Phillip Schofield came out as gay in a brave Instagram post in February and fielded questions about his sexuality during an episode of ‘This Morning’ – alongside co-star Holly Willoughby. He has remained with wife of 27 years Stephanie Lowe within their Oxfordshire family home during the coronavirus pandemic, where he revealed he spilled his innermost thoughts into an autobiography. The ITV star admitted it was a “deeply emotional” experience and helped him to “come to terms with being gay”. The book entitled ‘Life’s What You Make It’, which is due for release in October, will likely take fans through the twists and turns of more than three decades in the world of showbiz, along with milestone relationships he had along the way. It’s speculated that Marika Tautz, a woman dubbed his “first love”, could feature in the autobiography and unearthed accounts give a sneak-peak into that supposed special romance.
The star was living in New Zealand when he first met Marika and quickly became besotted, according to Robin McGibbon’s 1992 biography ‘Phillip Schofield: The Whole Amazing Story’.
He was a fresh-faced star on the TV show ‘Shazam!’ and was quickly winning over audiences across the nation with his “cheeky charm”.
Mr McGibbon claimed he “couldn’t take his eyes off” future girlfriend Marika, then a 19-year-old trainee floor manager on the music programme.
They bonded during a break from filming and according to her mother Miriam, she found him “really genuine and down to earth”.
She recalled: “They were like a couple of young puppies, running around the house and chasing each other up and down the stairs.
“In hot weather turning the hose on each other in the garden. They had so much fun.”
Equally Miriam was taken by the star, who she thought “sparkled with personality” and was incredibly “sincere” for someone of his years.
“Certainly she did not pretend she needed time to think about it. She just said, ‘No’. And the rejection left Phillip devastated.”
Her rejection “killed the relationship for him there and then” the writer claimed, from there he allegedly shunned her at work – unable to talk or look at her – and “didn’t want to see Marika again”.
The mother of his former flame Miriam thought they were “too young” to tie the knot at the time but would have supported them – instead she was left to comfort her daughter.
She said: “Marika was hurt too, of course, but being so young she probably didn’t appreciate how Phillip felt. It was all terribly sad that it ended the way it did. I still feel sad today.
“Marika has never said she regrets her decision. But she will always have a soft spot for Phillip, because he was the first man she fell in love with.”
Robin McGibbon self-published the biography ‘Phillip Schofield: The Whole Amazing Story’ in 1992, which is available for purchase here.