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28/02/2018 13:55 GMT | Updated 02/03/2018 10:02 GMT

‘Gardeners’ World’ Former Presenter Alys Fowler Admits It Was 'Heartbreaking' Leaving Her Sick Husband After 'Lightbulb' Coming Out Moment

‘I’m very happy to be a lesbian.’

Former ‘Gardeners’ World’ presenter Alys Fowler says coming out as a lesbian later in life was a “light bulb moment”.

The 40-year-old horticulturist and journalist, who appeared on Wednesday’s (28 Feb) ‘Loose Women’, described the moment she met her former partner.

“She walked into a room and I thought, ‘Oh, you exist!’” she said.

ITV
Alys appeared on Wednesday's 'Loose Women'.

Alys explained that was the catalyst for her to leave her husband, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, admitting it was a “heartbreaking” decision.

“Nobody enters into any relationship imagining it will end,” she explained. “You just don’t do that.

“When you realise you’re going to have to end something... I really loved being married to my husband, he’s a fantastic man, it’s totally heartbreaking.

“I still feel kind of… although though I’m very happy with where I am, and he’s happy with where he is… something had to end in order for something else to happen.”

Colin McPherson via Getty Images

Alys, who presented ‘Gardeners’ World’ between 2008 and 2011, also opened up on how her family responded to the news, admitting it wasn’t a surprise for some of them.

“My family and friends were just incredibly supportive,” she said.

“My brother, I told him on the phone, my brother turned out to be my best cheerleader. My brother said, ‘I’ve been waiting 20 years for that.’ My dad says the same thing. They like that quip. My family can see how happy and at peace I am. I’m in a really good place.

“One of the things that this coming out experience has kind of taught me is to be so grateful to all the women that came before me – and men – that came out and led to this point where we can as a society be like this, as open.

“I do call myself a lesbian. I’m very happy to be a lesbian. I’ve got here.”

The presenter previously revealed that her decision to leave her husband was complicated by his illness.

“There is so much guilt among women for leaving their family. You put other people’s needs first. I have left a very sick man who doesn’t need to grapple with why someone has left him. But if I hadn’t I would have gone mad.”

‘Loose Women’, ITV, weekdays 12.30pm - 1.30pm

*This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Alys is no longer with her former partner.

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