Kate Garraway announces death of 'darling husband' Derek Draper aged 56

The television presenter announced that her husband had passed away following complications due to an earlier cardiac arrest.

Derek Draper, the husband of television presenter Kate Garraway, has died at the age of 56.

On Friday, the Good Morning Britain presenter announced that her husband had passed away after becoming critically ill following a cardiac arrest in December.

Draper fell seriously ill with Covid-19 in March 2020 and spent 13 months in hospital before he was discharged.

Despite being free of the virus, he had suffered long-lasting damage to his organs and required daily care.

In an Instagram post on Friday morning, Garraway said: “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 following a cardiac arrest in early December which, because of the damage inflicted by Covid 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. 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.

“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.”

Draper was a prominent figure in New Labour in the 1990s and worked for Blairite Peter Mandelson and set up the Progress organisation with Liam Byrne, who went on to become an MP.

After becoming embroiled in the so-called “cash-for-access” scandal, he travelled to the United States, where he retrained as a psychotherapist.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was among those to pay tribute to Draper. Posting on social media, he said: “So sad that after such a brave struggle Derek Draper has lost his life as a result of Covid. I will remember him as brilliant, creative and multitalented, and our thoughts are with Kate, Darcey and Billy. RIP Derek.”

Fellow presenter Lorraine Kelly went on Instagram to describe Kate Garraway as “an astonishing woman”.

She posted: “This is just so sad. Our friend @kategarraway has been so strong and brave. Thoughts with her and her children and family. She was right by his side until the end and did him proud. An astonishing woman.”

Sir Elton John has sent his “love and thoughts” to Kate Garraway following the news.

Sir Elton wrote: “So sorry to hear of this news, Kate. Love and thoughts to you and your family x”

Draper attended the Rocket Man’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road concert at London’s O2 Arena in April after being invited along with Garraway as the guests of honour

Following her husband’s Covid battle, Garraway presented a documentary called Finding Derek which detailed her husband’s treatment and his subsequent return to their family home.

She went on to win a prize at the 2021 National Television Awards for the documentary.

In July 2022, Garraway confirmed Draper had been readmitted to hospital and later that month it was reported that his condition had worsened.

During a time out of hospital over the last year, he accompanied his wife when she collected an MBE in the 2022 New Year Honours for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity.

Garraway and Draper married in 2005 and have two children, Darcey and Billy.

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