Kate Garraway was supported by past and present colleagues of Good Morning Britain on Friday as they gathered to pay their respects to Derek Draper, following his death aged 56.
Family and friends gathered at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Primrose Hill for a service of remembrance followed by his burial.
Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid were amongst the first to arrive followed by Piers Morgan and Charlotte Hawkins.
Fiona Phillips was also seen in public with her ITV exec husband Martin Frizell for the first time since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Derek was among the first in the UK to fall seriously ill with Covid-19 and was admitted to an intensive care unit as the country entered lockdown in March 2020.
Susanna Reid was among the mourners at Derek Draper’s funeral on Friday as Kate Garraway was supported by past and present colleagues of Good Morning Britain
Richard Arnold and Charlotte Hawkins were in attendance at the ceremony
Laura Tobin linked arms with Alex Beresford as they headed into the service
Kate Garraway was joined by her two children, Darcey, 17, and Billy, 11, at the ceremony
He was one of the country’s longest-suffering Covid patients after being in hospital but never fully recovered after the virus left long-lasting damage to his organs and meant he needed round-the-clock care.
Derek suffered a heart attack before Christmas and never recovered.
Kate revealed her husband died as she held his hand ‘throughout the last long hours and when he passed’ on January 5.
The Good Morning Britain star, 56, announced the death of her husband of 18 years on Instagram and said: ‘Rest gently and peacefully now Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life.’
Derek suffered a heart attack before Christmas following a long battle with Covid.
Kate, who had two children with Derek, Darcey, 17, and their youngest, Billy, 11, said: ‘I’m sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away.
‘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.
‘I have so much more to say, and of course I will do so in due course, but for now I just want 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’.
Susanna looked sombre as she was one of the first to arrive at the funeral
Richard was on hand to support Charlotte as they arrived at the church together
Ben Shephard was among one of the first celebrities to arrive to support Kate
Kate’s former Good Morning Britain co-star Piers Morgan arrived to share his respects
Derek suffered a heart attack before Christmas and never recovered (pictured with Kate in 2019)
She added: ‘As some of you may know he has been critically ill following a cardiac arrest in early December which, because of the damage inflicted by Covid in March 2020, led to further complications.
‘Sending so much love and thanks to all of you who have so generously given our family so much support. Rest gently and peacefully now Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life.’
Derek was a former researcher for Blairite Peter Mandelson who became a New Labour spin doctor and later retrained as a psychotherapist after a series of political and lobbying scandals.
After he was embroiled in the so-called ‘cash-for-access’ scandal, dubbed ‘lobbygate’, he travelled to the United States, where he retrained as a psychotherapist.
In 2005, he married Kate, the GMTV co-presenter who is now part of the Good Morning Britain team on ITV and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2007 and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in November 2019.
Derek had been plagued with health woes after contracting Covid in 2020 and suffered a cardiac arrest in early December, with Kate spending Christmas at hospital.
Derek’s medical case attracted much media attention, partly because of his marriage to Kate, and partly because of the length of his hospital stay.
Some media reported that he had become the nation’s longest-suffering patient after spending 13 months in hospital.
In early July 2022, Kate disclosed that Derek had been readmitted to hospital and later that month dropped out of presenting Good Morning Britain as his condition worsened.
The following February, the ITV series Kate Garraway: Caring for Derek aired on ITV, and documented Draper’s arrival home from the hospital while also following Garraway as she navigated the ‘myriad challenges of the social care system and its complexities’.
Derek was photographed by his wife’s side in June, despite being in and out of hospital, when she collected her MBE from the Prince of Wales in an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle.
In December, The Sun reported that Derek had ‘suffered a massive heart attack’ and said Kate was keeping a 24/7 vigil by his bedside.
Kate’s daughter Darcey was among the pallbearers at her father’s funeral
Kate looked bereft as she looked down at the hearse as it arrived this morning