 58, explained his decision to publicly announce he was gay in February.
Phillip also revealed that he travelled down to Cornwall to tell his mother Pat, 84, who had grown concerned over his weight loss due to stress.
Emotional: Phillip Schofield has emotionally revealed that coming out was the only way he could ‘save himself’ as things had got ‘that dark’ in his head
The presenter, whose weight had plummeted to just nine stone before he came out, told host Ryan, 47: ‘I had long conversations with Steph [his wife], we talked about it a lot. It was really beginning to trip me up, mess with my head.
‘It started off with a little bit of confusion, then my head managed to turn it into something really big, scary and dark. Steph and I went through that together.’
He added: ‘Then when I had made the decision, the only way I think I could save myself because it got that dark was that I had to be honest. I had to be truthful.
‘Then when you’ve decided to make that decision you have to be honest and truthful with the people who are around you.’
Brave: Talking on Friday’s RTÉ One’s The Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy, the ITV star, 58, explained his decision to publicly announce he was gay in February (pictured after coming out on This Morning in February)
Supportive mother: Phillip also revealed that he travelled down to Cornwall to tell his mother Pat, 84, who had grown concerned over his weight loss due to stress (pictured in 2019)
Phillip revealed that his driver, Tony, took him to Cornwall as he was in ‘no fit state’ to drive so he could tell his mother, Pat, that he was gay.
He said: ‘She had already asked me months before, ”are you OK, you look skinny… you look sad, I know there’s something wrong”. I said, ”I’ll tell you when the time is right, but I’m not ill.”’
Phillip then explained that he has ‘annoying floaters’ in his eyes and his mother was worried he was going blind.
He continued: ‘I said ”Mum, I have something to tell you”, so I told her and she said ”Oh, oh right OK, thank God for that, I thought you were going blind…
Honest: The presenter, whose weight had plummeted to just nine stone before he came out, told host Ryan, 47: ‘Then when I had made the decision, the only way I think I could save myself because it got that dark was that I had to be honest. I had to be truthful.’
‘Those things in your eyes, that’s alright, so long as you are OK and Steph’s OK and the girls are OK. I’m fine!”
Phillip sweetly added: ‘My mum suddenly turned into this incredibly modern, forward-thinking 84-year-old and we have these incredible really good solid chats about my head, how I am and us as a family. That’s actually worked out really well.’
The This Morning presenter, who has been married for 27 years, explained how he has not talked of divorce ‘at all’ with Steph who he shares two daughters with.
Speaking on the Chris Evans podcast, How To Wow, he said: ‘I’m still married to Steph. There is a great deal of talk of divorce – we have not discussed that at all.’
Divorce: The interview comes after Phillip revealed he has not ‘discussed’ divorce with his wife Steph after he publicly came out in February (pictured earlier this month)
The Top Gear presenter, 54, asked Phillip: ‘How long will the wedding ring stay on for?’
Phillip replied: ‘That is a very good question Chris. I don’t know. Because I am still married to Steph.
‘There is a great deal of talk of divorce – we have not discussed that at all.’
Close: The This Morning presenter, who has been married for 27 years, explained how he has not talked of divorce ‘at all’ with Steph who he shares two daughters with (pictured in November 2019)
He continued: ‘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.’
The father-of-two continued: ‘It is not in my nature to hurt people and so I have to reconcile myself with the fact that I have done that. Indeed I have done that and I tried very hard not to.’
Speaking about Steph in February to co-host Holly Willoughby, 39, on This Morning, he said: ‘There’s no one in my life who would have supported me the way, as a wife, as the way she supported me. She’s astonishing, literally astonishing’ (pictured in January 2020)
He added: ‘I also say, is it possible to come out and not hurt your wife? No of course it isn’t.
‘My greatest concern is that she is okay.’
Speaking about Steph in February to co-host Holly Willoughby, 39, on This Morning, he said: ‘She is amazing, she’s incredible.
Getting there: Phillip has revealed his mental health is still ‘a work in progress’ after publicly coming out in February (pictured in January)
‘There’s no one in my life who would have supported me the way, as a wife, as the way she supported me. She’s astonishing, literally astonishing.’
The presenter explained he takes medication and has regular therapy sessions, and ‘still doubts’ his decision to reveal his sexuality.
Phillip – who has admitted the secret of his sexuality ‘was going to give him a breakdown’ – has spoken candidly about struggling to accept his sexuality for the first time in his memoir Life’s What You Make It.
Candid: Speaking in his new autobiography, the presenter explained he takes medication and has regular therapy sessions, and ‘still doubts’ his decision to reveal his sexuality (pictured in February)
He said: ‘My mental health is still a work in progress. I talk regularly to a professional team who tell me that everything will be okay.
‘Sometimes I have my doubts. If I’m totally honest with you, as I’ve said before, it’s not in my nature to hurt people and so, with that in mind, I’m finding it hard to pick my way through the debris.
‘Is there a way to reveal a secret like this to the world and not hurt your wife or your family? The answer is obviously not. But we are close and loving. We’ll get through.
‘Am I struggling with it all? Very much. I’m wearing new clothes, but they don’t quite fit. Maybe I’ll grow into them.
