Skip to main content

Home Culture Culture Film & TV

Phillip Schofield says people have told him his coming out ‘saved their lives’

"The side-effect of what I did took me by surprise," says the This Morning host.

By Jamie Tabberer

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Phillip Schofield with This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby (ITV)

Phillip Schofield has described the impact of publicly coming out as gay last year, revealing people have credited him with “saving” their lives.

The This Morning presenter – who remains married to his wife of 28 years Stephanie Lowe, with whom he has two adult daughters – disclosed his sexuality in a statement in a February 2020 social media post.

“With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay,” Schofield said at the time.

That same day, Phillip discussed the matter live on-air with This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby.

“It doesn’t have to be a sexuality thing”

Speaking to The Times about the high-profile moment, Phillip said “the side-effect of what I did took me by surprise. Because when you do something like that, there’s an element of selfishness when you are protecting yourself. [But] I suddenly realised, and it was highlighted through lockdown, the number of people who said, ‘You just saved my life. What you did has saved me…’

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Phillip Schofield (@schofe)

“It doesn’t have to be a sexuality thing. A lot of people have said, ‘I have sought help,’ or, ‘I have a gambling problem,’ or, ‘I have a drink problem.’ Whatever the issue, ‘I took strength in what you did and I have spoken to someone.’

“I have spent time talking to people and talking them off the ledge. I am not a therapist, but at least I could be a little more insightful about what I did. It’s a good thing to have come out of it all.”

The 57-year-old added that he feels lucky to “have been able to have worked through all of this [and] to have had the therapy that Holly’s given me all the way through.”

Phillip – the most Googled-celebrity in 2020 – is also known for TV shows like Dancing On Ice and The Cube.

The Attitude July issue is out now.

Subscribe in print and get your first three issues for just £1 each, or digitally for just over 1.50 per issue.