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Kate Garraway returns to host Good Morning Britain for first time since Derek Draper's death with emotional message

Kate's husband Derek passed away in January

Kate Garraway on 'Good Morning Britain'
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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Kate Garraway returned to host Good Morning Britain on Thursday morning for the first time since the death of her husband Derek Draper, who died in January following several years of serious health complications inflicted by long Covid. 

The presenter was joined by her co-host Ben Shephard, who opened the show 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". 

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

WATCH: Kate Garraway returns to host GMB for first time since Derek Draper's death

"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."

Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway on GMB© ITV
Kate Garraway returned to GMB on Thursday

Kate's return to the show comes just days after she appeared on the programme via video link from her home in north London. 

Speaking to hosts Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley on Monday, the presenter opened up about life after Derek's death, including his final days.

Kate Garraway on GMB© ITV
Kate appeared via video link during Monday's show

The mum-of-two explained that after the doctors had given the prognosis that Derek wouldn't survive after going into cardiac arrest in December, Darcey and Billy spent some time alone with their dad. 

"We knew Derek could still hear, and it was a challenge to make sure he knew that he wasn't letting us down because he couldn't get through this last one," she said. 

Derek Draper and Kate Garraway
© James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock
Derek passed away following several years of serious health complications inflicted by Covid

Detailing a heartbreaking moment between Darcey and Derek, Kate said: "Darcey said, 'Dad if you can't do this, we'll be okay. You release yourself if you need to go, don't worry about us'. I thought that was extraordinarily brave."

Darcey was one of the pallbearers at Derek's funeral, helping to carry her father's coffin in and out of the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Primrose Hill. 

Darcey carries her father's coffin as she departs the funeral© Getty
Darcey carried her father's coffin at his funeral

Opening up about Darcey's decision to carry her father's casket, Kate explained: "That was all her; 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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