Phillip Schofield has given the Late Late Show an insight into the turmoil he experienced before coming out as gay earlier this year, and has appealed to viewers to talk to someone if they are experiencing mental health difficulties in their lives.

The This Morning presenter told Ryan Tubridy that he decided to come out to "save myself".

The 58-year-old recounted his 300-mile journey to Cornwall to tell his mother the news. 

"She had already asked me months before, 'Are you OK? You look skinny... You look sad. I know there's something wrong'."

Schofield explained that he has a condition that causes his eyes to blur - and his mother initially feared that what he was about to tell her was related to that.

"I said, 'Mum, I have something to tell you', and I told her and she said, 'Oh, oh right, OK. Thank God for that. I thought you were going blind... Those things in your eyes. That's alright. So long as you are OK and [wife] Steph's OK and the girls are OK'. 

"My mum suddenly turned into this incredibly modern, forward-thinking 84-year-old and we have these incredible, really good solid chats... That's actually worked out really well."

Schofield said his weight had fallen to under nine stone as he agonised over what to do. He paid tribute to his friend and This Morning co-presenter Holly Willoughby for the support she gave him when he decided to share his story live on the ITV show in February.

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"I remember so vividly that moment where I had written that statement and my thumb was hesitating over the phone and I thought, 'This is when I nuke my life and those around me'," he said. 

Of his 27-year marriage to wife Steph, Schofield added: "When I knew, Steph knew. I wouldn't have got married if I had've known. It was absolutely not a factor; it was not in my head... We had a wonderful marriage, have a wonderful marriage, Steph and I. We are still holding on as much as we can."

Schofield has written about his experiences in his just-published memoir, Life Is What You Make It

"I was selfish when I wrote it because I wrote it for me," he explained. "And then when I was getting into that [the final two chapters about coming out], I thought, 'Maybe this might help somebody else'.

"What's been incredible - it happened today - is people come up to me and say, 'I can't tell you what you've done for me' or you've done for my brother, or my sister or my whatever. 'You've started a conversation within our family - not always sexuality - but you've started a conversation. We're talking to each other more'.

"I say now to any guy that's watching this: there is nothing wrong with being tripped up by your head. There is nothing wrong.

"Now, you don't have to be unnecessarily and ridiculously strong. You can talk. You can seek advice. You can trust the people around you, hopefully - and I know that's not the case for everybody - but you can hopefully find someone within your close proximity who you can unburden to.

"Because if your head messes you up the way mine did, there is no... You have to talk to somebody. You need help. You have to discuss it because you can't fix it on your own." 

If you have been affected by issues raised in this story, please contact Samaritans on: 116 123 or email: jo@samaritans.ie.

Watch the interview in full on the RTÉ Player.

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