- ‘I’m wearing new clothes, but they don’t quite fit. Maybe I’ll grow into them.’
British daytime TV presenter Phillip Schofield has says he still has ‘dark days full of confusion’ after coming out as gay.
However, he said ‘I’m proud of myself’ and his family has accepted him despite the ‘hurt’ he caused.
The 58-year-old has also described his experiments with cannabis and his alcohol-fuelled lifestyle early in his career. He is currently promoting his biography, Life’s What You Make It.
And he describes the toll keeping his sexuality secret took on him. He said he ‘sobbed quietly in the dark’ while watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks, shortly before coming out in February.
Speaking on The One Show yesterday (15 October), Schofield said: ‘I had to come out. If I didn’t, the secret was going to give me a total breakdown… at best.’
‘My mental health is still a work in progress’
Schofield came to fame as a children’s TV presenter in the Children’s BBC ‘broom cupboard’ from 1985 to 1987. He then moved on to Saturday morning kids’ show Going Live!
But he is now best known for This Morning, ITV’s daytime show, which he has co-hosted since 2002. He is also the host of Dancing on Ice.
He said: ‘My mental health is still a work in progress. I talk regularly to a professinal team who tell me that everything will be ok.
‘Sometimes I have my doubts. If I’m totally honest with you, as I’ve said before, it’s not in my nature to hurt people and so, with that in mind, I’m finding it hard to pick my way through the debris.
‘Is there a way to reveal a secret like this to the world and not hurt your wife or your family? The answer is obviously not. But we are close and loving. We’ll get through.
‘Am I struggling with it all? Very much. I’m wearing new clothes, but they don’t quite fit. Maybe I’ll grow into them.
‘I still have dark days full of confusion, days when wading through life would be easier if the water wasn’t at chest height.’
‘I’m proud of myself today’
In his biography he reveals he became ‘increasingly aware’ of his sexuality over the past five years.
He told his wife of 27 years, Stephanie Lowe, at the same time. And he confided in his daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24. However, he ‘felt sick’ before opening up to them.
Despite this, he said Lowe had been ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible’. Speaking to Holly Willoughby on This Morning, he said:
‘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.’
And he added: ‘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.
Moreover, he indicated he is now feeling better for having come out.
He said: ‘At the same time I will sit here and say actually, I’m proud of myself today.’
Meanwhile Schofield’s memoirs also contains other revelations. His stories of drunken nights out in London early in his career contrast with the ‘squeaky clean’ image he says children’s TV presenters are supposed to have.
However, not every vice was to his fancy. He admits he tried cannabis on a few occasions but ‘it has either made me sick, or made me feel like I have been darted with a tranquilizer’.
Help is out there
LGBT+ people are more likely to struggle with poor mental health. But there is help if you just reach out.
You can find a list of LGBT+ resources and helplines all around the world here. Please note, some of the helplines may have different operating hours during the coronavirus pandemic.