Lorraine Kelly and ITV co-stars share memories of Kate Garraway's husband Derek Draper

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 15: Lorraine Kelly attends the ITV Palooza 2022 on November 15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Lorraine Kelly has shared fond memories of Derek Draper. (Getty Images) (Dave J Hogan via Getty Images)

Lorraine Kelly is the latest of Kate Garraway's ITV co-stars to share her fond memories of the Good Morning Britain star's late husband Derek Draper.

Garraway shared the sad news on Friday that Draper had died after a cardiac arrest in December, complicated by the effects of COVID which he had caught in March 2020.

Draper had spent a year in hospital as the UK's worst affected COVID patient and still needed round-the-clock care after returning home to Garraway and their children Darcey and Billy.

Kate Garraway and husband Derek Draper, pictured in 2009. (Jon Furniss/WireImage)
Kate Garraway and husband Derek Draper, pictured in 2009. (WireImage) (WireImage)

Speaking to The Mail's Weekend Magazine, Kelly shared her admiration for Draper as she looked back on his support for wife Garraway when she took part in the 2019 series of I'm A Celebrity.

Kelly said: "For me, I will always remember Derek's pride when Kate came out the jungle.

"Obviously it was shortly before COVID, when he got took so, so ill. We interviewed him quite a few times while she was in there and he was bursting with pride.

"I remember him saying 'this is her time, Kate's going to do so many wonderful things, I'm so glad she's made such an impact', and then of course, not that long afterwards, he got so, so ill and she was just astonishing."

Garraway's other ITV co-stars past and present have also shared touching stories of the couple's strong bond over the past week.

Ben Shephard

Garraway's Good Morning Britain co-star and close friend Ben Shephard shared a photo of Draper kissing his beaming wife on the cheek on Instagram.

He wrote: "On what has been the saddest of days @kategarraway I've been reminding myself of the wonderful times and memories we have all shared together.

"This is how I'll always think of Derek – bringing you so much joy, your smile says it all, the size of which is matched only by his love for you, Darcey and Bill. Sending all our love Kate to you and all the family.

"Also thank you to everyone who has reached out to me, I promise I will pass on your messages, I know they will bring Kate so much comfort as they have for the last few years."

Ranvir Singh

GMB's Ranvir Singh also shared a photo of the couple to Instagram - a happy shot from their wedding day.

She wrote: "What a big colourful life you had. But being a brilliant parent to Billy and Darcy was your true passion. Together you made a nation understand what deepest love looks and feels like. Kate, you are loved and supported by everyone - nobody could have done more. Time to heal, and your friends are here for all of it."

On Monday's episode of the ITV breakfast news show, Singh shared a story from Piers Morgan's annual Christmas party in 2019, shortly after I'm A Celebrity finished.

She said: "Kate was buzzing around because everyone was like she's back out the jungle, the paparazzi were outside, it was a really lovely moment, we were all welcoming her back. Derek just stood back in the corner being the quiet support person. We talked a little bit about what it was like when Kate was in the jungle and he said 'well this is my job, this is what I do, I support her'."

Richard Madeley

Richard Madeley said he shared 'clinky drinks' with Derek Draper. (ITV screengrab)
Richard Madeley said he shared 'clinky drinks' with Derek Draper. (ITV screengrab) (ITV screengrab)

Good Morning Britain host Richard Madeley also shared his memories of Draper on Monday as he talked about being in Australia alongside him in 2019.

Madeley's daughter Chloe's then-partner James Haskell was in I'm A Celebrity alongside Garraway and the broadcaster said: "I was by the pool one day with Judy, my wife, and he came round and introduced himself to us and we ended up having clinky drinks by the pool because Kate was in the jungle at that point.

"It was one of the funniest conversations I can remember having, I can't remember exactly what he said, but he was just incredibly funny."

Piers Morgan

Kate Garraway with fellow GMB host Piers Morgan in 2017. (Getty)
Piers Morgan had been close friends with both Kate Garraway and Derek Draper for years. (Getty)

Former GMB host Piers Morgan is a long time friend of Garraway, who he interviewed for Life Stories ahead of her taking over the ITV series.

Morgan has paid tribute to both Draper and Garraway's care for him, and in his column for The Sun he shared a story about their sense of humour.

He wrote: "When Kate Garraway and Derek Draper told me in 2005 that they were getting married, I joked: ‘Bloody hell - if I’d known the bar was that low, I’d have had a crack myself!

"It says everything about them that they both laughed hysterically, then put that quote on their wedding invitations."