Holly Willoughby throws her support behind This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield

Holly Willoughby threw her support behind This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield after the TV veteran came out as gay on Friday.     

Taking to Instagram, Holly, 38, expressed her pride for Schofield, with whom she has presented the daily chat show since 2009, alongside a picture of the pair at an awards ceremony. 

She wrote: ‘Never been more proud of my friend than I am today. We’ll be together at 10am on This Morning.’  

Proud: Holly Willoughby has thrown her support behind This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield after the TV veteran came out as gay on Friday

Proud: Holly Willoughby has thrown her support behind This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield after the TV veteran came out as gay on Friday

Proud: Holly Willoughby has thrown her support behind This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield after the TV veteran came out as gay on Friday

Moments earlier Schofield, 57, took to Instagram to reveal the news in a lengthy and impassioned post before appearing on the magazine show to discuss the news with co-star and best friend Holly.  

After 27 years of marriage to his wife Steph, he has now revealed that he has suffered ‘inner conflict’ and is now ready to ‘celebrate and be proud’ of his sexuality.

Commending the star, TV doctor Ranj Singh reposted the presenter’s statement, writing: ‘Coming to terms with & being your authentic self is never easy, especially in the public eye.  

 

High praise: Proud: Commending the star, TV doctor Ranj Singh - a regular guest on This Morning - admitted he was bursting with pride, while fellow presenter Richard Osman also credited the star on Friday morning

High praise: Proud: Commending the star, TV doctor Ranj Singh - a regular guest on This Morning - admitted he was bursting with pride, while fellow presenter Richard Osman also credited the star on Friday morning

High praise: Proud: Commending the star, TV doctor Ranj Singh – a regular guest on This Morning – admitted he was bursting with pride, while fellow presenter Richard Osman also credited the star on Friday morning 

‘What @Schofe has done is incredibly courageous, powerful & will help so many. I am beaming with pride for him. I’m even more proud of his wonderful family who seem so wonderful.’ 

Fellow presenter Richard Osman added:  ‘When you create a new entertainment show and start discussing who should host, the first name on the list is always Phillip Schofield. 

‘That’s a fact. He’s just the very best at what he does, and the public adore him. Looking forward to many more years of his charm and brilliance.’  

Steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins, who works with Schofield on Sunday night talent show Dancing On Ice, wrote: ‘Bravo Phillip for your honesty.. Coming out is difficult but your family, friends and fans will be proud of you being your authentic self.. 

‘I’m proud of your bravery.. Welcome officially to our beautiful rainbow family! We and our ally’s will keep you safe.’  

Emotional: An emotional Schofield discussed his decision to come out during Friday morning's show

Emotional: An emotional Schofield discussed his decision to come out during Friday morning's show

Emotional: An emotional Schofield discussed his decision to come out during Friday morning’s show

Well done Phillip: Stars including Dermot O'Leary, Example and Keith Lemon moved to congratulate the presenter

Well done Phillip: Stars including Dermot O'Leary, Example and Keith Lemon moved to congratulate the presenter

Well done Phillip: Stars including Dermot O’Leary, Example and Keith Lemon moved to congratulate the presenter 

We've got you: Ruth Langsford was also on hand to support Phillip as he refleced on his decision to come out

We've got you: Ruth Langsford was also on hand to support Phillip as he refleced on his decision to come out

We’ve got you: Ruth Langsford was also on hand to support Phillip as he refleced on his decision to come out 

Taking to Twitter, Dermot O’Leary paid tribute to the star, writing: ‘Sending big love to the Schofield and his family, @Schofe Stand up guy, heart of a lion.’ 

While David Walliams added: ‘I am sending all my love to @Schofe today. I have always held him in the highest regard, ans now have nothing but respect and admiration for him. 

‘Let’s hope we are moving towards a world where no-one has to come out anymore, they can just be who they are and celebrate that.’   

We will keep you safe: Dancing On Ice stare Ian 'H' Watkins, Ronan Keating, Jake Quickenden, Lizzie Cundy and Scarlett Moffatt sent the presenter their best wishes

We will keep you safe: Dancing On Ice stare Ian 'H' Watkins, Ronan Keating, Jake Quickenden, Lizzie Cundy and Scarlett Moffatt sent the presenter their best wishes

We will keep you safe: Dancing On Ice stare Ian ‘H’ Watkins, Ronan Keating, Jake Quickenden, Lizzie Cundy and Scarlett Moffatt sent the presenter their best wishes 

Sharing a picture of herself an Schofield, Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh wrote: ‘A brilliant moment of utter honesty and bravery by this man @Schofe on coming out as gay today, and the impact on others who still feel fear of living their truth will be enormous. Sending you love.’ 

Reflecting on the presenter’s tight bond with co-host Holly, Emily Atack added: ‘The power of friendship, love and support always prevails.’ 

Former Coronation Street star Beverly Turner, who was scheduled to appear on This Morning at 10:30am, watched the interview backstage.  

