Phillip Schofield emotionally reveals how Holly Willoughby supported him through ‘dark times’

Phillip Schofield has emotionally revealed how This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby helped him immeasurably during his ‘dark times’.

The pair were joined live on the show by Shirley Ballas as the ITV daytime program once again backed Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) and its latest campaign.

It comes after the charity’s newly-launched interactive exhibition called The Last Photo on London’s Southbank, the Manchester Evening News reports.

The moving display features Shirley’s brother, David, who took his own life in 2003 at the age of 44.

With tears filling her eyes, the Strictly Come Dancing head judge said seeing her brother’s photo “brought everything back from 20 years ago.”

She added: “I’m thinking to myself, if I knew now back then, I could have really helped much better.

“Communication is key.”

And during their chat, Phillip opened up about his own mental health struggles.

The 60-year-old said: “The key is to talk to people… I went through some very, very dark times and I leaned heavily on my friends – as Holly knows – so you have to talk to somebody, you can ‘t do it on your own.”

Phillip became emotional during the interview

Shirley, 61, was quick to echo Phillip’s words as she said: “We are in 2022 now, there are many organizations where you can reach out to communicate on a small level.

“We’re in a moving world with social media, life goes so fast, and if you just take a step back, a breath, a moment, and listen and really try to see your family or friend.”

Phillip appeared to be referring to the time he spent hiding his sexuality before coming out as gay on This Morning in February 2020.

Holly, 41, gave an emotional Phillip a big hug after he spoke about coming out to his family, including wife of 27 years Stephanie Lowe, their two daughters Ruby and Molly, and his mum Pat.

Phil told his colleague and friend that he “couldn’t have done it without you” before Holly embraced him lovingly, telling him she will always be there for him.

In October the same year, Phillip broke down in tears as he praised his co-star and friend while speaking to Chris Evans on his Virgin Radio Breakfast Show about the release of his book.

The much-loved pair host This Morning on ITV
The much-loved pair host This Morning on ITV

The book spoke about the moment he told Holly about his sexuality which then lead to an interview with her live on This Morning.

Phillip said to Chris: “Holly has been astonishing. Literally, the best mate.

“She’s serene and calming and sensitive and balanced. Not just for me but also for Steph.”

Chris became emotional himself as he told Phillip that he didn’t recognize him the last time they met because of his plummeting weight.

Chris said: “Holly gave me a look and I thought – hmm – something’s going on here – you looked like a little old man, because there was nothing of you.”

An emotional Phillip responded: “You disappear inside yourself, and that’s when you’re lost. All you’re doing is thinking about whatever it is that’s on your mind.”

He later said: “I have recently found myself finding it easier to laugh more – it’s always funny with Holly, we always have a laugh.

“But you think – oh that feels nice to laugh, that feels better. So finding me is the goal for the moment.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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