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Kate Garraway shares heartfelt message in first post since news of husband Derek Draper's death

The Good Morning Britain star returned to the show last week

Kate Garraway on Good Morning Britain
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Kate Garraway took to social media with a touching message for her friend, Ben Shephard, on Friday, following the news he will be the new regular host of This Morning. 

The message marks the first time the Good Morning Britain star, 56, has posted on social media since she announced the tragic loss of her husband, Derek Draper on 3 January 2024. 

View post on Instagram

She wrote: "Massive congrats to @benshephardofficial on the @itv @thismorning gig. You’ll be SOOOOO missed by EVERYONE @gmb viewers and the team alike & of course especially me. BUT after 24 years hard labour by my side no one will begrudge you time off for good behaviour!!! Good luck swapping early starts for (abit) of a lie-in and a Kate for a Cat! @catdeeley can’t wait to see you - you’ll have a ball [pink love heart emojis]."

The touching words were penned alongside a collage of images of the duo side-by-side on the ITV show. 

Kate returned to show last week for the first time since Derek passed away. On the programme, she and Ben opened with an insight into Derek's "extraordinary" funeral service, which took place in north London on Friday 2 February. 

"It was one of the most extraordinary send-offs, a real celebration," he said, adding that Kate, 56, and her two children, Darcey, 17, and Billy, 14, "really did Derek proud". 

Kate Garraway held onto her son Billy's hand© Getty
Derek's funeral took place on 2 February 2024

After praising Derek's "amazing" friends and family, Kate went on to share her appreciation for the show and its viewers for their support. 

"It was really lovely to feel so much love from everybody here," she said. "Everybody has just been so nice, and all of you, it's just amazing. 

"I keep thinking let's keep that lovely feeling going because I know I'm very lucky to have it," Turning to Ben, she continued: "A lot of people don't have the jobs that you and I have and so they do have a lot of love around them from the people they know but it's harder for them to feel it because sadness doesn't get seen in the same way."

Darcey bravely acted as one of her father's pallbearers, helping to carry her father's coffin in and out of the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Primrose Hill. 

"That was all her," Kate confessed. "I was really conscious that the funeral should be about Derek and not ill health. I wanted the funeral to represent everything about him, and she asked can I carry the coffin. It's a practical challenge but she said, 'I want to do it' and insisted on doing it. I thought that was a beautiful thing."

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