EXCLUSIVE Kate Garraway’s emotional journey: ‘I’m celebrating life now’

The TV presenter opens up to Closer’s Katie Banks about losing her beloved husband Derek, and how she feels about turning 60

kate garrawat

by Katie Banks |
Updated on

After feeling “numb” following the loss of her husband, Derek Draper, last January, Kate Garraway tells Closer that she’s still taking one step at a time. Her emotional journey caring for Derek – who she was married to for 19 years and has two children with, Darcey, 17, and William, 14 – during his long battle with Covid, was covered in an award-winning documentary series.

Speaking at the ASA Foundation’s ball, Kate says, “I’m just at that early stage at the moment of coming out of grief. I’m just barely holding it together. I haven’t actually been out that much so it’s nice to come out tonight, although it is a school night. I’m on telly tomorrow – so I won’t be able to stay out late!”

kate garraway and her husband derek
kate with her late husband derek ©James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock

And the star – who has presented morning TV for over 25 years – admits she can’t believe she’ll be 60 in just three years’ time.

“I’ve got my TV make-up on now so I look OK,” she smiles. “But I really can’t believe I’m hurtling towards 60! I’m very much celebrating life now, whatever the age. I don’t know whether I’ll do a party yet. Derek passed away so recently so it’s just one step at a time.”

She’s already paid an emotional tribute to the friends “who helped her survive” through tough times – including her co-star Ben Shepherd, who’s been by her side for over two decades. And Kate says her co-stars at Good Morning Britain and her Smooth radio show are a continued source of support.

kate garraway and katie banks
kate opened up to closer's katie banks

Kate adds, “The Good Morning gang are just lovely. It’s like having another family. They’re a special group – and everyone on Smooth radio too. Most of the time we don’t get to hang out because I’m on air so early and then I’m rushing off to my radio show. We all get on so well, I’m very lucky.”

Kate’s late husband Derek, who died aged 56, first fell ill in 2020 and required round-the-clock care from the effects of long Covid. Now Kate says she wants to champion carers and raise awareness for autoimmune conditions with ASA Foundation’s CEO Asal Shirazi, who suffers from rare condition Scleroderma.

kate garraway ed balls
presenting good morning britain with ed balls ©Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

She says, “Asal’s an amazing force of nature – there are so many people affected by autoimmune diseases so it’s important to increase awareness.

“There are so many people within care charities who are doing such fantastic work too. After the various situations I went through with Derek, I feel like I’ll be a care champion forever. It’s definitely something I’d love to get more involved with."

closer magazine cover

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