Kate Garraway says being called a widow ‘took her breath away’ on GMB return

Kate Garraway has said someone calling her a widow for the first time “took her breath away” as she returned to host Good Morning Britain, less than a week after the funeral of her husband Derek Draper.

The 56-year-old TV presenter was back at work on Thursday to present the ITV breakfast show after taking a leave of absence following Draper’s death on January 3 aged 56.

During the show, Garraway said it was “lovely” to be back at the desk alongside co-host Ben Shephard but admitted feeling “wobbly”.

In the episode, Shephard thanked viewers for their “lovely messages” and read out one from a fellow widow which said: “Lovely to see you back Kate, with Ben.

“As a widow myself, I know those wobbly feelings. Thank you for always thinking of others.”

The message prompted Garraway to say: “The other day, somebody called me a widow for the first time – it took my breath away.

“It was an Amazon delivery person who said ‘I’m so sorry for your loss now that you’re a widow’ and you suddenly realise, and I suddenly realised, what everyone goes through.

“That every single moment is something new and we’ve all just got to get through it and everybody has it with all sorts of things they’re facing.

“I really get what people feel about these things.”

Garraway, who married the former political lobbyist-turned-psychologist Draper in September 2005, with whom she shared two children, also thanked the viewers for their supportive messages following his death and after her appearance on the show on Monday where she discussed how her children have been handling the loss of their father.

As the beginning of Thursday’s show, Garraway said: “The makeup girls had me in tears this morning just by saying hello.

“Thank you to all of you at home as well. I know I mentioned it on Monday, but you have been incredible.”

Shephard also joked he would give Garraway a bit of “leeway” before saying she did her husband proud with the “extraordinary funeral”.

Garraway, who said she felt “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 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.”

Draper’s funeral 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.

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 after suffering long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus.

During the 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.”