TV presenter Phillip Schofield has been hailed a hero after revealing that he is gay. He appeared on ITV’s This Morning after his announcement on social media and praised his ‘incredible’ wife of 27 years, with whom he has two daughters.
There was an immediate outpouring of support from fellow ‘celebrities’. ‘Huge respect and admiration for our friend Schofe,’ tweeted ITV presenters Ant and Dec. The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire added: ‘So much love for Schofe for his open, honest, dignified statement.’ Ian H Watkins, who appeared recently in Dancing on Ice with his same-sex partner on the show, welcomed Schofield to ‘our beautiful rainbow family!’ Dermot O’Leary, David Walliams and James Corden also applauded him. Stonewall’s Jeff Ingold said his statement was ‘hugely powerful and courageous’.
A different perspective came from a woman writing in the Telegraph who said that a similar announcement by her husband of 30 years was the ‘ultimate betrayal and humiliation’. She said the lives of their two daughters were devastated.
Many may wonder if Schofield needed to go public or if it might have been kinder to his family to keep the news private. Do we all need to know? What is so brave and heroic about the announcement in a society which is hardly intolerant of gays? And is such an upheaval in a relationship a matter for praise and celebration or is it more like a divorce, a cause for mourning? Discuss!