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Popular TV personality, Phillip Schofield, 59, has openly acknowledged his co-host and best friend, Holly Willoughby, 40, for her continued support following his decision to go public last year with the news that he is gay.
Phillip has lauded Holly as his “therapy” as she has been a constant support to him with his decision to come out.
The This Morning presenter took to Instagram in February 2020, just before the Covid pandemic, making a statement regarding his sexuality. Later that day appeared alongside co-star Holly on the ITV show where the pair discussed Phillip’s news on air and saw him break down in tears and was comforted by Holly.
The first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic came soon after the star made his public announcement and he has admitted it helped him put it all in perspective.
In a recent interview with The Times Magazine alongside Holly, Phillip described the timing of his announcement coming just before the news of the national lockdown as a “good thing” because it gave him a chance to see the “bigger things” going on around him and not just everything that was going on in his own mind.
Phillip spoke of his friend’s support saying he felt “lucky” he had the opportunity to continue working throughout the lockdowns and to be doing it alongside his best friend who gave him the “therapy” he needed throughout that time.
Holly openly supported her friend and co-presenter when he came out on This Morning, saying: “I think we all just take a breath at that point, reading that I can hear your voice, the pain, how difficult it is for you, this is a big day. I know this is something you’ve been living with for a really long time.”
Phillip has admitted there was “an element of selfishness” in his decision to come out as gay and the way he chose to do it he describes it as a way of him “protecting” himself.
The star has also described how surprised he was by the huge amount of support he received.
Presenter Phillip was described as showing huge “bravery” in the way he came out about his sexuality and he has been contacted by many going through similar struggles.
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He said: "What I will say in addition to what I have said before… 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…’"
He said not everyone who reached out were necessarily all dealing with issues around sexuality as some were battling with drugs and alcohol issues.
Phillip said: “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.”
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