Inside Kate Garraway’s marriage to Derek ahead of heart-wrenching documentary

Kate Garraway has truly had the year from hell as her poorly husband continues to recover from coronavirus.

The Good Morning Britain star’s unwavering bravery and strength has truly been laid bare in a heart-breaking – and equally inspiring – new ITV documentary Kate Garraway: Finding Derek, which airs Tuesday night.

Derek Draper – her partner of nearly 16 years – was admitted to hospital in March last year with the life-threatening virus.

He’s been there ever since.

And in tonight’s emotional one-hour special, viewers will see for the first time just how incredibly difficult it’s been for the respected TV presenter and her husband, as well as her family and friends.

Ahead of the television special, Daily Star takes a look back at Kate and Derek's relationship.

First date that almost never happened

Kate, 53, met Lancashire-born Derek through Gloria De Pier – a former GMTV colleague – in 2004 – but their first date almost never happened.

She confessed in 2019 that Derek had thought the drinks organised by Gloria had been a date when it wasn't.

Speaking to The Times, she said: "Derek arrived thinking it was a date and that I was being incredibly cool by ignoring him.

"He asked me out, but the day of our date called to say he had a clash: 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."

Special wedding guest

Kate has kept details of her wedding quite private – but there was a very famous face among the attendees.

Years before she put on her dancing shoes and joined the Strictly Come Dancing line-up, former pro Brendan Cole went to Kate's wedding.

She said in November 2020 in a chat with The Times: "Hilariously, Brendan Cole was at the wedding, years before I did Strictly Come Dancing.

"I assumed he was someone’s boyfriend, but Derek had secretly been having dancing lessons with him.

"Derek is like that: when he wants to learn something, he studies it until he can do it perfectly."

Double wedding

While most of the details surrounding Kate and Derek's nuptials have been kept private, it seems they had plenty of time to celebrate.

The couple got married in 2005 at St Mary The Virgin Church in Primrose Hill.

But they also had a wedding up north too closer to Derek's family, when they celebrated at the St Mary's Parish Club in Chorley, Lancashire.

Mental health struggles

Derek credited Kate for turning his life around having previously struggled with depression.

"I haven’t been depressed for years, since just before I met Kate, who has changed me for the better anyway," he told The Scotsman in 2009.

"I got rid of my depression by doing a lot of intensive therapy, taking the prescribed anti-depressants, doing yoga and finding solace in prayer, because I eventually realised I had been masking the depression for years with overwork, drinking or womanising."

Raising a family

Kate and Derek have two children together – Darcey, 15, and William, 11.

Darcey was born on March 10, 2006, while William – or Billy – was born on July 28, 2009.

The kids sometimes feature on Kate's social media or at work events, though they will also feature in Tuesday night's documentary.

Kate has praised their two kids as "extraordinary" over the last year as their dad fought for his life in hospital.

Jungle support

Derek was famously Kate’s biggest supporter when she competed in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in November 2019.

He appeared on GMB with the couple’s two kids and praised his wife for her inspiring confidence as she endeared herself to a new army of fans thanks to her kindness and witty sense of humour.

Derek joked in an interview with Piers Morgan: "Genuinely she took a few bikinis with her and she said to me, ‘I’m not sure these bikinis will see the light of day’.

"I said, ‘Well please make sure they do because you look absolutely stunning’."

Year from hell

Derek is still in hospital after being admitted this time last year when he came down with Covid.

Thankfully Derek no longer has Covid, but the severe respiratory disease has sadly ravaged his body.

Kate’s husband, 53, has lost a staggering eight stone in weight – and also tragically suffered kidney failure, damage to his liver and pancreas and heart failure.

And at one point, perhaps understandably given the terrifying ordeal he’s gone through, Derek admitted he feared he couldn’t go on as the illness took its toll.

But Kate’s love and support has never wavered during the hardest year of the couple’s life – and the deeply intimate and personal film looks back over her husband’s shock hospitalisation.

Kate Garraway: Finding Derek – tonight [Tuesday] at 9pm on ITV

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