Simon Thomas ‘finds love again’ a year after the heartbreaking death of his wife

Gemma tragically passed away in November 2017

Simon Thomas

by Nathan Katnoria |
Updated on

TV presenter Simon Thomas has reportedly found a new love, 12 months after the tragic death of his wife Gemma.

Simon, who rose to fame on Blue Peter before going on to present Sky Sports, is thought to be dating church minister’s daughter Derrina Jebb.

Simon Thomas family
Simon with late wife Gemma and son Ethan ©Instagram/ @simonjthomassky

The pair have been seen together in pictures obtained by The Sun, with a source telling the publication: “The relationship came as a shock because it was not something Simon was looking for at all. But as soon as he met Derrina the pair had a connection.

“She is a Christian and the daughter of a well-respected minister.”

Simon describes himself as “a man of faith” and recently revealed that he had met a fellow Christian but didn’t give any further details. It’s believed that he and Derrina started as friends but have grown closer in recent times.

“Their connection has gone from strength-to-strength and Derrina really has been a huge support for him through this awful time,” the source added.

See our gallery of the stars we lost in 2018:


CLOSER: Celebrity deaths 2018

Geoffrey Hayes dies1 of 25
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Geoffrey Hayes, 73

Geoffrey Hayes hosted long-running children's show Rainbow with co-star Zippy! Sadly, Geoffrey died in October with his family by his side.

Al Matthews2 of 25
CREDIT: Aliens

Al Matthews

Actor Al Matthews was found dead aged 75 in a Spanish retirement home. He starred in Grange Hill before featuring on hit films including Aliens, Fifth Element and Superman III.

Stefan Karl Stefansson dies3 of 25

Stefan Karl Stefansson

LazyTown actor Stefan Karl Stefansson has died after a two-year battle with cancer. In a previous Instagram, the kids TV favourite said: "It's not until they tell you you're going to die soon that you realise how short life is."

Aretha Franklin4 of 25
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Aretha Franklin

Queen of soul Aretha Franklin sadly passed in August at the age of 76 following a battle with eight-year battle with pancreatic cancer. The singing legend has been honoured by celebs and fans the world over, praising her for a long career of incredible music and, of course, THAT voice. Aretha is infamously known for her songs Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Say a Little Prayer.

Barry Chuckle5 of 25
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Barry Chuckle , 73

Comedian Barry Chuckle, whose real name was Barry Elliot, has passed away at the age of 73. Confirming the sad news, his manager, Phil Dale, released a statement to the BBC which reads: "It is with great sadness that the family announce that Barry passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife Ann and all his family."The family would like to express their thanks to the many people who have been fans of the Chuckle Brothers and they know that they will share in part the great, great loss they feel."Barry is infamous know for his role alongside his brother Paul on the BBC children's show the Chuckle Brothers. Speaking about his brother's passing, Paul has said: "I've not just lost my brother, I've lost my theatrical partner of many, many years and my very best friend."

Peter Firmin6 of 25
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Peter Firmin, 89

The co-creator of Bagpuss and Clangers Peter Firmin sadly passed away this year. At 89-years-old he died after a short illness. Production company Coolabi, who look after the Clangers TV show, confirmed the news in a statement.They said: "We are sad to announce that the artist Peter Firmin has passed away at his home in Kent after a short illness. He was eighty-nine."During a career spanning over six decades, Peter worked with great skill in a remarkably wide variety of creative disciplines as a fine artist, craftsman and author."Of all his work, he will probably be most fondly remembered for the characters he co-created and made."

Sophie Gradon7 of 25
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Sophie Gradon, 32

Love Island star Sophie was found dead at her home in June, aged 32. She appeared in the show in 2016, and was crowned Miss Newcastle and Miss Great Britain in 2009. Sophie won viewers' hearts when she made an impassioned speech in defence of young women after her castmate Zara Holland was stripped of her Miss Great Britain crown following a sex session with Alex Bowen.

Leslie Grantham8 of 25
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Leslie Grantham, 71

Following news that Leslie Grantham was 'fighting for his life', the EastEnders actors spokesperson confirmed the 71-year-old has died.In a statement released they explained: "'We formally announce the loss of Leslie Grantham, who passed away at 10:20 am on the morning of Friday 15th June 2018."His ex-wife and sons have asked for their privacy to be respected at this difficult time, and for there to be no approaches to them for information or comment. They will not be making any statements to the media."The EastEnders legend played Dirty Den Watts in the BBC soap. The Christmas Day episode in 1986 when he handed his on-screen wife Angie divorce papers drew over 30 million viewers - half of the British population at the time.

Kate Spade dies9 of 25

Kate Spade, 55

Fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her New York apartment in June. It transpired that Kate had been living with severe depression.

Eric Bristow dies10 of 25
CREDIT: Shuttertsock

Eric Bristow, 60

Darts ace and former I'm A Celeb... contestant Eric Bristow died of a sudden heart attack in April. He had been awarded an MBE for his services to sport.

Dale Winton dies11 of 25
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Dale Winton, 62

Supermarket Sweep presenter, radio DJ and all-round TV legend Dale Winton died at his home in April. Stars were quick to celebrate Dale's life, but we still don't know what caused his death.

Matt Campbell dies12 of 25

Matt Campbell, 29

Talented MasterChef semi-finalist Matt Campbell died while running the London Marathon in April 2018. Matt was running the marathon in aid of his father, who died in 2016. More than £350,000 has been raised for the Brathay Trust in their names.