Taking to Twitter with a screen grab of his appearance, she wrote: ‘Watching @Schofe do the toughest interview of his life.’ 

 

So proud: David Walliams, Charlie King, Susanna Reid and Ranvir Singh congratulated Schofield, while Emily Atack paid tribute to his friendship with Holly

So proud: David Walliams, Charlie King, Susanna Reid and Ranvir Singh congratulated Schofield, while Emily Atack paid tribute to his friendship with Holly

So proud: David Walliams, Charlie King, Susanna Reid and Ranvir Singh congratulated Schofield, while Emily Atack paid tribute to his friendship with Holly 

Meanwhile Peter Andre added: ‘Just when I though I couldn’t love this person more. Honest, open and most importantly happy.’ 

Elsewhere reality star Charlie King reflected on the day Schofield helped him come to terms with his own sexuality. 

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: ‘I will never forget the day I came out @Schofe. It was to you, on your show and you were the most supportive, reassuring, positive person to me that day. 

‘So if there is anything I can do in return, it’s offer you the same support and say well done, it takes courage. Proud of you.’ 

Hollyoaks star Kieron Richardson shared a similar sentiment, admitting Holly and Phil were the first people he told about his homosexuality.  

Sharing a throwback picture from his time on the show, he wrote: ‘Philip and holly were the first people I told on @thismorning 10 years ago …letting me be brave and honest and confronting my truth… it was the best thing I did and have nothing but love and respect for him today ALL hail scofe!!!!!

Writing from South Africa, where she’s currently hosting Love Island, Laura Whitmore shared a snap of Phillip in his Technicolour Dreamcoat, writing: ‘So much love for @Schofe and Steph and his entire family! All the love.’ 

Wow: Former Coronation Street star Beverly Turner, who was scheduled to appear on This Morning at 10:30am, watched the interview backstage

Wow: Former Coronation Street star Beverly Turner, who was scheduled to appear on This Morning at 10:30am, watched the interview backstage

Wow: Former Coronation Street star Beverly Turner, who was scheduled to appear on This Morning at 10:30am, watched the interview backstage

‘I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay’: Phillip’s statement in full 

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.

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 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 us.

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 brave and open in confronting their truth – so now it’s my turn to share mine. This will probably all come as something 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’. 

So much love: Friends and colleagues were united in rallying round the star

So much love: Friends and colleagues were united in rallying round the star

So much love: Friends and colleagues were united in rallying round the star 

Schofield, who shares daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, with his wife, spoke on This Morning about his battles with keeping his secret and the relief of coming out. 

He met Stephanie when she was a BBC production Assistant and he was working for the BBC Children’s television.

He said at the time: ‘You’d have thought someone wouldn’t be attracted to a man with a puppet and dodgy jumpers! She worked in television years ago, that was how we met, so she can do it, she just doesn’t want to these days.’  

Family: This Morning got behind Schofield with their own post on Friday

Family: This Morning got behind Schofield with their own post on Friday

Family: This Morning got behind Schofield with their own post on Friday 

Sending all our love: The Loose Women team were also on hand to support the ITV star

Sending all our love: The Loose Women team were also on hand to support the ITV star

Sending all our love: The Loose Women team were also on hand to support the ITV star 

In his statement, Phillip 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…

‘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.

Much love: This Morning stand-in host Eamonn Holmes embraced Schofield following his interview

Much love: This Morning stand-in host Eamonn Holmes embraced Schofield following his interview

Much love: This Morning stand-in host Eamonn Holmes embraced Schofield following his interview 

 

All the best: The support was overwhelming, with many TV colleagues reaching out to the presenter and his family

All the best: The support was overwhelming, with many TV colleagues reaching out to the presenter and his family

All the best: The support was overwhelming, with many TV colleagues reaching out to the presenter and his family

‘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

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

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

'I've no secrets': Full transcript from Phillip Schofield's interview with Holly Willoughby on This Morning

‘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'

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'

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

His side of the story: Phillip was open and honest during the appearance in which he chatted to his good friend

His side of the story: Phillip was open and honest during the appearance in which he chatted to his good friend

 

Welcome to your true self: Colleagues reflected on their TV highlights with  Schofield, among them Dancing On Ice stars John Barrowman and Jake Quickenden

Welcome to your true self: Colleagues reflected on their TV highlights with  Schofield, among them Dancing On Ice stars John Barrowman and Jake Quickenden

Welcome to your true self: Colleagues reflected on their TV highlights with  Schofield, among them Dancing On Ice stars John Barrowman and Jake Quickenden

‘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 us.

Thank you Phillip: Laura Whitmore, Matt Evers, Olivia Bowen Buckland, India Willoughby, Ashley Banjo and Dawn French made their feelings known across social media

Thank you Phillip: Laura Whitmore, Matt Evers, Olivia Bowen Buckland, India Willoughby, Ashley Banjo and Dawn French made their feelings known across social media

Thank you Phillip: Laura Whitmore, Matt Evers, Olivia Bowen Buckland, India Willoughby, Ashley Banjo and Dawn French made their feelings known across social media 

‘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 brave and open in confronting their truth – so now it’s my turn to share mine. This will probably all come as something 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 later spoke on This Morning about his battles with keeping his secret and the relief of coming out. Phil met Stephanie when she was a BBC production Assistant and he was working for the BBC Children’s television. 

