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Phillip Schofield applauded and hailed as ‘a legend’ on Dancing On Ice

The TV star came out as gay on This Morning.

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Phillip Schofield presents Dancing On Ice with his This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby (Ian West/PA)

Phillip Schofield presents Dancing On Ice with his This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby (Ian West/PA)

Phillip Schofield presents Dancing On Ice with his This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby (Ian West/PA)

Phillip Schofield was applauded for his courage in coming out as gay as he hosted Dancing On Ice on Sunday.

The TV star, 57, came out on This Morning on Friday, speaking publicly about his sexuality for the first time in an emotional on-air chat with co-host Holly Willoughby.

When he returned to the screen on Sunday for the ITV ice-skating competition, judge Ashley Banjo called him “a legend”.

“Phil, it’s been a big week, a big, big week,” the Diversity star said.

“You have always been an absolute legend but never, never ever more so than this week my friend.”

Ashley Banjo
Ashley Banjo called Schofield a legend (Ian West/PA)

“I think I speak on behalf of all of us when I say we’ve got nothing but love and respect for you,” he added, as fellow judges John Barrowman, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean clapped.

Willoughby, who also co-hosts Dancing On Ice with Schofield, patted his back as the panel applauded.

Looking touched, Schofield joked: “It’s not about me! It’s not about me!” before they moved on with the ice-skating competition.

The presenter stunned viewers on Friday with his bombshell announcement on the This Morning sofa.

The final show of the week is usually hosted by Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, but Schofield and Willoughby appeared as guests.

Willoughby, 38, read out a statement from Schofield, revealing his years of struggling with being gay, including some “very dark moments”.

It said: “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.”

Schofield said his wife Steph had been “incredible”, adding “she is the kindest soul I have ever met”.

He said their two daughters have been “astonishing in their love” while both his and Steph’s families had “stunned” him with their support.

He told Willoughby: “It’s funny because everyone I have spoken to, you have all been so supportive, so loving and caring.

“My entire family, to a person, have grabbed us and said ‘It’s OK, we love you, we are proud of you’, and every person I tell, it gets a little lighter and a little lighter.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (Ian West/PA)

“But at the same time I’ve made this decision, which is essential for me and for my head, which is the reason why I’ve done this, I’m very aware that Steph and the girls are at home watching this. They have been supporting this as we got to this moment.”

He added that while he felt “a little lighter” having made the announcement, he was also “very aware, there is no question that it causes pain and it causes upset”.

After Willoughby commented that Schofield had not had his “hand forced” to make the announcement, he said: “This is my decision. This is absolutely my decision. It was something I knew that I had to do.”

PA