Barry Humphries has congratulated Dermot O’Leary on his “bravery” in coming out, mistaking him for Phillip Schofield on This Morning.

Presenter Alison Hammond could not hide her amusement on Friday when comedian Humphries mistook co-host O’Leary for Schofield, who came out as gay in February last year.

Talking about his “very good memory”, Humphries, known better as Dame Edna Everage, told the former X Factor presenter: “Incidentally, I want to congratulate you seriously on your courage last year when he came out and told us about his sexuality, because I think a lot of people respected you for that.”

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O’Leary, 48, said: “Thank you. I will pass that on to the gentleman who is here from Monday to Thursday. Thank you for your kind comments.”

Misunderstanding, 87-year-old Humphries added: “No, your bravery was amazing.”

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Dermot O’Leary: "Thank you for liberating me"

Later in the interview, when Humphries was speaking about his painting, he said to O’Leary: “You’ve discovered your path, you’ve told us all about it.

“I have never said this in public, but I have very low self-esteem and my artwork boosts it. Another thing that boosts it is massive applause or laughter.”

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At the end of the interview, O’Leary added: “Thank you for liberating me again.”

Humphries will be touring his new show, Man Behind the Mask, without his famous alter egos Dame Edna and Sir Les Patterson, across England in April and May.