'When is the right time to do it?' LGBTQ group in Northampton reacts to Phillip Schofield's 'courageous' announcement

The 57-year-old TV presenter today announced that he was gay via his Instagram story

Friday, 7th February 2020, 11:59 am
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 12:12 pm
ITV This Morning presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby pictured together in the studio.

Long-standing This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield announced today (Friday) that with the "strength and support" of his wife and daughters, he has "been coming to terms" with the fact that he is gay.

Phillip Schofield was then interviewed by his co-presenter, Holly Willoughby, on the daytime breakfast show where he opened up about how his sexuality had "consumed his head".

Following the interview, Matthew Torosen, community co-chair of Northampton Borough Council's LGBTQ+ and Allies group, said: "He's so popular and he's had such a long career, everything to children's TV to daytime TV. He is a bit of a national treasure.

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"He now will be a great role model as he's decided it's the right thing to do. Other people have made that announcement before but purely because they felt they were going to be outed by the national papers and they had to do it.

"Everyone has to choose their moment to come out. It's not their responsibility to come out until they feel safe enough to do so and obviously he does.

"I think his life will improve. The level of honesty and openness he has shown will help so much.

"I think the days of the huge backlash of people coming out are gone. The work won't dry up or anything and I think it will just give him a huge boost.

"I think it's quite courageous actually. He's obviously thought long and hard about it. He has chosen his moment, and all I can say is I wish him the very best."

Phillip has been married to his wife Steph for almost 27 years and has two daughters Ruby and Molly.

Speaking on This Morning earlier today Phillip said: "Everybody does these things at their own speed, at their own time, when they feel the time is right.

"There's no question that it has, in recent times, consumed my head and has become an issue in my head."

He went on to add: "I think all you can be in life it honest with yourself. And, I was getting to the point in life where 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. So, you know, when is the right time to do it? When is the right time to do it? And, as a family, it's the right time."

On Instagram, Phillip's full statement reads:

"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 up. 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."