Phillip Schofield ‘couldn’t have come out’ as gay without Holly Willoughby

Philliip Schofield has revealed there was no one apart from Holly Willoughby who could have been by his side when he came out as gay earlier this year.

The 58-year-old TV presenter praised his co-host and good friend for conducting the interview on This Morning back in February.

Appearing on The One Show on Wednesday evening, the dad-of-two admitted that he couldn't have gone ahead with it if it wasn't for 39-year-old Holly.

"I couldn't have done that with anyone else," he told Michelle Acklerley and Michael Ball on the BBC show.

"I wouldn't have wanted anyone else sitting beside me."

"We'd had a big lead up to that moment. When I knew what I had to do, Holly was one of the first people that I told," he continued.

"She's such a wise person, she's got such a calm, sensitive aura to her. Everyone at home was saying, 'It'll be ok, it'll be ok', and Holly was saying, 'It'll be fine'.

"She was the only one who knew at work at that time. Then we sort of had to figure out how to do something like that."

  • This Morning's Holly and Phil speechless as 'dumped ghost' interrupts live interview

Phillip went on to reveal that the pair had settled on asking Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes if they could take ten minutes from one of their shows for the interview.

Asked at the time by Holly how he was coping following his coming out statement, Phil remarked: "I feel a little lighter but I'm also very aware, there is no question that it causes pain and it causes upset."

He also said that he and wife Stephanie had "no secrets".

"It's tough, this is not something that has happened quickly, I've had to deal with this in my head for quite some time. We've been honest and open," he told mum-of-three Holly.

In his social media statement, Phillip wrote: "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's been consuming me for the last few years.

"With the strength and support of my wife and daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay."

His appearance on The One Show comes as he releases his memoir, Life's What You Make It.

In the book, Phillip admits that he once backed out of presenting This Morning at the last minute because he was in such turmoil about the whole situation.

Instead he fled to his London flat where he messaged his wife of 27 years, Steph, to tell her: "I couldn’t do the show."

Holly presented the ITV programme alone as viewers were told that Phillip had called in sick.

"I sat alone in the flat, staring at the walls, as This Morning started on the other side of London," he says in his book.

"It was a very stupid thing to do…. all my closest friends knew how ragged my head was, but no-one except Steph knew why."

● Life’s What You Make It by Phillip Schofield is out now (Penguin Books)

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