Kate Garraway praises ‘incredible’ support on return to Good Morning Britain

Kate Garraway thanked viewers for the “incredible” love and support she has received as she returned to presenting Good Morning Britain, less than a week after the funeral of her husband, Derek Draper.

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.

Garraway said on Thursday that it was “lovely” to be back at the desk but admitted feeling “wobbly”.

“The make-up girls had me in tears this morning just by saying hello,” Garraway 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.”

Co-host Ben Shephard 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 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.”

Later in the show, entertainment reporter Richard Arnold told Garraway: “There’s a gush of emotion welcoming you back today, it’s lovely to have you home.”

He also hailed Draper’s funeral last Friday as an “extraordinary send-off for such a wonderful man”, but revealed that a server carrying a tray full of glasses of Champagne had bumped into him and left him “completely drenched from head to toe”.

“It was like a Greek wedding, wasn’t it? Suddenly this clatter of the tray and the flutes of Champagne and everything…” he recalled.

“I was drenched and I had to wait a good half an hour before I left, and when I got back to look after my mum she went ‘Have you had a drink?’,” which caused Garraway and Shephard to burst into laughter.

Shephard also read out messages to Garraway sent in by viewers, with one saying it was “great to see Kate back with her sidekick Ben”.

Shephard also posted a selfie of him and Garraway back together on GMB on social media, writing: “Morning! Lovely to have Kate back with us – thank you for all the messages we’ve had already.

“You’ll be pleased to know I’m already tidying up after her, so things are getting back to normal.”

The service was held at the Church of St Mary The Virgin in Primrose Hill, north London, where the TV star and the former political lobbyist-turned-psychologist married in September 2005.

Draper’s funeral was attended by figures including former prime minister Sir Tony Blair, musician Sir Elton John and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Derek Draper funeral
Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair and his wife Cherie attend Derek Draper’s funeral (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Draper fell seriously ill during the early part of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 and spent 13 months in hospital before he was discharged.

He died on January 3 this year, aged 56, after suffering long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus.

During an appearance on GMB 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?”