Phillip Schofield has said it was "the toughest time ever" before he made the decision to speak publicly about his sexuality.

The 58-year-old TV star, who has been married to wife Steph for 27 years, revealed in February that he has "been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay".

Speaking on Lorraine Kelly's chat show, he said:  "When you're going through something like that, and you're trying to pick your way through, and I say in there it's not in my nature to hurt people, it's not the way I'm built, so I was trying to find my way through.

"I talk about the loops that go round in your head - you have to do this, you can't do this, because if you do this look at the consequences, but you have to, and you're getting sicker and sicker by worrying about it - it went round and round and round and round.

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"Then I couldn't eat, then I couldn't sleep. I was walking into make-up next door and people were saying 'Are you OK? Did you have a nice weekend?' And I knew I had spent the whole weekend staring into the fire and thinking 'What am I going to do?"'

The This Morning presenter said there were "lots and lots of hours of talking to Steph and hugging Steph", adding: "We talked the whole thing through, there were no secrets, there have never been any secrets. When I knew, she knew. And it wasn't like a sudden ping, it was like 'This is tripping me up' - initially I didn't understand."

He said he leaned on the support of his co-host Holly Willoughby, adding: "Holly and I couldn't have been closer because I told her.

"She's very intuitive, she had said 'What's up? Just talk to me.'

"If there is anything that comes out of that (it) is if you are struggling, if you are a bloke, you have to talk to someone and trust in the fact that your family will hopefully accept whatever it is you need to say and your friends are there because they love you."

Last month Schofield that he has been to some "dark and scary places" with his mental health.

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