Kate Garraway returns to work hosting GMB this morning for the first time since husband Derek Draper’s death and reveals her tears after messages of support
Kate Garraway returned to the presentation of duties on ITVsay Good morning Britain this morning for the first time since the death of her husband, Derek Draper.
Kate, 56, bravely opened the show with long-time colleague Ben Shephard after more than two months off air, saying: “nothing has changed.”
Last week, the presenter choked back tears on the show just three days after husband Derek’s funeral to reveal heartbreaking details of his final hours – and how daughter Darcey, 17, told him: ‘We’ll be fine, Dad’ before he slipped away.
Commenting on her decision to return to the show this morning, Kate confirmed that ‘life has to start again’.
She said: ‘I don’t know what it’s going to be like. Grief cannot be contained in a day or year.
Kate Garraway has returned to presenting duties on ITV’s Good Morning Britain
Kate (56) bravely opened the show with his long-time colleague Ben Shephard
Former lobbyist Derek Draper, 56, faced devastating health complications after his body was ravaged by coronavirus three years ago – pictured here with wife Kate Garraway in 2019
Towards the end of his life, Kate became a full-time carer for Derek (pictured at the National Television Awards in London in 2007
This is Kate’s first time hosting the show since December (pictured at Derek’s funeral last week)
‘People ask why I’m going back to work. Life must begin. We have to pick ourselves up and carry on.
‘That’s what Derek wants me to do. Thanks to everyone who made this possible.
“We have to pick ourselves up, that’s what Derek did and wants us to do.”
Garraway said on Thursday it was great but ‘weird’ to be back at the desk.
“The makeup girls had me in tears this morning just saying hello,” Garraway said at the start of the show.
“Thanks to all of you at home too, I know I mentioned it on Monday but you’ve been amazing.”
Co-presenter Ben Shephard joked he would give Garraway some ‘space’ before saying she had done her husband proud with the ‘extraordinary funeral’.
“You really did Derek proud, it was an extraordinary thing,” he said.
Garraway, who admitted he felt ‘wobbly’, said: ‘I definitely wanted to make it about Derek, not me.
“It was also very nice to feel so much love from everyone here.”
She also joked: ‘I’m going to look forward to a blow dry.
‘I’m going to find false eyelashes. I’m really looking forward to applying fake tan.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be a little more respectful by Thursday. I’ll be doing a lot of homework between now and then because I feel like I’ve been in a very small bubble.
“So I’m really looking forward to getting out into the world and sharing what’s going on for everyone else and reconnecting with everyone.
“So, thanks for having me back, and have some patience. I might be a little rusty… There’s a new king, isn’t there? Did I catch up?’
This is Kate’s first time presenting the show since December 8 last year when she was forced to take a break due to Dereks worsening condition.
Last week, she revealed details about Derek’s final hours on the show and what her daughter told her father before he died
She told her daughter Darcey told Draper: ‘Dad, if you can’t do it, we’ll be fine. You let yourself go if you have to go.’
‘Don’t worry about us, don’t worry about mummy. We will be fine because you live on through us.’
Elton John and his husband David Furnish attended the funeral of Kate Garraway’s political aide Derek Draper on Friday morning
Kate was seen at the funeral with her teenage children, including daughter Darcey
Derek has been plagued with health problems after contracting Covid in 2020 and suffered a cardiac arrest in December, with Kate spending Christmas in hospital
Garraway recounted having similar conversations with him plus a ‘chance to hold his hand, smell his skin’ and tell him ‘we’re here’, adding: ‘Some people don’t get it ‘.
She also described the ‘most beautiful handwritten letter’ she was sent by David and Victoria Beckham as well as messages from King Charles, Prince William and Kate.
Garraway added: ‘I know that Catherine herself was in hospital so I really appreciated that.
‘And I had a letter from the King, who knows much about grief. It was lovely to hear from them and understand the emotions I was going through’.
The presenter took a break from her presenting role last December after Draper suffered a cardiac arrest.
She is said to be under financial pressure after spending almost £1 million on medical bills, following his first hospitalization with severe Covid-19 effects in March 2020.
Sir Elton John performed an emotional song as he was among the mourners at last Friday’s funeral at tthe Church of St Mary The Virgin in Primrose Hillafter offering comfort to Garraway and Draper through his illness.
He sang his ballad Skyline Pigeon – which contains the lyrics ‘fly away, skyline pigeon fly, towards the dreams, you’ve left so very far behind’ – in tribute to Draper.
Sir Elton previously invited Draper and Garraway to be guests of honor at his Farewell Yellow Brick Road concert at London’s O2 last year.
She told her Smooth Radio listeners last April that Sir Elton had been ‘so supportive’ of her family since her husband fell ill.
Garraway, who has children Darcey, 17, and Billy, 14, with the former political adviser, revealed last month how her husband died after suffering a heart attack before Christmas following a long battle with Covid.
The couple’s daughter Darcey was among the six pallbearers at last Friday’s funeral, which Garraway told GMB today was the 17-year-old’s choice.
She said: ‘Darcey came into the room when we were talking about it and said please will you let me carry the coffin.
‘And I thought, cry, it’s a practical challenge – anyone who’s done it, it’s a heavy thing.
“And she said, ‘I want to do it’ and basically insisted on doing it and I thought it was a beautiful thing that she carried her father.”
Of Darcey and son Billy, she added: ‘For their mourning we are in the foothills – we know there is a long way to go.’
‘They didn’t want to push him to continue. I don’t think he felt it, I think he kept going because he wanted to be here.’
Derek and Kate’s daughter, Darcey, was one of the six pallbearers
The service took place at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Primrose Hill
Kate Garraway and her children – Darcey (17) and Billy (14) leave Derek Derek’s funeral last Friday at the Church Of St Mary The Virgin in Primrose Hill, North West London.
GMB stars Charlotte Hawkins, Ben Shephard, Richard Madeley, Alex Beresford, Rob Rinder, Susanna Reid, Sean Fletcher and Richard Arnold also attended the funeral.
Mourners also reflected on Draper’s previous work as a New Labor adviser, with others in attendance including former Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair, current Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and former Labor MPs such as Lord Mandelson and Ed Balls.
There were also shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband, Sir Tony’s wife Cherie Blair and former No 10 director of communications Alastair Campbell.
Kate previously said her ’emotions are at 110 per cent’ after the funeral and also about an ‘outpouring of love for everyone who has supported me’.
She said: ‘The incredible love we all have as a GMB family – it’s just amazing, and ITV in general. I think we’re just very, very lucky.
“You’re already going to make me cry, so let’s try to get a few minutes in – the love that we have as a family altogether, which is people watching at home.
‘It’s you at home, we’re so connected, and we’ve always been connected in all our joys and all our fun and the challenges of life that poor Derek faced and our family did too.