TV Presenter Philip Schofield has urged people to "please be kind” after coming out as gay earlier today. In a statement shared via his Instagram story, the 57-year-old This Morning presenter revealed he had been “coming to terms” with his sexuality for the last few years.
Schofield has been married to his wife Stephanie Lowe for more than 27 years and together they have two daughters.
In the emotional note, he spoke about his family’s support:
"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."
He added that he has been stunned by both his family and friends' "instant acceptance."
"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."
Following his announcement, Schofield returned to the This Morning set with co-presenter Holly Willoughby to discuss his decision to disclose his sexuality.
On the programme, Schofield revealed that he feels " lighter" since coming out but admits "there's no question that it causes pain and upset."
Holly Willoughby, who has presented ITV's This Morning with Schofield since 2009, showered him with support on the show, and vowed to be by his side.
Schofield praised his co-presenter for her support in his statement.
He wrote: "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 of a surprise 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."