Phillip Schofield quickly became besotted with Marika Tautz, then 19, who started working in the ‘Shazam!’ offices as a trainee floor manager. Soon it would be over and the future This Morning presenter would be left unable to talk or even look at her. The crushing pain from the split arguably mirrors that of the now-57-year-old and wife Stephanie’s heartache after the ITV talent revealed he is gay.
The top TV talent came-out in an Instagram post earlier this month, where he thanked his wife and daughters for their “strength and support”.
Phillip wrote: “I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay.”
The star was later interviewed by co-host Holly Willoughby about the news, where he credited his “amazing” wife and admitted she had known his sexual orientation “for a while”.
In Phillip’s first interview since the revelation, he told The Sun: “You never know what is going on in someone’s head when they think you are leading the perfect life. And I was. But then it was there.
“I was confused by what it was. I thought maybe I was bisexual.
“But over time I realised and started coming to terms with it. And I realised I had to be honest with myself.”
Unearthed comments reveal the hurt Phillip Schofield felt after his first love rejected his proposal
Phillip Schofield with his wife-of-27-years Stephanie. The star announced he is gay weeks ago
The hurt and confusion felt by the popular presenter is similar to what happened when he was scorned by his first love when he was 22 years old.
In 1992 biography ‘Phillip Schofield: The Whole Amazing Story’, writer Robin McGibbon described how he “couldn’t take his eyes off” future girlfriend Marika Tautz when they first met.
The infatuation developed after his break on the show ‘Shazam!’ in 1982 – where he hosted a musical entertainment show for young New Zealanders.
When the pair first met during a break from recording Marika found Phillip “really genuine and down to earth”.
Their romance blossomed for around two years and his former flame’s mother Miriam explained that they were “delightful together”.
She said: “They were like a couple of young puppies, running around the house and chasing each other up and down the stairs, and, in hot weather turning the hose on each other in the garden. They had so much fun.”
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Phillip would brace the topic of his sexuality with This Morning cohost Holly Willoughby
The parent was equally taken with Phillip who she felt “sparkled with personality” and was incredibly “sincere”.
Away from his ‘Mr Nice Guy’ side, he was also a prankster according to Miriam who recalled her daughter’s 21st birthday.
She said: “He gave her a little box, containing just a bar of soap and watched, in amusement, as she tried to look and sound grateful.
“Then laughing, he gave her another box, wrapped the same way, saying ‘No, this is your real present.’ Inside was a gorgeous silver bracelet.”
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Phillip’s career would to progress – more so after leaving TV show ‘Shazam!’ – not without struggle
Eventually, the future ITV presenter would work at Radio One, here he is pictured at one show
Phillip’s career continued to soar as the star added an early morning radio show to his busy schedule and other TV work.
It was then that his parents Pat and Brian decided they were ready to move back home to Newquay, England.
They had made the 12,000-mile relocation to Auckland, New Zealand, only two years before.
Phillip decided not to return with them, which according to biographer Mr McGibbon was partially attributable to it being “hard to imagine life without Marika”.
His affection ran so deep that the previous Christmas he had given her a “promise ring as a symbol of his love” and knew he wanted to marry her.
Phillip took Marika to an up-market restaurant in Parnell – arguably the New Zealand equivalent of Chelsea, England – where they had shared their first lunch.
Mr McGibbon wrote: “As romantically as he could, [he] popped the question.
“Certainly she did not pretend she needed time to think about it. She just said, ‘No’. And the rejection left Phillip devastated.”
The rejection and feeling of betrayal by his partner “killed the relationship for him there and there”.
But the heartbreak would be temporary and Phillip would go onto great things with ITV
From that point onwards he “didn’t want to see Marika again” and shunned her at work – the star was unable to talk or even look at her.
Mr McGibbon wrote: “The hurt burned deeply inside for him.”
Marika’s mother reflected that her daughter rejected the proposal because she believed she was “too young” to get married and soon the pair split-up.
She added: “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.”
Miriam stated that she would have been “happy” for the pair to tie the knot.
She said: “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.”