Shock: Phillip has announced he is gay at the age of 57

Shock: Phillip has announced he is gay at the age of 57

Shock: Phillip has announced he is gay at the age of 57 

The couple’s last public appearance was at the National Television Awards last Wednesday. They appeared together on festive show How to Spend It Well at Christmas in December.

Kicking off the subject, supportive Holly said: ‘I think we all just take a breath at that point, reading that I can hear your voice the pain how difficult it is for you, this is a big day, I know this is something you’ve been living with for a really long time’.

Phil responded: ‘It’s funny because everyone I’ve spoken to, and 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, we love you we’re proud of you… 

Thank you Phil: Hollyoaks star Kieron Richardson admitted he came out to Holly and Phil while appearing on their show in 2010

Thank you Phil: Hollyoaks star Kieron Richardson admitted he came out to Holly and Phil while appearing on their show in 2010

Thank you Phil: Hollyoaks star Kieron Richardson admitted he came out to Holly and Phil while appearing on their show in 2010 

Marriage:  After nearly 27 years of marriage to his wife Steph, he has now announced that he has suffered 'inner conflict' and is now ready to 'celebrate and be proud' of his sexuality (pictured in 2005)

Marriage:  After nearly 27 years of marriage to his wife Steph, he has now announced that he has suffered 'inner conflict' and is now ready to 'celebrate and be proud' of his sexuality (pictured in 2005)

Marriage:  After nearly 27 years of marriage to his wife Steph, he has now announced that he has suffered ‘inner conflict’ and is now ready to ‘celebrate and be proud’ of his sexuality (pictured in 2005)

Candid: Phillip, who shares daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, with his wife, spoke on This Morning about his battles with keeping his secret and the relief of coming out

Candid: Phillip, who shares daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, with his wife, spoke on This Morning about his battles with keeping his secret and the relief of coming out

Candid: Phillip, who shares daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, with his wife, spoke on This Morning about his battles with keeping his secret and the relief of coming out

A friend in need... Holly proved the depth of their friendship as she supported him during the announcement

A friend in need... Holly proved the depth of their friendship as she supported him during the announcement

A friend in need… Holly proved the depth of their friendship as she supported him during the announcement 

'Feeling lighter and lighter': Phillip announced he is gay in an impassioned post shared to Instagram before appearing on This Morning to discuss the news with his co-star Holly

'Feeling lighter and lighter': Phillip announced he is gay in an impassioned post shared to Instagram before appearing on This Morning to discuss the news with his co-star Holly

Open and honest: Appearing on This Morning, he grew tearful while speaking with Holly about his decision to come out

Open and honest: Appearing on This Morning, he grew tearful while speaking with Holly about his decision to come out

‘Feeling lighter and lighter’: Appearing on This Morning, he grew tearful while speaking with Holly about his decision to come out

Supportive: In a surprise move, he was supported by his rumoured enemies Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes, with whom he has been locked in a 'civil war' behind the scenes on ITV. The married couple walked on to the set to hug the star

Supportive: In a surprise move, he was supported by his rumoured enemies Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes, with whom he has been locked in a 'civil war' behind the scenes on ITV. The married couple walked on to the set to hug the star

Supportive: In a surprise move, he was supported by his rumoured enemies Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes, with whom he has been locked in a ‘civil war’ behind the scenes on ITV. The married couple walked on to the set to hug the star

The statement in full: The presenter stunned fans with his frank admission on Friday morning

The statement in full: The presenter stunned fans with his frank admission on Friday morning

The statement in full: The presenter stunned fans with his frank admission on Friday morning 

‘Every person I tell it gets a little lighter and a little lighter, at the same time I have made this decision which is essential for me and essential for my head and that is principally the reason I have done this. They have been supporting while we get to this moment because we all know it was coming…

‘We’ve never had any secrets. It is tough but it’s not something that has happened quickly, I have had to deal with his in my head for quite some time, we’ve gone through this together, we have been honest and have been open and Stephanie as I said, you know’.

Quick to lavish praise on his wife, he said: ‘She’s amazing, she’s incredible there’s no one in my life who would have supported me, as a wife the way she’s supported me, she’s astonishing, literally astonishing, it’s a good questions, you know this has been bothered me for a very long time…

‘Everyone does these things at their own speed in their own time when the time is right, there’s no question 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 it 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 in your life is honest with yourself and I was getting to the point where I knew I wasn’t honest with myself I didn’t like myself very much, so when is the right time to do it? And you know as a family, you know it is the right time.’

Speaking about Holly and the This Morning production team, Phil said: ‘This is the sister I’ve never had… I’m very proud of this unbelievable team, you are all amazing and I love you very much.’

 

 

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