LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - British television presenter Phillip Schofield on Friday revealed that he was gay as he paid tribute to his wife of nearly 27 years.
"I am gay," Schofield, one of broadcaster ITV's biggest stars, said in a post on Instagram. "This is something that has caused many heart-breaking conversations at home."
Schofield, who hosts the long-running popular daytime show "This Morning", later told ITV : "This decision is essential for me and essential for my head. Every person I tell, it gets a little lighter and a little lighter."
Schofield, 57, said he had been unable to sleep and that he had gone through "very dark moments". He expressed sorrow at the pain and confusion he had caused his family, including his wife Steph and two daughters, Molly and Ruby.
"Steph has been incredible - I love her so very much," Schofield said. "My girls have been astonishing.
"Today, quite rightly, being gay is a reason to celebrate and be proud," he said. "Only by facing this, by being honest, can I hope to find peace in my mind and a way forward."
Schofield, who began broadcasting in New Zealand on the Shazam! music programme, became a household name in Britain by presenting BBC's children show "From the Broom Cupboard" alongside a hand puppet known as Gordon the Gopher.
He also played Joseph in the London stage show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, taking over from Australian singer Jason Donovan.
"Every day on This Morning, I sit in awe of those we meet who have been brave and open in confronting their truth - so now it's my turn to share mine," he said. "Please be kind, especially to my family."
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.