After Phillip Schofield came out as gay on Friday morning, unearthed interviews have shown the star fighting against homophobia through the years.
During a series of debates surrounding LGBT issues, the star, 57, has launched scathing attacks on guests with homophobic and anti-LGBT views.
In a memorable interview in 2017, the star criticised an anti-transgender campaigner, while last May he branded anti-LGBT protesters ‘discriminating’ as well as hitting out at Strictly for still not having same-sex dance routines.
On Friday, Phillip caused a media storm when he announced that he is gay in a lengthy and impassioned post before appearing on This Morning to discuss his announcement with his co-star and best friend Holly Willoughby.
After 27 years of marriage to his wife Steph, he has now revealed that he has suffered ‘inner conflict’ and is ready to ‘celebrate and be proud’ of his sexuality, yet insists he is not thinking about a new relationship.
Amid a mass of praise for his bravery in coming out, unearthed interviews have seen Phillip lock horns with anti-LGBT guests.
In December 2017, Andrea Williams, the CEO of campaign group Christian Concern, appeared on the show to discuss trans equality, during which the campaigner said children shouldn’t be allowed to identify as trans.
In a shock rant, Amanda said: ‘Very often when we see children identifying as homosexual, it is not good for them to live out in such a lifestyle. It’s not good for our children to be highly sexualised.’
Hitting back at the sentiment, Phillip said: ‘I’m finding this utterly abhorrent. We’ll get back to the show, and back to 2017 and not medieval Britain, in just a moment.’
Again, in May last year, he joined Holly in speaking to anti-LGBT protester during which he branded their beliefs ‘discriminating’ and ‘encouraging children to be less tolerant’.
Anti-LGBT protester Shakeel Afsar sparked a furious debate online after appearing on This Morning – where he spoke of ‘poisoning children’s minds’.
The campaigner led protests against Anderson Park Primary over LGBT teaching – despite admitting he has no children at the school. Phil hit out at Shakeel for ‘discriminating’ and ‘encouraging children to be less tolerant’.
In September 2017, Phillip and Holly threw their support behind autism and LGBT rights activist Dan Barrett after he wrote to them in a bid to help raise awareness of LGBT people living with autism.
Phillip said: ‘Coming out as gay and bisexual is more challenging with learning difficulties like autism, so let’s see what it’s like from Dan’s point of view.’
Following controversy over his and Holly’s show Dancing On Ice’s decision to include a same-sex routine, Phillip was very vocal about the decision for Ian ‘H’ Watkins and professional skater Matt Evers to dance together.
He joined in the calls for Strictly Come Dancing to follow suit, as he said: ‘What’s lovely about that is It’s a big deal this year, but then either next year when we or Strictly or whoever does it, then it won’t be.
‘It can be second and it won’t be as extraordinary. It’s the dynamics of the performance, how they work together.’