‘I still have dark days full of confusion, days when wading through life would be easier if the water wasn’t at chest height.’
It comes after Phillip admitted he pulled out of This Morning filming while struggling with his sexuality.
Speaking on a recent episode of The One Show, Phillip said: ‘I had to come out. If I didn’t, the secret was going to give me a total breakdown… at best.’
Detailing his decision to pull out of filming, he said: ‘I sat alone in the flat, staring at the walls, as This Morning started on the other side of London.
‘It was a very stupid thing to do… all my closest friends knew how ragged my head was but no one except Steph knew why.’
Phillip made the decision to come out in February when he shared an emotional Instagram statement with his followers, before being interviewed by co-host Holly just moments later.
Hard: Earlier this month, Phillip admitted the secret of his sexuality ‘was going to give him a breakdown’ as it led him to pull out of This Morning filming
Explaining the turmoil that led to his public coming out interview, Phil revealed he ‘sobbed quietly in the dark’ while watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks just weeks prior.
While he would tell colleagues his weekend was ‘fine’, Phil admitted the reality was he would stare at the flames in the fire and ‘wish they were consuming him’, as he detailed some of the dark places his mind went to.
In the autobiography, Phil revealed he became ‘increasingly aware’ of his sexuality over the past five years, and his wife was made aware at the same time.
He also confided in his two daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, but claimed he ‘felt sick’ before opening up to them about his sexuality.
‘I’ve no secrets’: Full transcript from Phillip Schofield’s interview with Holly Willoughby on This Morning
‘It’s funny because, everyone I’ve spoken to, 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.
‘And every person I tell it gets a little lighter and a little lighter but at the same time, you know, I have made this decision which is essential for me and essential for my head and that’s principally the decision why I’ve done this.
‘Of course I’m really very aware that Steph and the girls are at home watching this and we’re all together, and we spent a lot of time together, we spend a lot of time together obviously.
‘And they’ve been supporting us as we got to this moment and we all knew it was coming.
A pillar of support: TV presenter Phillip Schofield on ITV’s This Morning talking with Holly Willoughby today about his announcement that he is gay
‘So, yeah, I mean I feel a little lighter, but I’m also very aware, there’s no question that it causes pain and it causes upset. I’ve no secrets. We’ve never had any secrets. Tough, it is tough, but this is not something that’s happened quickly. I’ve had to deal with this in my head for quite some time.
‘We’ve gone through this together and we’ve been honest and we’ve been open. Steph, as I said, I can’t write in any statement what I feel about that women.
‘She is amazing, she’s incredible. There’s no one in my life who would have supported me the way, as a wife, as the way she supported me. She’s astonishing, literally astonishing.
‘It’s a good question (why now). You know this has been bothering me for a very long time and I think everybody does these things at their own speed, at their own time, when they feel the time is right.
‘I’ve no secrets’: Full transcript from Phillip Schofield’s interview with Holly Willoughby on This Morning
‘And 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, oh my God, you’re so brave’.
‘And I’m thinking ”I have to be that person, I have to be that person”. I think all you can be in your life is honest with yourself. I was getting to the point where I knew I wasn’t 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, when is the right time to do it? And as a family, it’s the right time.
‘There are people around the world, there are people in this country, there will be people watching this, and we always say talk to someone, and believe me, believe me, when we say that and we do say that a lot on this show, you must talk to someone, you must talk to someone, i have and it’s helped a lot.
‘And it’s brought me back – i mentioned those dark places in the statement – talking to people does bring you back. And in some cases talking to people saves you. You have to discuss it, with my friends, with my family, with my wife, we’ve talked it through – and we have to talk it through.
‘This is my decision, this is absolutely my decision. It was something I knew that I had to do. And I don’t know what the world will be like now – I don’t know how this will be taken, or what people will think.
He said: ‘But at the same time I will sit here and say actually, I’m proud of myself today. And I am proud of myself today’
‘But would I say is that yes, I am very conscious of the hurt, and so my overriding emotion with my family is obviously going to be guilt, because I do feel guilty that this can’t be anything other than a painful process for them.
‘But at the same time I will sit here and say actually, I’m proud of myself today. And I am proud of myself today. It wasn’t easy but they (my daughters) were, they are so amazing in their love and support.
‘I sat them down and I told them and they jumped up and they gave me a hug, a big hug, a long hug, and then they hugged Steph and they said it’s OK, we’ll be OK, we’ll always be a family, always us four, is what we always call ourselves. We’ll always be that.
‘It was the same with my mum, my mum is watching this today. She’s been on the phone this morning – hope you’re OK. I went down to see her, she’s down in Cornwall, and I went down to see her. And I told her and she said ‘oh, OK, well, I don’t care’ – and that’s the same with everyone.
‘No I don’t think so (thinking about future relationships) – I’m not thinking there. I’m doing each day at a time now, this has always been a slow process and there is no fast process after this.
‘This was the big day and this was the day that I knew everything was pointing towards and I could not have don’t it if it hadn’t been you. So afterwards I don’t know, but no, there’s no one, I’m not rushing out to anybody.’
His side of the story: Phillip was open and honest during the appearance in which he chatted to his good friend