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Phillip Schofield says friends feared he’d ‘done something stupid’ after pulling out of This Morning

Phillip Schofield revealed his friends feared he’d ‘do something stupid’ when he pulled out of hosting This Morning before coming out as gay in February.

During Thursday’s Lorraine, the broadcaster, 58, recalled the moment he told his driver to take him home and turned off his phone while he was scheduled to present the ITV programme with his co-star Holly Willoughby.

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Phil, who has just released his autobiography Life’s What You Make It, also described last Christmas as the ‘toughest time ever’ as he ‘couldn’t eat or sleep’ while struggling with his sexuality.

‘They were worried’: Phillip Schofield revealed his friends feared he’d ‘do something stupid’ when he pulled out of hosting This Morning before coming out as gay

The media personality told how he ran off set to vomit during the darkest days of hiding his secret, explaining that he had only contacted his wife of 27 years Stephanie Lowe as she was the only person who knew about his hidden sexuality.

On not being able to go to work one day, the TV star said: ‘I was in the car, going down the m20, .. it had never crept into work, here at work is my sanctuary. 

‘My driver Tony, he’s very committed. I said Tony take me to the flat, we drove past here. I just sat in the flat.

‘I made the mistake of turning my phone off, I told Steph and turned my phone off. This Morning started and I wasn’t there. People may have thought that I might have done something stupid, but I wouldn’t have done.’

It’s thought this occurred in March 2019 when Holly Willoughby was forced to present This Morning solo with Phillip ‘off sick’. 

'It was tough': On Thursday's Lorraine, the presenter, 58, recalled when he turned off his phone while he was due to host with Holly Willoughby (pictured during his revelation in February)

‘It was tough’: On Thursday’s Lorraine, the presenter, 58, recalled when he turned off his phone while he was due to host with Holly Willoughby (pictured during his revelation in February)

Sharing his truth: Phil, who has just released his autobiography Life's What You Make It, also described last Christmas as the 'toughest time ever' as he 'couldn't eat or sleep'

Sharing his truth: Phil, who has just released his autobiography Life’s What You Make It, also described last Christmas as the ‘toughest time ever’ as he ‘couldn’t eat or sleep’

She said on air at the time: ‘Well you might have noticed, I’m all by myself. Phillip is not well today and we’re wishing him lots of love and hope that he’s better soon. 

‘It’s so weird, I came and sat here and I sat in his chair. It just didn’t seem right to sit in that chair,’ she said as she pointed to the empty seat. ‘And this one to be empty. 

During the interview, the presenter left Lorraine Kelly, 60, shocked as he spoke about losing three stone in weight due to stress during the festive period last year.

‘It was the toughest time ever’, Phil said. ‘When you’re going through something like that and trying to pick your way through it.

Unconditional: In the memoir, Phil revealed he became 'aware' of his sexuality over the past five years, and his wife Steph (pictured in January) was made aware at the same time

Unconditional: In the memoir, Phil revealed he became ‘aware’ of his sexuality over the past five years, and his wife Steph (pictured in January) was made aware at the same time

‘It’s not in my nature to hurt people. There were so many thoughts going through loops in my head. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep. I knew spent whole weekend staring into fire, thinking what would I do.’

The Dancing On Ice star went on to detail his honest relationship with his long-term partner Steph, with whom he shares daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24. 

He shared: ‘I told everything to Steph, we spoke through everything, there were no secrets, what I knew, she knew.’

Phil addressed false reports about a feud between himself and his longtime co-host Holly, 38, as he credited himself ‘lucky’ for receiving her support during his battle.

'I just sat in my flat': The media personality told how he ran off set to vomit during the darkest days of hiding his secret

‘I just sat in my flat’: The media personality told how he ran off set to vomit during the darkest days of hiding his secret

'I couldn't eat': During the interview, the presenter left Lorraine Kelly, 60, shocked as he spoke about losing three stone in weight due to stress during the festive period last year

‘I couldn’t eat’: During the interview, the presenter left Lorraine Kelly, 60, shocked as he spoke about losing three stone in weight due to stress during the festive period last year

The ITV star said: ‘When that was happening, we couldn’t have been closer. I told Holly. 

‘She knew something was wrong. She asked what’s up and said ‘just talk to me’. We couldn’t have been closer because I told her! The trouble with that is it made things worse, when you see a guy in the paper that you didn’t recognise.’

On how he’s coping with his mental health eight months after coming out publicly, Phil admitted: ‘It’s still tough. 

‘It’s a work in progress. I’m very conscious of Steph, of the girls. I’m still me, they’re still them.’

The Cube star went on to offer some words of advice to men who may be struggling with their mental health.

He said: ‘I use a red flag emoji [to signal when he’s struggling]. I say a lot in there, encourage anybody especially men, say you have got to talk things through. 

‘It’s dangerous to do it on your own. But If I post this red flag emoji, they’d come running. My greatest thing is that if you are struggling, you have to speak out. And trust that people will be there for you.’

The Oldham native ended his interview by explaining why he decided to tell his story in his own words, and shared his relief at the positive response he’s received from fans.

Phil expressed: ‘It was an opportunity to me to do just that. I didn’t want ghost-writer or any help. I Didn’t tell people I was writing it. 

‘I wrote the first chapter in 2019 and sent it to my team, they said this is good, you should write this. Then lockdown started, and I thought they’re right, I should write this. 

