Simon Cowell has praised Phillip Schofield for coming out as gay while also revealing how he was frequently questioned about his sexuality earlier in his career.
Sharing his support for Schofield, the music mogul recalled interviews in the past where he would be asked if he was gay, to which he would tell them there was nothing wrong with being gay and he would not hide it.
“It makes me laugh, because 20 years ago I would be doing interviews and the first question would be, ‘Are you gay?’ and I would say, ‘No’,” he said on talkRadio on Sunday.
“They would say, ‘Yes you are!’ and I’d go, ‘Do you honestly think it would be a problem if I was? And that I would hide it like there is something wrong?’ I told them, ‘If I was, I would tell you.’”
He added: “But it used to crack me up that it was seen as something bad you would have to hide.
“To that point, I think it is a very positive thing [with Schofield]. You’ve seen the support he has got, because nobody cares.”
Schofield came out as gay earlier this month in an Instagram post shortly before appearing on This Morning to discuss his announcement with friend and co-star Holly Willoughby.
Cowell added: “I’ve worked on films, TV, in music and probably 50% of the people I have worked with are gay, have been gay, whatever.
"It’s not even a conscious thought any more."
Schofield has been married to wife Stephanie Lowe for 27 years and the pair share two adult daughters, Ruby and Molly, together.
She has vowed to stand by her husband, having shared that she loves him and "always will".
Skating professional Matt Evers later told Heart.co.uk that Schofield stopped rehearsals to address the “elephant in the room”.
"It was a really nice atmosphere in the studio,” he said.
“I think at one point in production he stopped rehearsals and said ‘I just need to say this, I don’t want to be the elephant in the room any more, if you want to give me a hug, give me a hug.’”