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This Morning's Phillip Schofield breaks down in tears at Kelly Holmes interview

"One day, we won’t have to do these interviews."

Note: The following article contains discussion of themes including self-harm that some readers may find upsetting.

This Morning's Phillip Schofield broke down in tears during Dame Kelly Holmes' interview while exchanging coming-out experiences on the show.

Olympic champion Holmes came out as gay in an article in The Mirror over the weekend, sharing: "It was my decision. I'm nervous about saying it. I feel like I'm going to explode with excitement. Sometimes I cry with relief. The moment this comes out, I'm essentially getting rid of that fear."

More of her journey will be revealed in ITV documentary Kelly Holmes: Being Me, which is set to air next week.

On Monday (June 20), Holmes spoke with Schofield and Holly Willoughby on the ITV daytime show, and she and Schofield, who himself came out on the show back in 2020, both opened up, making for a very emotional interview.

phillip schofield, holly willoughby, dame kelly holmes, this morning
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Related: This Morning's Phillip Schofield worried his coming out would look like a "publicity stunt"

Responding to how she felt following the article being published, Holmes said: "A mixture of relief and apprehension, I think. When it was announced in the Sunday Mirror, I was still in a bubble. I was at home and you're on social media, and the reaction was amazing but it still felt like it wasn’t the real world.

"Then coming out today and sitting here now, it feels like the real world and it's really hard, because I've been having interviews for absolute years, but this is such a big step for me to be open and honest with the true me. It's still a bit scary."

Schofield then offered some words of comfort: "It's not that long ago that I sat over there in that exact same place.

"And we said, as we gave you a hug when you walked in this morning, 'One day, we won’t have to do these interviews. One day it won't matter. One day you will just be able to be you and get on with your life'."

dame kelly holmes, this morning
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

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The Dame then became emotional when talking about keeping her sexual identity hidden during her time in the army and how it affected her mental health.

"I talk very openly about my mental health, but I've always been able to relate it to sport," she said. "Yes, there was an element of that because I wanted to be an Olympic champion since I was 14 and it was me.

"But I became a self-harmer. I didn't want to be here, frankly, at some point in my life. I've been in a bad way a lot, and [in] 2020 I had a really bad breakdown. I knew if I didn't, if I couldn't release it, I didn't know what I was going to do. So I had to do it."

Schofield began tearing up, hearing Holmes talking about her experiences, and talked about an exchange he had with her right after the article came out.

this morning phillip schofield dame kelly holmes interview

"You said yesterday in your Instagram that you were scared," he recalled. "I think I wrote back and said, 'Don't be scared because it'll be okay'. How do you feel now?"

As the host and guest fought back tears, she replied: "I am relieved to finally do it but it's hard to unravel everything. So I know the relief will come gradually, and I think the responses are really helping me.

"It's sort of that relief and the final thing of releasing myself to have my life, because I don't feel like I've lived my life. I don't feel I've lived my life. I can honestly [say] I don't feel I've ever been happy."

If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov.

This Morning airs on weekdays from 10am on ITV.

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