By Rita Bratovich
British TV presenter and high profile personality, Phillip Schofied has come out publicly as gay. The 57-year old popular TV host made his revelation via a statement on social media which was followed up by an interview with his long-time co-presenter, Holly Willoughby on ITV’s breakfast show, This Morning.
“You know this has been bothering me for a very long time,” Schofield told Willoughby. “Everybody does this at their own speed when the time is right.”
Schofield admitted that he has struggled with the knowledge for a long time, but it was becoming more difficult to suppress.
“There’s no question that it has, in recent times, consumed my head, and has become an issue in my head,” he said in the interview with Willoughby.
He described the inner turmoil he often felt when he would interview someone on the show who was telling their own personal, harrowing story. In his head, he would be thinking “Oh my God, you’re so brave!” and then “I have to be that person,” revealed Schofield.
While there had been occasional speculation about his sexuality in the past, it was mostly deflected in the public eye by his 27-year marriage to Stephanie Lowe.
Schofield said that he has always been open with his wife and that she and their two daughters had discussed his homosexuality and his plan to come out, and they were very supportive.
Nonetheless, he also acknowledges that it is still difficult for everyone in his family.
“We spent a lot of time together, and [the girls] have been supporting us as we got to this moment, because we all knew it was coming. So yeah, I mean I feel a little lighter, but I also am very, very aware that, I mean there’s no question that it causes pain and it causes upset,” said Schofield.
Schofield made his initial announcement in a statement posted on Twitter. The statement begins:
“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.”
The response from colleagues, friends, family and the general public has been overwhelmingly positive, with only the odd predictable slights.
Schofield said he is not in any hurry to enter into a relationship with a man just yet.