How Kate and Derek’s love story started with a salmon-pink jumper
Posted by  badge Boss on Jan 05
Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper has died aged 56 (Picture: Can Nguyen/Shutterstock)

was married to husband  for nearly 20 years before he died this week, aged 56.

The presenter, also 56, announced Draper’s death on the morning of Friday, January 5 – which comes nearly four years after he was first diagnosed with in March 2020.

After falling into a coma and being put on a ventilator, Draper had spent 13 months in hospital – making him Britain’s longest-suffering coronavirus victim.


Sharing, Kate said he was ‘surrounded by his family in his final days and I was by his side holding his hand throughout the last long hours and when he passed’.

Draper was a Labour Party aide to former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson.

The couple have been married since 2005 and share two children; daughter Darcey, 17, and son Billy, 14.

Send Kate Garraway and her children your support after Derek Draper’s death

The author and former political advisor was hospitalised last month after suffering a ‘huge heart attack’, and has been requiring full-time care since contracting Covid in 2020.

Derek Draper and Kate Garraway’s relationship – first date

Derek Draper and Kate Garraway at The Pride of Britain Awards (Picture: Shutterstock)

Derek, who once worked as a political adviser, and Kate, were first introduced by then political editor of GMTV, Gloria De Piero.

His career had begun as a Labour Party political lobbyist and spin-doctor, but he later went on to retrain as a psychotherapist.

Kate once said she wasn’t that bothered about dating Derek at first, and initially ignored his attention.

Speaking to , she recalled: ‘Derek arrived thinking it was a date and that I was being incredibly cool by ignoring him.’

But when she did agree to go on a formal date, the tables turned.

‘He asked me out, but the day of our date called to say he had a clash,’ she shared.

They had been introduced by a mutual friend in 2005 (Picture: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock)

‘He’d promised to serve wine at an amateur watercolour painting exhibition at his church.

‘I really thought it was a wind-up. But I turned up and he was indeed serving wine to the congregation in a salmon-pink jumper.’

The couple got married the next year, on 10 September 2005.

They married at a low-key ceremony at St Mary’s Parish Club in Chorley, however Kate said she was taken aback to see former Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole there.

She then discovered her husband had secretly taken dance lessons for the big day.

Growing family

They welcomed their first child, Darcey, in 2006 (Picture: Ben Melvin/Shutterstock)

Kate and Draper welcomed their first child, Darcey Mary Draper, on March 10, 2006, at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in London.

Their son, William ‘Billy’ Garraway Draper, was then born on 28 July 2009. Kate had suffered from morning sickness at the start of her pregnancy, revealing that she was often sick during filming GMB in ad breaks.

Covid and a long battle

He was struck down by Covid in March 2020 (Picture: ITV)

The couple both contracted coronavirus in March 2020, but while the Good Morning Britain presenter had a milder case, Derek’s illness was set to worsen.

The next month a spokesperson for Kate revealed that he had been 

Soon after, doctors  to help his body fight the effects of coronavirus.

Kate revealed that she spoke to him and played music to him via video call, but was unsure if he could hear her.

That same year they had been planning to renew their vows for their 15th anniversary, but Derek was in hospital and they were forced to spend it apart.

Instead, they raised a glass on FaceTime.

Recovery begins

He returned home after a year in hospital (Picture: ITV)

Kate revealed that Derek had  by June, but it had ‘wreaked extraordinary havoc’ on his body.

She was warned he could remain in a coma for a year.

Over the subsequent three years, Derek faced several serious health scares, with Kate sharing updates on his condition throughout this time.

The couple share two children, Darcey and William (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

In 2022, Kate spoke about how she had to find ‘new ways’ to form a close bond with her husband.

‘When you nearly lose someone, it certainly brings everything into sharp focus,’ she told Good Housekeeping.

‘In many ways, we’re still learning how we are as man and wife, as so much has changed. It’s the same for the children – they’re having to relearn the experience of being with their dad. And, of course, the biggest learning is for poor Derek.’

‘Life-threatening’ heart attack

The couple were followed by cameras for a documentary series (Picture: ITV)

A few weeks before Christmas 2023, Kate cancelled all work commitments after her husband was left fighting for his life after suffering a ‘massive heart attack’.

On January 5, Kate announced that her husband had died.

In a statement on Instagram, she also said she had ‘so much more to say’ and would do so in due course, but wanted to ‘thank all the medical teams who fought so hard to save him and to make his final moments as comfortable and dignified as possible’.