A former flame of Philip Schofield has revealed it would have been “impossible” for the ITV star to have come out as gay until this year.
The This Morning presenter’s ex girlfriend Marika Tautz has opened up about their passionate romance in New Zealand more than 30 years ago.
TV floor manager Marika met the popular daytime host when he moved to the country at the age of 19 and landed a job fronting teen pop music show Shazam!
Marika became Schofield’s steady girlfriend and claims he even vowed to propose by presenting her with a promise ring.
Speaking about their relationship, Marika, who now works as a nurse in the US, told the Daily Mail : “We were an item for a couple of years.
“We got on really well. He was a funny guy, kind, sensitive. He wrote me the most beautiful love letters.”
Phil announced he was gay earlier this year but Marika says she had no idea about his sexuality.
She added: “There was probably something underlying but when he was with me I never knew.
“We had a full physical relationship. He was a regular guy, I never suspected anything.”
She went on to add Phil would have found it “impossible” for him to come out before now, explaining: “If he had, it could have jeopardised it all [his TV career].”
Phil moved back to the UK, where he continued his TV career in the BBC broom cupboard and eventually went on to marry producer Stephanie Lowe in 1993.
The couple have not formally split up and continue to live together after Phil bravely went public with his sexuality at the start of the year during an emotional This Morning episode, supported by co-host Holly Willougby.
The Dancing on Ice frontman is expected to tell the story behind his coming out journey in his new book Life Is What You Make It.
Recent reports suggested he was offered a staggering £1.5million deal to discuss his experience.
After putting off writing his story, Phil explained that lockdown was the perfect opportunity for him to put pen to paper – something he has been contemplating for over 44 years.