Kirstie Allsopp reveals unexpected link to Derek Draper in moving tribute
Posted by  badge Boss on Jan 06
Kirstie Allsopp has paid tribute to Derek Draper after his death aged 56 (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Kirstie Allsopp has spoken out after the death of , who was her first ever client.

The Location, Location, Location star, 52, has shared a moving message on after the political lobbyist died on Friday January 5 aged 56 while .

Draper died following a cardiac arrest in December, which left him critically ill due to damage inflicted on his body when he contracted it back in 2020.

Posting a photo on Instagram announcing the news, Kate wrote: ‘I’m sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away.

‘As some of you may know he has been critically ill  in early December which, because of the  in March 2020, led to further complications.

‘Derek 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.’

He suffered a heart attack in December and had been suffering with the affects of Covid since 2020 (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

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.

Draper married Kate in 2005, and Kirstie says doing so was the smartest move he ever made (Picture: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock)

Famous faces from the political world and beyond have flocked to social media to pay their respects.

Kirstie was one of them, as she wrote a touching tribute and revealed Draper was actually one of her first ever property and interior design clients.

‘Derek Draper was my first ever client, he was so clever, funny & engaging, and totally fired up about his work with New Labour, but his .

‘Her devotion and determination has been extraordinary to see and an amazing example to us all.

‘Sharing their struggles so openly was a great gift to those also battling ill health and their families & carers. God Bless you Derek, Rest in Peace.’

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

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

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

Kate has stepped back from her presenting roles in the wake of his death, but plans on returning at some point in the future (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

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, something changed.

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

‘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 in a low-key ceremony at St Mary’s Parish Club in Chorley.

Draper’s death came 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.

His battle was documented in the personal and brave documentary, Kate Garraway: Finding Derek, and the follow-up Caring for Derek.