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Phillip Schofield halts Dancing On Ice rehearsals to ‘address the elephant in the room’ after coming out as gay

11 February 2020, 12:20 | Updated: 11 February 2020, 14:26

Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Dancing On Ice star Matt Evers has revealed Phillip Schofield thanked his co-stars during production.

This Morning star Phillip Schofield bravely opened up about sexuality last week in a poignant interview with best friend Holly Willoughby.

And after the 57-year-old returned to Dancing On Ice on Sunday, now professional skater Matt Evers has revealed he stopped rehearsals to address the decision he made to speak out.

Talking to us exclusively at Heart.co.uk, Matt explained how Phil wanted to ‘address the elephant in the room’ in a sweet moment before the cameras started rolling.

“It was a really nice atmosphere in the studio,” he said.

“I think at one point in production he stopped rehearsals and said ‘I just need to say this, I don’t want to be the elephant in the room anymore, if you want to give me a hug, give me a hug.’”

Read More: Phillip Schofield holds back tears on Dancing On Ice as crowd applauds TV star for coming out as gay

Matt, 43, who was partnered with Ian ‘H’ Watkins on the ITV show, then went on to say Holly ‘teared up’ over the announcement, as he continued: “He wanted to get that out in dress rehearsal before we were live and it was a really nice moment.

“Holly teared up and there was about five or six of us that were all standing around him at that point, and we all just gave him a hug and said, ‘you know what, you’re going to be fine.’”

Read More: Dancing on Ice's Ben Hanlin reveals secret heartache as baby daughter battles sepsis

Drawing on his own experiences, the Dancing On Ice veteran added: “Anybody who goes through that at whatever point in their life, when you start living your real truth you become more of a loving person, not that he wasn’t loving previously.

“I can remember the first time I started speaking publicly about my sexuality, and I just felt the colours in the world became more bright, the sun shone brighter. When you start living your real truth, you just start living. “

This comes after Phil previously thanked his wife Stephanie Lowe and two daughters Molly and Ruby for supporting him through a tough time over the past few years.

"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,” he said.

“Steph has been incredible. I love her so very much.

"She is the kindest soul I have ever met. My girls have been astonishing, their love hugs and encouraging words of comfort."

Meanwhile, back on the ice, unfortunately Matt and his celeb partner H saw their journey come to an end on Sunday evening as they lost out to Ben Hanlin in the skate off.

The pair have made history after they became the first same sex couple to dance on the show, and now Matt hopes other reality programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing will follow suit.

“It’s time,” he told us, adding: “They’ve had same sex pro dances on Strictly before, but it’s time for the BBC to step up now and do a same sex partnership with the competitors.”