ITV presenter Phillip Schofield reveals that he is gay

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Phillip Schofield, ITV co-presenter of This Morning, has said he was "coming to terms with the fact I am gay" in an Instagram post.

Mr Schofield, who has been married to his wife Steph for almost 27 years, said it was something that had "caused many heartbreaking conversations at home".

"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 wrote.

"With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay.

The 57-year-old said he'd cried on the shoulder of his co-presenter, Holly Willoughby.

In a statement, he wrote about his “inner conflict”, contrasting it with “a world that has changed so much for the better”.

“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 of 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.”

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"This is something that has caused many heart-breaking 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 still I can't sleep and there have been some very dark moments."

Schofield's statement added: "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 comes only from the hurt that I am causing to my family.

"Steph has been incredible - I love her so very much. She is the kindest soul I have ever met. My girls have been astonishing in their love, hugs and encouraging words of comfort.

Comedian Matt Lucas commented on Twitter about the news that presenter Phillip Schofield has come out as gay.

He said on Twitter: "I'm not surprised about Philip Schofield. Growing up I remember him presenting with Gordon the Gopher from inside that closet!

"Joking aside, that cannot have been an easy statement to make. People come out at different stages in their lives. Good luck Philip."