Kate Garraway has thanked Good Morning Britain viewers for the “incredible” love and support she has received since her husband Derek Draper’s death – having returned to presenting the show less than a week after his funeral.
The TV presenter returned to host the ITV breakfast show following an emotional appearance on the programme on Monday when she discussed how her children have been handling the loss of their father.
The 56-year-old was said to be one of the UK’s longest-suffering COVID patients, spending 13 months in hospital after contracting the virus in March 2020. He was left with extensive damage to his organs and needed daily care.
Garraway, 56, said on Thursday that it was lovely but “odd” to be back at the desk on Good Moring Britain.
“The make-up girls had me in tears this morning just by saying hello,” she said at the beginning of the programme.
“Thank you to all of you at home as well. I know I mentioned it on Monday but you have been incredible.”
Ben Shephard, co-presenting, joked he would give Garraway a bit of “leeway” before saying she did her husband proud with the “extraordinary funeral”.
“You really did Derek proud, it was an extraordinary thing,” he said.
Garraway, who admitted to feeling “wobbly”, said: “I definitely wanted to make it about Derek not about me.
“It was really lovely as well to feel so much love from everybody here.”
The service was held at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Primrose Hill, northwest London, where the TV star and the former political lobbyist-turned-psychologist married in September 2005.
During an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Monday, Garraway praised the strength their children Darcey and Billy have shown since their father died.
She also addressed her decision to return to work, saying: “I think some people say: Why are you going back to work? Well, everybody does have to, don’t they? Life has to start.”
She also joked: “I’m going to be looking forward to a blow dry.
“I’m going to be finding fake eyelashes. I’m going to be very much looking forward to applying fake tan.
“Don’t worry, I will be a little bit more respectable 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 going to look forward really to coming into the world and sharing what’s going on for everybody else and connecting with everybody again.
“So, thank you for having me back, and have a little bit of patience. I might be a bit rusty. There is a new king, isn’t there? Have I caught up with that?”