Great Britain

Simon Cowell hails Phillip Schofield for coming out and says he wouldn’t stay in the closet if he was gay

SIMON Cowell has hailed Phillip Schofield coming out as a “very positive thing” — but insisted he would not have stayed in the closet if he were gay.

His sexuality has been the subject of speculation for years and Simon says it is funny people think it is something gay people “have to hide”.

The X Factor boss was talking with The Sun’s Dan Wootton for his debut talkRADIO drivetime show, which airs from 4pm today.

Simon said: “It makes me laugh, because 20 years ago I would be doing interviews and the first question would be, ‘Are you gay?’ and I would say, ‘No’.

“They would say, ‘Yes you are!’ and I’d go, ‘Do you honestly think it would be a problem if I was? And that I would hide it like there is something wrong?’ I told them, ‘If I was, I would tell you’.

"But it used to crack me up that it was seen as something bad you would have to hide.

“To that point, I think it is a very positive thing (with Phillip). You’ve seen the support he has got because nobody cares (about his sexuality).

“I’ve worked on films, TV, in music and probably 50 per cent of the people I have worked with are gay, have been gay, whatever.

“It’s not even a conscious thought any more.”

Phillip came out this month following 27 years of marriage to Stephanie.

Simon, who is in a long-term relationship with Lauren Silverman, said he had no idea about Phillip’s sexuality, adding: “My ‘gaydar’ isn’t great.”

The Sun told this month how Simon would be resting The X Factor after 16 years on TV.

Speaking for the first time about his decision, Simon said: "I thought, since it is 2020, a new decade, we have to rest it for a year.

“We have to come back with a show that is relevant, different, a show that takes into account all the different things kids are watching and being influenced by.

“As well as the evolution of The X Factor, I’ve got two new talent shows we’re launching in the next 12 months.

“One in particular I do think is our best one yet.”

Sobbing Elton cuts gig short

HE has battled prostate cancer and a life-threatening tropical disease in recent years and now Sir Elton John is struggling again with his health.

The legendary singer broke down in tears on stage in Auckland, New Zealand, last night after being forced to cut his usual three-hour set to 90 minutes due to being diagnosed with “walking pneumonia” – a lesser strain of the condition.

As you can see from the pictures on the right, he sobbed as he was helped down from the stage, holding his hands over his eyes.

In an emotional statement on Instagram later, he wrote: “I want to thank everyone who attended tonight’s gig in Auckland.

"I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier today, but I was determined to give you the best show humanly possible.

“I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had.”

It raises concerns for the superstar, no spring chicken at 72, who is scheduled to play 98 more shows this year as part of his gruelling Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

He begins the European leg in September and will play the final show at London’s O2 Arena on December 17.

I know Elton is a consummate professional but I hope for once he puts himself first.

Kylie red-dy for romance

KYLIE Jenner looked like she was ready to line up on a Formula 1 grid in this red jumpsuit.

The US reality star chose the outfit for a night out at Japanese restaurant Roku in West Hollywood.

It was the first time she has been seen in public since The Sun revealed she had rekindled her romance with rapper Travis Scott.

Pals confirmed the couple, parents to daughter Stormi, were giving their relationship another chance after they partied together at the Oscars this month.

On Valentine’s Day he filled her home with sunflowers.

That romance certainly seems to be blossoming.

Gaga's gown the shops

MOST celebs popping to the supermarket would try to keep a low profile.

But Lady Gaga opted for the obvious choice of a ball gown and bright pink hair while picking up some essentials in California.

A shopper who spotted her on Saturday tweeted: “We’re in a store in Monterey and Lady Gaga is in here.

"Her security told my wife not to let others know.”

Secret’s out . . .

bizmeter

  • AN update – Noel Gallagher and his brother Liam still hate each other. Mocking his estranged sibling, Noel tweeted: “Silence is still golden and just in case you weren’t already aware someone still has a new single out. I believe it’s called Once, which is the exact amount of times it should be played.”
  • Billie Eilish is set for her first UK No1 on Friday with Bond theme No Time To Die. The tune is ahead of last week’s chart topper, Blinding Lights, by The Weeknd. If she holds her place it will be only the second 007 song to go to No1 in the UK, after Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall in 2015.
  • Ahead of the Brits tomorrow, Best New Artist nominee Sam Fender has confirmed he has almost completed his second album. The singer, who won the ceremony’s Critics’s Choice gong last year, said: “I think it’s done. I’ve written the songs, I’ve just got to start recording.”
  • Rising indie band Sports Team take a pop at snowflakes in new song Here’s The Thing, which premieres on Radio 1 at 7.30pm tonight. Frontman Alex Rice sings: “The world will be OK if we stop taking flights and if you change the way you eat you’ll never die . . . It’s all just lies, lies, lies, lies.”

Raya hope for Anne-Marie date

ANYONE hoping to bag a night out with Anne-Marie will find she is an old-fashioned girl.

She is terrified of dating app Tinder and insists on meeting potential suitors in person to figure out if they gel.

What a novel idea.

Asked if she had given the apps a whirl, the singer said: “Never, ever, ever. It scares the s*** out of me, those things.

“I’ve just never wanted to go on them. I have to meet people because I’m such an energy person. I feel I can tell if someone’s evil or not.”

Even so, the singer, who recently released brilliant comeback single Birthday, is quietly tempted by celebrity dating app Raya.

She joked: “Is that the famous one? No I’m not on that, that would be quite funny though. They’d be like, ‘Who the f*** is that?’”

bizbit

TOM Holland says the script for upcoming film Uncharted is one of the best he’s ever read.

He plays lead character Nathan Drake in the movie, about the video game of the same name. Tom said: “The story jumps off the page.”

Hero gay kiss

MARVEL will feature its first gay kiss in upcoming superhero blockbuster Eternals.

Haaz Sleiman confirmed he would share the moment with his on-screen husband Phastos, played by Joker star Brian Tyree Henry.

The gay actor said of filming the scene: “It’s a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set.”

The film, which is due for release on November 6, also stars Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek and Kit Harington.

bizbit

RAGE Against The Machine have raised more than £2.3million for charity by selling special tickets for their upcoming reunion world tour.

The rockers also used a new system to stop scammers flogging fake tickets.

Charli hosts Brits party

CHARLI XCX is in for one hell of a night at tomorrow’s Brit Awards – even if she doesn’t win a gong.

She is in the running for Female Solo Artist and her label Warner clearly has faith in her taste in music as it has given her free rein over its exclusive after-party.

The Blame It On Your Love singer will be one of the hosts and has picked the DJ line-up, including sets from Jaime Winstone, Courtney Love and Jodie Harsh.

Guests have also been sent a luxury gift box including Louis Vuitton earphones, Ciroc vodka, Transparent speakers and embroidered boxer shorts.

Those lucky enough to go backstage at the awards at London’s O2 Arena will get even more freebies.

Beard groomers and male skincare experts Lab Series For Men will help stars get ready in a backstage spa. Beats a trip to the barbers.

Phillip Schofield praised by Dan Wootton for coming out live on This Morning