Phillip Schofield was in such turmoil as he wrestled with his sexuality he once refused to go on This Morning at the last minute.
In a new memoir, he tells how he instead fled to his London flat where he messaged his wife of 27 years, Steph, to tell her: "I couldn’t do the show."
Holly Willoughby then presented the ITV programme alone as viewers were told that Phillip had called in sick.
"I sat alone in the flat, staring at the walls, as This Morning started on the other side of London," he says.
"It was a very stupid thing to do…. all my closest friends knew how ragged my head was, but no-one except Steph knew why."
Another day he had to rush off set halfway through a fashion item on the ITV show to be sick.
"I now knew that I needed professional help," he says.
The star told how he was in an "extremely dark place" and forced to take medication before making the brave decision to tell the world he was gay.
In his new book, Life’s What You Make It which is published today, he also told how his weight plummeted to an all-time low as he struggled to cope with being gay.
Phillip eventually revealed his sexuality on This Morning in February in a tearful joint interview with co-star Holly.
It followed a tortuous time over Christmas and New Year during which he "sobbed quietly in the dark" while watching the London fireworks on TV.
He survived on just two hours of sleep a night. "It’s like being inside the blackest cloud and feeling consumed by crushing, desperate sadness," he says.
His weight then dropped to 9st 12lb and he "was getting tweets asking if I was ill".
Phillip said his overriding feeling was of huge guilt towards Steph.
But he insists: "I didn’t know I was gay when I married Steph. If I had, I wouldn’t have got married."
The presenter also hits out at those who have accused him of "lying to her for 27 years", adding: "When I eventually knew, so did she."
● Life’s What You Make It by Phillip Schofield is out now (Penguin Books)
- Holly Willoughby
- This Morning
- Phillip Schofield
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