Phillip Schofield's friends feared he'd 'done something stupid' when he skipped This Morning before coming out as gay

Phillip Schofield's friends feared he'd 'done something stupid' when he skipped This Morning before coming out as gay

10/15/2020

PHILLIP Schofield said his colleagues feared he'd "do something stupid" when he failed to host This Morning before coming out as gay.

The star spoke of his inner turmoil in the weeks before he announced his sexuality on the ITV show.

He admitted he didn't "recognise" himself as he wasn't eating or sleeping over worrying about what he was going to do.

Phil, 58, said his mental health started to unravel last Christmas, bringing him to "the darkest of places".

Speaking to Lorraine Kelly today, he said he once had a meltdown on the way to the ITV studios and got his driver Tony to take him home — turning his phone off and leaving Holly Willoughby to host the show alone.

The star, who has released his first autobiography today, said: "It was the toughest time. When you're going through something like that you're trying to pick your way through, it's not in my nature to hurt people it's not the way I am built.

"I couldn't eat and couldn't sleep. I was walking into makeup next door and people were saying 'are you OK' and I knew I had spent the whole weekend staring in the fire."

Of the time he missed work and only told his co-host Holly why, he added: "I was in the car coming down the M40 … and it had never crept into work. Work was my sanctuary where I could forget about everything going on in my head.

"We had got a flat in south east London for the girls when they had uni, and Steph and I could go when going to the theatre. I said, 'Tony take me to the flat'.

"I made a stuped mistake. I turned my phone off and just sat in the flat and This Morning started and I was at the other end of London, people thought I was going to do somethig very stupid which I wouldnt have done."

Phil has been married to Stephanie since 1993 and is dad to their daughters Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24.

Today, he praised his family for standing by him when he decided to reveal he was gay and write his first book.

He said: "I didn't want a ghost writer, I didn't tell anyone I was writing it.

"Steph and the family knew but no publishers, no one in the office knew.

"I got into it and really enjoyed it. I knew what was coming at the end and that was the difficult bit."

YOU’RE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123

Back in January, Phillip appeared alongside co-host Holly on This Morning, which was hosted that day by Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, to announce he was gay to the public.

He said about preparing for his interview: "As far as the day was concerned, doing something like that, I wanted to get it right. I wanted it to be dignified."

He said the support from the public afterwards was overwhelming, adding: "I went out and met a lady in a card shop. The lady at the till said 'are you OK?' and I said 'i'm OK' then an elegant lady stopped me at the door and said 'i'm so proud of you, you have helped so many people'".

Phil urged men who are struggling with their mental health to not stay silent.

He said: "My greatest thing, if there's anything that comes out of that, if you are struggling, with anything, and you are a bloke you have to talk and trust in the fact your family or others will be there for you."

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