Feb. 7 (UPI) -- British television personality Phillip Schofield has made the "essential" decision to come out as gay.
Schofield, 57, who hosts the ITV talk show This Morning, appeared on the series Friday after coming out as gay on Instagram Stories.
Schofield has been married to his wife, Stephanie Lowe, for nearly 23 years, and has two daughters, Molly and Ruby, with Lowe. He publicly came out Friday with the support of his family.
"It's funny, because everyone I've spoken to ... have all been so supportive and so loving and caring," Schofield said on This Morning. "My entire family, to a person, have grabbed us and said, 'It's OK. It's OK. We love you. We're proud of you.' Every person I tell, it gets a little lighter and a little lighter."
"At the same time, I've made this decision, which is essential for me and essential for my head. That's principally the reason that I've done this," he added. "Of course, I'm really very aware that Steph and the girls are at home watching this. We're all together."
Schofield said his wife and daughters have been supportive since his coming out, but acknowledged the news has also caused pain.
"I feel a little lighter, but I also am very, very aware of that there's no question that it causes pain and it causes upset," the star said.
"It's tough, but this is not something that's happened quickly. I've had to deal with this in my head for quite some time, so we've gone through this together. We've been honest and we've been open," he added.
Schofield grew emotional as he praised Lowe as an "amazing" woman.
"She's incredible. I've never in my life, there is no one in my life who would have supported me, as a wife, the way she supported me. She's astonishing, literally astonishing."
Schofield said he was inspired to come out by the "amazingly brave" and "incredible" people he interviews on This Morning.
"All you can be is honest with yourself," he said. "When is the right time? When is the right time to do it? And as a family, it's the right time."
Schofield said in his post on Instagram Stories that his family has lifted him up as he struggles with his "inner conflict."
"My family have held me so close: they have tried to cheer me up, to smother me with kindness and love, despite their own confusion. Yet still I can't sleep and there have been some very dark moments," the star wrote.
"My inner conflict contrasts with an outside world that has changed so very much for the better. Today, quite rightly, being gay is a reason to celebrate and be proud. Yes, I am feeling pain and confusion, but that comes only from the hurt that I am causing to my family," he said.
Schofield has hosted This Morning since 2002.