Dame Kelly Holmes, Olympic gold winner, has come out as gay after 34 years, saying “I’m finally free”. Having been out privately to family and friends for some time, a scary brush with Covid made her realise life is short and it prompted her to come out publicly to show the world her “real self”.

Kelly Holmes on the This Morning sofa, Tuesday 21st June.

The 52-year-old told The Sunday Mirror,  “There have been lots of dark times where I wished I could scream that I am gay – but I couldn’t. I needed to do this now, for me. It was my decision. I’m nervous about saying it. I feel like I’m going to explode with excitement.”

She realised she was attracted to women when she was 17, when she joined the Women’s Royal Army Corps. A fellow soldier had kissed her and, as Kelly told The Mirror: “I realised I must be gay then, because it felt good. It felt more natural, I felt comfortable.” On telling her stepdad, who she’d always considered her father, she says, “I said I met a girl and I don’t know what to do. I was confused and a bit scared of what it meant and nervous to tell him. But he accepted it straight away.”

She came out to the rest of her family in 1997, who were all supportive, and yesterday shared the news with the rest of the world to much acceptance and celebration. See her talk about it below with Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning.

Kelly, we applaud and support you.