This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield has revealed that he once went missing a few minutes before the ITV show went on air, deciding to go back home due to his own personal struggles.
In his new autobiography Life's What You Make It, Phillip writes that he felt unable to go on air at the last minute in March 2019 and he headed back to his London flat, texting his wife Stephanie Lowe to tell her he "couldn't do the show".
His co-host Holly Willoughby presented the show solo that day, telling viewers that Phillip was "not well".
"I sat alone in the flat, staring at the walls, as This Morning started on the other side of London," Phillip writes (as quoted by The Mirror). "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."
He goes on to explain he "knew that [he] needed professional help" after he had to rush off set partway through the show on another day to be sick.
The presenter, who also hosts Dancing on Ice, writes that he was in an "extremely dark place" before being able to talk about his sexuality publicly and his physical health suffered as a result, saying that he only slept for a couple of hours a night and struggled to eat.
"It's like being inside the blackest cloud and feeling consumed by crushing, desperate sadness. Nothing and no-one can make it better," he says. "My weight dropped and as it hit 9st 12lb the This Morning viewers started to notice. I was getting tweets from people asking if I was ill."
Phillip reveals that he felt he needed to say that he was gay publicly or "the secret was going to give me a total breakdown... at best".
After co-host Holly had expressed concern for him a number of times he spoke to her privately in his dressing room, saying of their meeting: "I knew that she would be incredible. She was so much more than that."
He decided to speak about his sexuality live with Holly on This Morning in February this year – a moment that he called "The Event" in a WhatsApp group planning the on-air chat.
Phillip has been supported by Steph and their daughters, Molly and Ruby, and he writes that "when things got really dark, (Steph) reminded me how much they all loved me and that there was nothing that the four of us couldn't cope with".
He adds that he still speaks to therapists about his feelings, saying: "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?"
Phillips Schofield's autobiography Life's What You Make It is available now. This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.
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