The world of showbusiness has begun praising This Morning host Phillip Schofield after the 57-year-old came out as gay via an Instagram statement today.
Little Britain star Matt Lucas was also among those first to comment.
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!
Read more: Phillip Schofield’s statement in full
“Joking aside, that cannot have been an easy statement to make. People come out at different stages in their lives.
“Good luck Philip xxxx.”
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 xxxx
— Matt Lucas (@RealMattLucas) February 7, 2020
Holly Willoughby also told of her pride as her This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield came out.
The presenter, 57, came out in a post shared on his Instagram Story, saying it was time to share his truth.
Willoughby, a close friend of Schofield’s as well as a colleague, posted a picture on Instagram of them hugging and wrote: “Never been more proud of my friend than I am today.”
Actor and singer John Barrowman, who is also a judge on Dancing On Ice, welcomed Schofield's news and said "the nation loves you for who you are".
Writing on Instagram, he said: "So proud of you and your family Phillip. Welcome to your truth and authentic self. The nation loves you for who you because you are @schofe
"Can't wait to hug you and don't worry we got your back we are #LGBTQ+strong..."
Current Dancing On Ice contestant, Ian H Watkins formerly of pop group Steps, also praised his bravery online, saying “Welcome officially to our beautiful rainbow family!”
Bravo Phillip for your honesty.. Coming out is difficult but your family, friends and fans will be proud of you being your authentic self.. I’m proud of your bravery.. Welcome officially to our beautiful rainbow family! We and our ally’s will keep you safe xx #lgbtq #lgbt 🌈🌈 pic.twitter.com/GENHol3G4D
— Ian H Watkins (@Ianhwatkins) February 7, 2020
Fellow ITV presenter Dermot O’Leary sent his love to Schofield which called him a “stand up guy” with the “heart of a lion”,
Sending big love to the Schofield and his family, @Schofe Stand up guy, heart of a lion. X
— Dermot O'Leary (@radioleary) February 7, 2020
Pointless star Richard Osman tweeted: “When you create a new entertainment show and start discussing who should host, the first name on the list is always Phillip Schofield. That’s a fact.
“He’s just the very best at what he does, and the public adore him.
“Looking forward to many more years of his charm and brilliance.
When you create a new entertainment show and start discussing who should host, the first name on the list is always Phillip Schofield. That’s a fact. He’s just the very best at what he does, and the public adore him. Looking forward to many more years of his charm and brilliance.
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) February 7, 2020
Little Britain star David Walliams also lent his voice of support on Twitter, saying he had “nothing but respect and admiration for him”.
I am sending all my love to @Schofe today. I have always held him in the highest regard, ans now have nothing but respect and admiration for him. Let’s hope we are moving towards a world where no-one has to come out anymore, they can just be who they are and celebrate that.
— David Walliams (@davidwalliams) February 7, 2020
Gok Wan sent his love to the presenter online too.
— Gok Wan MBE 🌈 (@therealgokwan) February 7, 2020
I’m A Celebrity star Emily Atack shared a photo of Holly and Phil hugging on This Morning, paying tribute to the power of friendship.
— Emily Atack (@EmAtack) February 7, 2020
As well as receiving huge support from colleagues and fellow celebrities, Schofield's move was praised by LGBT charities and groups across the country.
The LGBT Foundation Tweeted: "Coming out at any time is a challenging and momentous decision and we are so proud that you have been able to share this with us @schofe. Your courage and bravery will give strength and inspiration to many others."
Coming out at any time is a challenging and momentous decision and we are so proud that you have been able to share this with us @Schofe 🏳️🌈
Your courage and bravery will give strength and inspiration to many others https://t.co/tQa0I8z7jl
— LGBT Foundation (@LGBTfdn) February 7, 2020
Equality charity Stonewall said: "Incredibly brave and moving announcement from Phillip Schofield this morning. It takes a lot of courage and is always a hugely personal decision to be open about who you are. Congrats Phillip."
Fans have also praised the TV star following his announcement.
“Phillip Schofield coming out as gay after all these years is proof it’s never too late to speak your truth and be true to yourself. So proud, how brave. How wonderful!!” said one person on Twitter.
— lucy 🌹 (@Itzjustlucy) February 7, 2020
“Blimey just watched Philip Scofield @schofe on #ThisMorning, amazing. Had me in tears, much love to him and his family,” said another.
— teresa pearce (@tpearce003) February 7, 2020
Schofield, who has been married to wife Steph for 27 years, said in his message: “With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay.
"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, also shared on the official This Morning Twitter account, 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.”
He also thanked Willoughby, for being “so kind and wise”, saying she “hugged me as I sobbed on her shoulder”.