Phillip Schofield feared coming out would be branded 'publicity stunt'

Phillip Schofield attends the Dancing On Ice 2019 photocall at the Dancing On Ice Studio, ITV Studios, Old Bovingdon Airfield on December 09, 2019 in Bovingdon, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Phillip Schofield (WireImage)

Phillip Schofield has said his coming out took planning as he feared it might’ve been misconstrued as a "publicity stunt".

The presenter came out as a gay in an Instagram post last February, immediately before appearing on This Morning where he was interviewed by Holly Willoughby.

It took place on a Friday show which the pair typically have off, however, Schofield had other ideas originally until Willoughby changed his mind.

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Speaking to Simon Thomas on the Life, Interrupted podcast, the 58-year-old shared: "I said, 'I think I’m going to do it on a Thursday, like first thing on a Thursday, and then I will get up and go and then you carry on and we’ll get someone else in to finish the show with you', and she went, 'What?!'.

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"I said 'Well, I think that’s probably best'. She said, 'There’s no chance, no chance you are going to do that and then get up and go and then I continue without you. What are you saying? No, we do this together. We do it together and then we leave together'."

Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes continued to host the show after Willoughby and Schofield's emotional interview concluded.

Schofield explained there were concerns about his announcement being too close to the National Television Awards, which took place on 28 January. The programme was up for the Live Magazine Show gong, which it won.

Judy Finnigan, Richard Madeley, Holly Willoughby, Phillip Schofield Ruth Langsford, Eamonn Holmes, Rochelle Humes of "This Morning", pose in the winners room after winning the Live Magazine Show award  during the National Television Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on January 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Judy Finnigan, Richard Madeley, Holly Willoughby, Phillip Schofield, Ruth Langsford, Eamonn Holmes and Rochelle Humes at the National Television Awards 2020. (Getty Images)

"The date was decided because we didn’t want it to be too close to the NTAs, we didn’t want to look like it was a publicity thing. And then I can remember saying, 'This is ridiculous, you know, this is the biggest thing I’m ever gonna do in my life. How is this a publicity stunt for what?'."

The star was met with huge amounts of support after coming out on the programme, having already received backing from his wife Steph and their two daughters before talking publicly about his sexuality.

He and Steph remain married with Schofield stating back in October that they had not yet discussed divorce.

Watch: Phillip Schofield emotional over This Morning viewer’s kind comments