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Kate Garraway responds to cruel trolls who said she was wrong to laugh on GMB return

Kate Garraway has hit back at cruel trolls who tried to accuse her of not grieving “properly”, as she returned to Good Morning Britain days after the funeral of her late husband, Derek Draper.

The former political lobbyist, with whom Garraway shared two children, died after an agonising four-year battle with long Covid. He was 56.

Garraway was reunited with her friend and co-host Ben Shephard on Thursday (8 February), where she was met with a flood of support from both viewers and her ITV colleagues.

However, returning to the show once more for Friday’s episode, Garraway told viewers that she’d been getting “some flack” for her demeanour.

“I got a bit of flack on social media yesterday for laughing with you as though that would imply I didn’t care,” the 56-year-old told Shephard. “But when you laughing you’re laughing because you want the joy that person brought to continue.

“And you know that people watching at home have got troubles in their life and you want to share that joy with them. So it’s a licence to laugh and to cry and to be all things.”

In a sweet display of support, Shephard quipped that she should always be encouraged to laugh at his jokes.

“You always need to be encouraged to laugh when I make a joke,” he said, prompting more laughs from Garraway.

Kate Garraway on Friday’s episode of ‘Good Morning Britain’ (ITV)
Kate Garraway on Friday’s episode of ‘Good Morning Britain’ (ITV)

The presenter described how she was at the “first stages” of grief during a conversation with actor and Marie Curie charity ambassador Larry Lamb, 76, whose brother died in 2019.

The pair also discussed the difficulties families faced at not being able to hold full funerals for their loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.

She revealed that people did not know what to say to her daughter Darcey, 17, who was a pallbearer at her father’s funeral, and her son Billy, 14.

The GMB host, who had taken a break from the show since 2014, discussed the reasons behind her decision to return to the show on Thursday, before telling her co-hosts “we have to pick ourselves up and go on”.

She discussed her experience of grief with Larry Lamb on the episode (Good Morning Britain, ITV)
She discussed her experience of grief with Larry Lamb on the episode (Good Morning Britain, ITV)

Garraway said on Thursday (8 January) that it was lovely but “odd” to be back in the ITV studio, having briefly appeared on the show via video link earlier in the week.

Shephard told her she had “done Derek proud” for the way she had dealt with her husband’s funeral, which was held nearly a month after she confirmed her “darling husband”, a psychologist and former political lobbyist, had died from a cardiac arrest.

Her colleague Shephard was among the many famous faces who attended the service, which was held at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Primrose Hill last week.

Other mourners Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie Blair, and Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish.

Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie Blair, attend the funeral of Derek Draper on 2 February (Getty Images)
Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie Blair, attend the funeral of Derek Draper on 2 February (Getty Images)

Also present were TV stars including Piers Morgan, Alex Beresford, Robert Rinder, Fiona Phillips and her husband, This Morning editor Martin Frizell, and pop star Myleene Klass.

In a tribute, Mr Blair described Draper, a former Labour adviser, as a ruthless political operative and “an important part of the New Labour story”.

“It is extraordinary and remarkable that Derek survived so long after the ravages of Covid,” he said in a statement. “And that was in large measure due to the love Derek had for his family and they for him. This also says something very special about Derek.

“He was a tough, sometimes ruthless political operative, a brilliant adviser and someone you always wanted on your side. But underneath that tough exterior he was a loving, kind, generous and good-natured man you wanted as a friend.”