In February 2020, Phillip, 59, came out as gay, writing in a statement: ‘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 TV presenter, who has been married to his wife Stephanie Lowe since 1993, broke down in tears on ITV’s This Morning over causing pain to his family, while Holly shared a heartfelt tribute in support of her friend on social media, writing in the caption: ‘Never been more proud of my friend than I am today.’
In a new interview, Phillip explained how the past year has made him realise how ‘lucky’ he is to have had a friend like Holly providing him with support.
‘In a way it’s been perhaps a good thing that I have had time to look at the world and think, “You know, there are much bigger things going on than what’s going in your head”,’ he told The Times.
‘And also, at the same time, to think how lucky I am to have been able to have worked through all of this [and] to have had the therapy that Holly’s given me all the way through. I have been broadcasting a long time, but I never thought I’d actually broadcast through something like this.’
Phillip, who also presents Dancing On Ice alongside Holly, outlined how the ‘side-effect’ of his coming out announcement ‘took me by surprise’.
‘Because when you do something like that, there’s an element of selfishness when you are protecting yourself. [But] I suddenly realised, and it was highlighted through lockdown, the number of people who said, “You just saved my life. What you did has saved me…”,’ he said.
Phillip added that it ‘doesn’t have to be a sexuality thing’, as he has received messages from people who have been struggling with issues such as gambling or drinking problems.
The TV presenter said that he has ‘spent time talking to people and talking them off the ledge’.
While he emphasised that he is ‘not a therapist’, he added: ‘But at least I could be a little more insightful about what I did. It’s a good thing to have come out of it all.’
Phillip has been a presenter on This Morning since 2002, before being joined by Holly seven years later.
The pair recently compared filming the ITV programme during the pandemic to ‘therapy’, as they were able to share deep chats behind the scenes.
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.
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