The privilege of knowing Tom Daley

His YouTube video announcement further shows how he is a thoroughly modern communicator with a traditional sense of decency

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The Independent Online

I've known Tom since he was 15 and am very happy for him today, although I know that the decision to talk about himself so privately hasn't been easy. I've made two films about Tom - 'Tom Daley and his Dad' and 'Tom Daley - Diving for Britain' - and I can honestly say he is a delightful young man who I'm privileged to know.

I can tell from the emotion in his voice that it was hard to be so open. I know Tom is thinking about his family, particularly his father Rob, and wondering what his reaction would be but knowing that Rob was always totally supportive. It's a big day when you define yourself and Tom is to be congratulated. He did this piece for YouTube because that's who he is - a thoroughly modern communicator with a traditional sense of decency. He didn't want to live a lie.

But he hasn't lived with the truth for that long either. In the years I filmed him he had a jaw-droppingly tough schedule - pool, school, homework, pool, collapse in bed. He'd multi-task all the way. He took his school work on planes, did his homework whilst he ate tea, and studied whilst he was away at competitions.

He had mates, many of them girls, who he'd see on Sundays, but there was never time for a significant relationship. I'm glad he's had some space since winning his Olympic medal to take stock of his life and learn more about himself other than how to pass an A-level with flying colours or learn the latest terrifying dive from 30 feet up.

With this off his shoulders, he'll be able to be free to be himself. There is nothing shocking any more about being gay but he doesn't know the response - from family or sponsors - until he goes ahead and says this is who I am. He will be fine. He is our Tom and we all love him.

Jane Treays is an award-winning documentary-maker. Her Tom Daley films aired on BBC1 in 2010 and 2012