ben shephard kate garraway

Ben Shephard sends love to birthday girl Kate Garraway in emotional post as her husband fights coronavirus

Kate's 53rd birthday comes as her husband battles coronavirus

Sharnaz Shahid

Ben Shephard has paid a heartfelt tribute to his Good Morning Britain colleague Kate Garraway, who turned 53 on Monday. The GMB anchor took to his Instagram page to share a throwback picture with his co-host to mark the special day. "Wanted to send a really happy birthday to my gorgeous friend @kategarraway," he wrote in the caption. "It's a really tough time and I'm sure you're not thinking about celebrating (not least because there's been so many birthdays now) but sending you love strength and big virtual hugs. Thinking about you Kate and the family. Xxx."

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Ben Shephard shared this photo to mark Kate Garraway's 53rd birthday on Monday

The birthday comes as Kate's husband Derek Draper continues to fight for his life in intensive care after contracting coronavirus. Earlier on Monday, Ben – who is standing in for Piers Morganhad publically sent his well wishes to Kate, adding that he hoped her two children, 14-year-old Darcey and ten-year-old Billy, were treating her to some cake. Both he and Susanna Reid then sent their love to the TV star.

MORE: Kate Garraway overwhelmed by fan's gesture as husband Derek battles coronavirus

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WATCH: Ben and Susanna Reid celebrate Kate's birthday live on air

"We want to say happy birthday to Kate who turns 40/13 today," Ben joked. "She's with her family, of course, keeping everything crossed because Derek is still critically ill. But we just want to say happy birthday, Kate! However you can celebrate today. We're sending you lots and lots of love." Susanna added: "Huge love to all of you and the family of course."

READ: Why Ben Shephard is hosting Good Morning Britain once a week

Derek was rushed to hospital with COVID-19 symptoms on 30 March, and is still critically ill in intensive care. Kate has been married to the former Labour Party advisor since 2005. She previously described this period as "the hardest of my life" on her Club Garraway Wellbeing website. "There are of course moments when I feel exhausted to my bones and I just have to rest but that's ok too," she shared. "This is an absolutely heartbreaking and emotionally draining time for so many of us."

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