Kate Garraway sparked some concern amongst GMB viewers this week, when she was inexplicably absent from Monday and Tuesday's shows. But the TV star was back to hosting duties on Wednesday, and she took the time to explain her temporary break from the programme, revealing that it had been husband Derek's birthday at the weekend.
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"Welcome back! Nice couple of days off?" her co-star Adil Ray asked. "I did a flip-flop with Charlotte [Hawkins], didn't I," said Kate. "Mix things up a little bit! It was Derek's birthday on Saturday as well, which was obviously a challenging one under the circumstances.
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"We managed to FaceTime him and sing 'Happy Birthday', and we had a cake, which we had on FaceTime." "That must be quite difficult for the kids," Adil remarked. "It's very challenging," Kate replied. "They're doing brilliantly with it though and we did it with Derek's family, as well, we managed to technically hook up, and sing 'Happy Birthday' and just hope the love seeps through really."
Kate has been married to husband Derek Draper since September 2005
The 53-year-old continued: "In fact, thanks to Charlotte for swapping with me. But Charlotte bought me a rose bush… She bought the rose bush, and it's named 'The Rose of Hope', and it actually came into flower on Saturday."
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Kate later remarked: "It's quite poignant as well, because we planted loads of plants, Darcey did, when Derek was first ill, and, you know, they've come and gone. And we're picking tomatoes that we grew from seed and it's amazing how nature helps you mark the passage of time, which is therapeutic in a way, because we'd say, 'Let's plant these and then when dad's better next year, he can see them come up.' We've been trying to keep things moving forward, but it helps."
Derek with the couple's children, Darcey and William
Prior to her absence from GMB, Kate gave an update on her husband's condition, explaining he had experienced a challenging week. She told Adil: "It's strange to see you this week, so much has happened. He's very much still with us. There seems to be different challenges every week."
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The mother-of-two continued: "I feel conscious of… I know everybody's been so lovely, and it's terrible isn't it that there's so many people out there with people who are sick. It was a worrying week last week. He's still got lots of challenges. Challenges with his food, challenges with his lungs, everything. And we just want him to wake up. But you don't want to talk about it on Good Morning Britain all the time, because then it's not cheering up everybody that's trying to cope with Covid-19."