Verne Troyer dies13 of 25
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Verne Troyer, 49

Austin Powers' Mini Me and all-round Hollywood legend Verne Troyer died in April. Although the cause of death has not been confirmed, the high levels of alcohol in his blood suggests alcohol poisoning .

Cathy Godbold dies14 of 25
CREDIT: Seven Productions

Cathy Godbold, 43

Ozzie soap fans will remember Cathy Godbold from Home & Away in 1992. Cathy passed away in May after a long battle with brain cancer.

Peter Stringfellow dies15 of 25
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Peter Stringfellow, 77

Infamous nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow passed away in June after a secret battle with cancer.

Avicii16 of 25
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Avici, 28

Swedish DJ and top tune maker Avici (real name Tim Bergling) committed suicide in May. Avici's death has caused much needed open discussion about mental health.

Stephen Hawking17 of 25
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Stephen Hawking, 76

Science superstar Stephen Hawking peacefully died at his Cambridge home in March. The world-famous physicist and author of A Brief History of Time had already defied medicine by living a long life with motor neurone disease.

Emma Chambers18 of 25
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Emma Chambers, 53

Hilarious actor Emma Chambers died of natural causes in February. Fans adored Emma for her roles in Vicar of Dibley and Notting Hill.

Ken Dodd19 of 25
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Sir Ken Dodd, 90

TV star and comedy legend Sir Ken Dodd died in March following a bad chest infection. Fellow Liverpudlian (and OBE holder) Sir Paul McCartney tweeted a photo with the caption: "A champion of his home city and comedy".

Lyric McHenry, 2620 of 25
CREDIT: Instagram

Lyric McHenry, 26

Lyric, who appeared on E!'s EJNYC, was found collapsed on the pavement in the Bronx, New York, in August with traces of cocaine on her person. She was believed to be 20 weeks pregnant at the time.

Jon James McMurray21 of 25
CREDIT: Instagram / jonjames

Jon James McMurray

Canadian rapper Jon James McMurray died during the filming of his music video after an aeroplane stunt went horrifically wrong.

Sam Ballard22 of 25
CREDIT: Facebook

Sam Ballard

Rugby player Sam Ballard has tragically died after he ate a slug when he was 19-years-old. The Australian sportsman reportedly accepted a dare to eat a slug while he was at friend's party in Sydney back in 2010. However things took an awful turn when he was rushed to hospital and told by doctors that he'd been infected with rat lungworm (slugs and snails can become infected because they eat rats faeces). He was in a coma for 420 days and when he woke up he discovered he was a quadriplegic. At 28 Sam passed away surrounded by his friends and family.

Stan Lee23 of 25
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Stan Lee

Marvel fans all over the world have been left devastated following the news that comic writer Stan Lee has died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA.The 95-year-old who co-created Marvel comics such as Spiderman, The Hulk, The X-Men, Black Panther and Fantastic Four, recently suffered from pneumonia and heart problems.

George A Cooper24 of 25
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George A Cooper

Grange Hill caretaker Mr Griffiths played by George A Cooper passed away 'peacefully' aged 93 in a nursing home. His was a long-running character in much-loved kids' TV drama Grange Hill, playing Mr Griffiths between 1985 and 1992 and starring in more than 100 episodes.During a career which spanned more than three decades, George had a recurring role in ITV's Coronation Street, playing dodgy businessman Willie Piggott.Making several appearances between 1964 and 1971, he infamously tried to bribe Street straight man Ken Barlow (William Roache) to give his son Brian a pass in a tech exam.

peter armitage dies25 of 25
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Peter Armitage

Coronation Street star Peter Armitage, who played Bill Webster, has passed away aged 78.The sad news was confirmed by his former co-star Charlie Lawson, who plays Jim McDonald, on Twitter. He wrote: "@itvcorrie @simongregson123 It's with great sadness, that I've to tell you my great old friend Pete Armitage has died. RIP mate."His cause of death has not been revealed yet but in 2014 the actor revealed he beat bowel cancer.Peter first appeared on Coronation Street back in 1984 for six months but returned in 1995 until 1997. He then made a comeback to the Cobbles from 2006 to 2011.

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Simon’s late wife Gemma passed away in November last year at the age of 40, just three days after receiving a diagnosis of Acute Myloid Leukaemia.

He announced her death in a heartbreaking tweet, which read: “Today I am crushed with indescribable pain. Just three days after falling ill with Acute Myloid Leukaemia, my dear wife Gemma passed away yesterday evening surrounded by her family and friends.”

Simon and Gemma shared a nine-year-old son, Ethan, with the TV presenter candidly sharing the moment he told Ethan that his mum had died during a moving appearance on This Morning earlier this year.

He said: “I came out of the hospital and I think I woke up every patient there... and I just screamed. I screamed at God 'why have you left my boy without his mum'.

"My heart was pounding. He [Ethan] went in to see her twice that day.

"I didn’t tell Ethan she was going. I said, 'Mummy is seriously ill' and I held him to her ear a couple of times and he said he loved her and [then] he went to play with his cousins."

Moving Holly Willoughby to tears, he added: “I looked into his deep brown eyes and said Ethan I’m really sorry they couldn’t make mummy better.

"You can't dress it up. I said Mummy’s died. He collapsed onto the floor. I collapsed with him. I just held him. I would never wish that on my worst enemy," he continued.

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