Talk show host, LGBT advocate and general funnywoman, Ellen Degeneres has celebrated 20 years since she revealed to the world that she was gay. The 59-year-old American star told the world her sexuality on her sitcom Ellen, during its infamous ‘Coming Out’ episode.

Ellen DeGeneres and Porta Di RossiEllen and Portia have been married for alomst a decade

In an Instagram video, the star - who is married to actress Portia Di Rossi - shared a teaser monologue for Friday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show during which she spoke about the two-decade anniversary.

During the video she admitted telling the world about her sexuality was one of the hardest things she had to do.

She said: "You are here on a very special day. Today we're celebrating the 20th anniversary of the coming-out episode of my sitcom.

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"It was the hardest thing that I ever had to do in my life and I would not change one moment of it because it led me to be exactly where I am today standing in front of all of you."

A clip from the opening of her talk show added: "I'm Ellen and I'm gay. 20 years ago I said that - it was a much bigger deal then."

When Ellen and her character on the show came out on April 30, 1997, it was done in scenes taped in front of a live audience and the blonde star has now explained why the iconic moment was called 'The Puppy Episode'.

She joked: "It was called 'The Puppy Episode' because we wanted to keep it a secret until it aired and because 'Ellen Throws Her Career Away' seemed too on the nose."

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She then added: "Actually, the real reason we called it 'The Puppy Episode' is because when the writers told the executives that they wanted me to come out, because my character needed to be in a relationship after four years of not being in a relationship, and someone at the studio said, 'Well, get her a puppy. She's not coming out.' "

Speaking as a guest on her talk show, Laura Dern, who played openly gay Susan on Ellen’s sitcom said it was "profound" and she felt "blessed" to witness it.