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ITV This Morning host Phillip Schofield opens on how Holly helped him in ‘dark times’

today2022-06-24

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ITV This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield emotionally revealed how co-host Holly Willoughby helped him during his ‘dark times’. The 60 year old opened up on the show as the pair were joined by Shirley Ballas.

As part of an interview with the Strictly Come Dancing judge, they discussed This Morning’s latest campaign. Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) tackles suicide by offering support to anyone struggling or in a crisis.

The charity has launched an exhibition on London’s Southbank which is titled The Last Photo and features Shirley’s brother, David, who took his own life in 2003 at the age of 44, Manchester Evening News reports.

Read more: ITV This Morning: Phillip Schofield breaks down during chat with Dame Kelly Holmes about coming out

With tears filling her eyes, Shirley said seeing her brother’s photo “brought everything back from 20 years ago” and she added: “I’m thinking to myself, if I knew now back then, I could have really helped much better. Communication is key.”

During their chat, Phillip opened up about his own mental health struggles. “The key is to talk to people…,” he said echoing Shirley’s own comment. “I went through some very, very dark times and I leaned heavily on my friends – as Holly knows – so you have to talk to somebody, you can’t do it on your own.”

Shirley, 61, added: “We are in 2022 now, there are many organisations where you can reach out to communicate on a small level. We’re in a moving world with social media, life goes so fast, and if you just take a step back, a breath, a moment, and listen and really try to see your family or friend.”

Phillip appeared to be referring to the time before coming out as gay on This Morning in February 2020. Holly, 41, gave an emotional Phillip a big hug after he spoke about coming out to his family, including wife of 27 years Stephanie Lowe, their two daughters Ruby and Molly, and his mum, Pat.

He told his colleague and friends that he “couldn’t have done it without you” before Holly embraced him lovingly, telling him she will always be there for him. In October the same year, Phillip broke down in tears as he praised his co-star and friend while speaking to Chris Evans, on his Virgin Radio Breakfast Show, about the release of his book which spoke about the moment he told Holly about his sexuality which then led to an interview with her live on This Morning.

Phillip said to Chris: “Holly has been astonishing. Literally, the best mate. She’s serene and calming and sensible and balanced. Not just for me but also for Steph.” Chris became emotional himself as he told Phillip that he didn’t recognise him the last time they met because of his plummeting weight.

“Holly gave me a look and I thought – hmm – something’s going on here – you looked like a little old man, because there was nothing of you,” Chris said, to which an even more emotional Phillip responded: “You disappear inside yourself, and that’s when you’re lost. All you’re doing is thinking about whatever it is that’s on your mind.”

He later said: “I have recently found myself finding it easier to laugh more – it’s always funny with Holly, we always have a laugh. But you think – oh that feels nice to laugh, that feels better. So finding me is the goal for the moment.”

Where to get help if you’re struggling

You don’t have to suffer in silence if you’re struggling with your mental health. Here are some groups you can contact when you need help.

Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email jo@samaritans.org, in confidence

Childline: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and won’t show up on your bill

PAPYRUS: A voluntary organisation supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141

Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. No helpline but offers useful resources and links to other information

Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, have low mood, or are suicidal. Click here to visit

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who are feeling unhappy. Has a website and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58

For information on your local NHS urgent mental health helpline, visit here

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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