Phillip Schofield recalls sweet moment Holly Willoughby begged him to open up

Phillip Schofield has opened up about the moment his This Morning co-host and close friend Holly Willoughby encouraged him to open up.

The 58-year-old television presenter told Holly, 39, that he was gay before she joined him on the This Morning sofa to interview him when he came out in February.

Phillip has since described Holly as his "rock" at work as he struggled to come to terms with his sexuality, which led him to become "not fun to work with".

Speaking to Lorraine on Thursday about his autobiography Life's What You Make It, Phillip told host Lorraine Kelly and viewers about the moment Holly pulled him aside before he told her he was gay.

He said: "Ages ago, she said to me 'Whats up? Are you ok? Just talk to me'."

Phil added: "Everyone knew something was wrong."

"I told her and she was helping me through, I had a rock at home with Steph and rock at work with Holly."

Holly is yet to finish reading her pal's book but is planning on completing it during the half-term break.

As the interview came to an end, Lorraine crossed over to the This Morning studio to ask a lonely Holly what was coming up on the show.

Holly, who is usually joined by Phillip for the handover segment, said: "I'm waiting, can you send him back over now please."

Lorraine replied: "We will. Do you know what you've been such an amazing friend. You're like brother and sister."

Phillip pointed out: "She hasn't read her bits yet."

Holly added: "I'm saving them. The temptation is there to go to them bits but I want to read it all in order, so that's my half-term read."

Phillip and Holly enjoy one of the tightest bonds on television.

The news of Phil's secret struggle with his sexuality came as a surprise to many, given his 27-year marriage to wife Stephanie Lowe; something Phil acknowledged in his moving Instagram statement earlier this year.

Admitting the situation had caused "heart-breaking conversations" at home, he revealed that Holly had been a source of support throughout.

"My friends are the best, especially Holly, who has been so kind and wise – and who has hugged me as I sobbed on her shoulder," Phil wrote.

The pair , who first worked together on Dancing On Ice back in 2006, were forced to defend their friendship previously but the pair are closer then ever.

Discussing the rumours, Phillip told Lorraine: "Holly and I couldn't have been closer at the time when all the stories were going around.

"She was one of the first people I told."

Phillip later joined Holly in the This Morning studio to present the latest edition of the ITV daytime show.

The dynamic duo have presented the show together since 2009.

Lorraine airs weekdays on ITV at 9am

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