'If I didn't come out, the secret was going to give me a total breakdown... at best': On Wednesday's edition of The One Show, he elaborated on his comments about his mental fight

‘If I didn’t come out, the secret was going to give me a total breakdown… at best’: On Wednesday’s edition of The One Show, he elaborated on his comments about his mental fight 

‘Steph and family knew, but I told no one else. I fot into it and really enjoyed it. All the stories wanted to tell, backstage, things I’ve never told before.

‘It was incredible, people were so lovely. After I had done that… I had to plan that, the whole thing. I hated that, had to plan with Holly, the office, everyone had to find out and in the right order. 

‘Doing something like that, I wanted to get it right, wanted it to be dignified. When I went out, an elderly lady stopped me, grabbed my arm and said ‘I want to talk to you. I’m so proud of you, you’ve helped so many people’. There’s been a lot of that, which was lovely.’

On Wednesday’s edition of The One Show, he elaborated on his comments about his mental fight as he said: ‘I had to come out. If I didn’t, the secret was going to give me a total breakdown… at best.’

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.

‘Fears over coming out made my weight drop to 9 stone’ 

Phillip Schofield has revealed his weight plummeted to just nine stone after he dropped three stone over the stress of coming out as gay.    

He said: ‘I decided that eleven stone was as far as I should go. In the process, I’d shrunk my stomach, so my appetite was much smaller and the weight was easy to maintain.

‘Now, I couldn’t eat at all. I was in such a state of turmoil that I had no interest in food. Steph kept trying to get me to eat, but I couldn’t face anything.

‘My weight dropped, and as it hit nine stone twelve pounds the This Morning viewers started to notice’

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, but claimed he ‘felt sick’ before opening up to them about his sexuality. 

Phil insisted he ‘unequivocally’ did not know he was gay and wouldn’t have got married to Steph if he did.

Another person who supported him wholeheartedly was his friend and colleague Holly, who was the first person he told at work.

Phil invited Holly to his dressing room to talk about it after Holly grew suspicious and increasingly worried, and after their chat they saw a white feather on the floor outside the dressing room. 

Phil recalled: ‘She picked it up and gave it to me, and she said ‘see it’s all going to be okay.’ The feather is still in my wallet.’ 

He said she was the first person at work he told about his sexuality and he met up with her in a London bar to discuss how they would handle his coming out on the show. 

Family: The ITV stra also confided in his two daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, but claimed he 'felt sick' before opening up to them about his sexuality (pictured in 2018)

Family: The ITV stra also confided in his two daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, but claimed he ‘felt sick’ before opening up to them about his sexuality (pictured in 2018) 

The presenter said: ‘[Holly was] absolutely vital, couldn’t have done it with anyone else, I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to be sat beside me. 

‘Fern Britton texted my wife, but not me’

Phillip has risked reigniting his feud with Fern Britton as he claimed she didn’t contact him when he came out as gay – but did message his wife.

The presenter said that he had tried to ‘make it right’ with his former This Morning co-host over the years to no avail and admitted he missed Fern, 63, ‘deeply.’ 

He said: ‘When I came out, she didn’t text me. She did text Steph though, which was really kind.

‘We had a big lead up, Holly was one of the first people I told when I knew what I had to do, she is such a wise person.

‘She has got such a calm sensitive aura to her, at home everyone was saying it’ll be fine and Holly was saying at work, ‘it’ll be fine’, she was the only one that knew at that time at work.’

Phillip admitted he knew there would be a ‘massive amount of scrutiny’ on him after he came out. 

He said: ‘We had to figure out how to do something like that, it had to be public. I knew there would be a massive amount of scrutiny. 

‘I said to Holly: ‘I’ll do it on a Thursday morning and then ill go and you carry on,’ and we were in a bar in London secretly having this meeting and she said: ‘Are you joking? There’s no chance that you leave and I carry on.’

‘She said: ‘No, we’ll do it on a Friday and ask Ruth and Eamonn if we can knick 10 minutes from their show, so we do it and then both leave together.’ ‘

In April, Phillip moved out of the £2 million modern rustic property near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire and is living in a central London apartment where he commutes to ITV’s White City studios. 

'We couldn't have been closer': Phil addressed false reports about a feud between himself and his longtime co-host Holly, 38, as he credited himself 'lucky' for receiving her support

‘We couldn’t have been closer’: Phil addressed false reports about a feud between himself and his longtime co-host Holly, 38, as he credited himself ‘lucky’ for receiving her support

The anchor previously revealed he had been leading the ‘perfect life’ after getting married and raising his two children, claiming he hadn’t wanted anything to get in the way of his happiness.

But he said he was ‘naive’ to think he could suppress his sexuality when he married Stephanie 27 years ago, and he didn’t consider his sexuality as it was such a ‘joyous time’ for him.

Phillip also admitted he battled depression as he struggled with his sexuality, and even sought therapy to come to terms with it, before deciding he found it more helpful speaking to friends in private.

Grateful: '[Holly was] absolutely vital, couldn't have done it with anyone else, I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to be sat beside me', he said about his close friend

Grateful: ‘[Holly was] absolutely vital, couldn’t have done it with anyone else, I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to be sat beside me’, he said about his close friend

Between 10am to 10.15am on February 7, when Phillip segment was on, the show racked up 1.83million viewers, compared with the previous week’s ratings of 800,000.

Many people unable to witness the extraordinary episode live flocked to YouTube, where the show shares snippets to its channel.

The interview has been viewed more than 6.6million times on YouTube, becoming one of the daytime programme’s most watched ever clips. 

The One Show airs weekdays 7pm on BBC One and is available on BBC iPlayer.

‘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

‘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

‘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’

‘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

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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