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Kate Garraway pays emotional tribute to friends 'who helped me survive'

The Good Morning Britain star gave a special mention to Ben Shephard

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
April 29, 2024
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Kate Garraway has paid tribute to her colleagues and friends who "helped me survive" during the tough times she faced in the aftermath of her late husband Derek Draper's battle with long Covid. 

The Good Morning Britain presenter was recognised for her contribution to broadcasting in television and radio at the Variety Club Showbusiness Awards on Sunday night, and during her speech expressed her gratitude to Ben Shephard for being by her side for the past two decades. 

Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway at The Variety Club Showbusiness Awards, The Londoner Hotel, London, UK - 28 April 2024© Richard Young/Shutterstock
Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard attended The Variety Club Showbusiness Awards on Sunday

Recalling the moment Derek first fell ill in 2020, Kate said: "My life took a turn that meant suddenly I was a story that people wanted to talk about and particularly I wanted to tell Derek's story of what he went through and that touched a chord with lots of people. That's amazing and now I feel a huge responsibility to them."

Kate Garraway with Jonathan Shalit, Chair of Variety, the Children’s Charity who hosted the Variety Club Showbusiness Awards
Kate Garraway with Jonathan Shalit, Chair of Variety, the Children’s Charity who hosted the Variety Club Showbusiness Awards

The 56-year-old continued: "It's GMB's 10-year anniversary tonight and actually it's my ten years of being at Global, so it's a very special night for me. When you go through something tough, which I'm sure everyone in this room has a story… you then find out where the goodness is."

kate garraway in yellow dress on good morning britain© Shutterstock
Kate paid tribute to her friends and colleagues during her speech

Sharing her appreciation for her colleagues, Kate went on: "Every time I walk through the door on Global, I'm always aware that I'm doing something that is on most people's bucket list. The energy and the fun that's there is just fantastic but also when things take a dark turn, suddenly you see this amazing side of people that not just help you go on air every day and look half decent doing your show but come round and literally keep you going and help you survive."

Giving a shout-out to her former GMB co-star Ben Shephard, Kate said: "A special mention, obviously, goes to Ben Shephard for that and for being the most extraordinary person to be by your side for 24 years."

Derek Draper and Kate Garraway
© James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock
Kate's husband Derek Draper passed away in January

Signing off her speech, she said: "Thank you very much for this, it means everything to me."

Kate Garraway sitting at Derek Draper's bedside as they chat© ITV
Derek's final year was documented in Kate Garraway: Derek's Story

Derek was first diagnosed with coronavirus back in 2020 and spent 13 months in hospital before going home, where he received round-the-clock care at home from specialist nurses and his wife. 

WATCH: Kate Garraway shares heartbreaking moment between daughter Darcey and Derek before his death

Derek passed away at the age of 56 in January this year and is survived by Kate and their two children, Darcey and Billy.

Kate documented Derek's health journey in a series of documentaries for ITV. The final part of the trilogy, Kate Garraway: Derek's Story, shared an insight into Derek's struggle with long Covid during the final year of his life.

Reporting by Francesca Shillcock

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