Phillip Schofield feared coming out as gay would be seen as ‘publicity stunt’
Phillip Schofield has said he was fearful that people would think his decision to come out as gay on This Morning would be seen as a "publicity stunt".
The 58-year-old ITV presenter, who co-hosts alongside pal Holly Willoughby, said he decided to come out on the show with Holly by his side as he "owed it to the viewers" as he sees them as "family".
The segment aired in February last year just minutes after Phillip broke the news on his official Instagram account.
Moments later he appeared seated next to Holly on the sofa as they carried out an emotional and brave interview on live TV.
Phillip has now spoken out on his fears before it was aired while speaking on the Life, Interrupted podcast with Simon Thomas.
He said: "[The] date [of the interview] was decided because we didn't want it to be too close to the NTAs, we didn't want to look like it was a publicity thing.
"And then I can remember saying 'This is ridiculous, you know, this is the biggest thing I'm ever gonna do in my life. How is this a publicity stunt, for what?'
"And then, you know, the date was set, it's going to be Friday, the seventh of February and I describe this all in detail [in his book] of the moment that led up to my thumb pressing that button and posting the message."
Phillip continued: "And then we went upstairs and I sat on the sofa with Holly, and 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. She had to ask the right questions she had. She couldn't give me an easy ride, it had to be tough questions.
"But at the same time making sure that I was okay because she knew that I wasn't. It was tough. That was a very difficult gig for her but she was so magnificent."
Opening up about his sexuality last year, Phillip wrote on his Instagram: "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.
"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 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 only comes from the hurt that I am causing to my family."
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