Kate Garraway praises Ben Shephard for ‘fantastic’ first week on This Morning

Good Morning Britain (GMB) presenter Kate Garraway has congratulated her former co-host Ben Shephard and his new co-presenter Cat Deeley for a “fantastic first week” on This Morning.

The duo helmed their first show together on Monday as they officially took over the reins from Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, who both left the show in 2023.

On Thursday, Garraway said on Instagram: “Congratulations #bencat !!!

“What a fantastic first week of shows on @TM – never in doubt but fab to see – you two were made for the show!

“!@catdeeley can’t wait to give you a congratulatory hug in person when on the show very soon xxx #perfectpairing.”

Opening their first show on Monday, Deeley said the pair were “excited” to be there.

Shephard agreed, saying “it is very special, we are thrilled to be here”, and thanked those who have sent them messages of support.

Sir Rod Stewart and Jools Holland were among the first celebrity guests to join Shephard and Deeley on the sofa.

When Shephard, 49, left ITV programme GMB in February to host This Morning, his co-host Garraway said his departure was “emotional” but added that he is “still in the ITV family”.

Garraway had returned to the show earlier that month after her husband Derek Draper died in January, following four years of severe illness after suffering Covid-19 complications.

Shephard is known for fronting the ITV quiz show Tipping Point and previously presented on the now-defunct GMTV and reality spin-off show The Xtra Factor.

Deeley rose to fame as a presenter of Saturday morning ITV children’s programme SM:TV Live alongside Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, and its spin-off music programme CD:UK, with Willoughby.

National Television Awards 2020 – Arrivals – London
Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway attend the National Television Awards 2020 (Isabel Infantes/PA)

She is also known for hosting ITV’s Stars In Their Eyes, the BBC’s Fame Academy and American competition show So You Think You Can Dance, which she presented for more than a decade.

Last year, This Morning saw a rotation of presenters on the famous sofa, including Deeley, who hosted alongside Rylan Clark in November.

Schofield left ITV in May 2023 and was dropped by his talent agency after admitting to an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a younger male colleague.

In October, Willoughby left the show, saying she had made the “decision for me and my family”.