Phillip Schofield has thanked fans for their support after coming out as gay (Picture: Rex)

Phillip Schofield has thanked fans for their support, after he came out as gay.

The 57-year-old – who has been married to wife Steph for 27 years – opened up about his private life in a heartfelt statement on his Instagram story.

And, in a new message, he praised those closest to him for being understanding.

‘You will never know how important your support has been today,’ he began.

‘I’ve read as much as I can.

‘Please please, no matter your age or your thoughts TALK to someone.

‘Don’t let your head beat you and hopefully you’ll find out that your friends & family have a remarkable ability to surprise you with their love and understanding.’

Phillip praised those around him for being so understanding (Picture: Instagram)

He added the hashtag ‘be kind’.

Earlier in the day, Phillip shared an emotional message on his Instagram story, discussing his sexuality for the first time.

‘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,’ he said.

‘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 heartbreaking conversations at home.’

Phillip was joined by best friend Holly Willoughby during his emotional This Morning appearance (Picture: ITV)

Breaking down on This Morning shortly after, he told viewers: ‘I have had to deal with this in my head for quite some time and as for Steph, as I said I can’t write in any statement how I feel about that woman.

‘She is incredible, there is no one in my life that would have supported me in the way she has. She is astonishing.’

Following his appearance, a string of famous faces have reached out to Phillip over the news.

BFF Holly posted a selfie of them on her Instagram page, explaining: ‘Never been more proud of my friend than I am today.’

While Ant and Dec shared a sweet tweet to the star, telling fans: ‘Huge respect and admiration for our friend @Schofe. Sending love to you P, and to your 3 lovely girls.’

Eamonn Holmes celebrated his ‘new chapter’ on his own social media page, as fellow ITV star David Walliams penned: ‘I am sending all my love to @Schofe today.

‘I have always held him in the highest regard, and now have nothing but respect and admiration for him. Let’s hope we are moving towards a world where no-one has to come out anymore, they can just be who they are and celebrate that.’

Piers Morgan agreed: ‘Takes a lot of guts to do this, not least when you’re a very public figure & know it will all be dissected in a very public way.

‘Sending my very best to @schofe & his family.’



Phillip Schofield coming out statement in full

‘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 heartbreaking 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 I still 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 only comes from the hurt I am causing for my family.

‘Steph has been incredible – I love her so very much. She is the kindest soul that I have ever met. My girls have been astonishing in their love, hugs and encouraging and 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 as 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. Phillip.’

MORE: Eamonn Holmes shares sweet message as Phillip Schofield comes out as gay: ‘A new chapter awaits you’

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