Philip Schofield feared coming out as gay on This Morning would be seen as a 'publicity stunt'

PHILLIP Schofield feared coming out as gay on This Morning would be seen as a "publicity stunt".

The presenter, 58, said he "owed it to the viewers" to come out on the programme in a special interview with Holly Willoughby as they are "family".

However, as the details fell into the place for the segment – which aired in February last year – Phillip started to worry it would seem like a publicity stunt.

Speaking on the Life, Interrupted podcast with Simon Thomas, the star 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.

"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."

The star has been married to Stephanie Lowe for nearly 27 years and they share two children together: Molly, 28, and Ruby, 25.

Phillip broke the news on his personal Instagram account with an emotional statement back in February.

He then opened up about his sexuality during an incredibly moving interview on This Morning just moments later.

In the aftermath, Phillip said many people reached out to support him – but the lockdown in March meant he had to deal with it solo.

However, he says the mornings with Holly before presenting the show helped him through.

Phillip continued: "You know, I was happy to receive the hugs, people saying “Oh my God, you're so brave, oh, are you okay, let's have dinner” and then nothing – I was stuck inside.

"And thank God I had the mornings with Holly. And so every day we’d sit in the make-up room, just the two of us doing our own make-up and talking throughout the whole of lockdown, which is the most extraordinary, beautiful experience to look back on.

"I think the one thing I'll take away from all of this is the mornings that we had, with Holly and I looking a bit dazed trying to make a TV programme with hardly any people and wondering what the hell was happening next."

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