Susanna Reid, Lorraine Kelly and Alastair Campbell have led tributes to Kate Garraway's husband Derek Draper, following his death aged 56.

Several stars have sent well wishes to Kate Garraway following the passing of her husband Derek Draper

Several stars have sent well wishes to Kate Garraway following the passing of her husband Derek Draper

The political advisor - who had been seriously ill since contracting COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic in 2020 - passed away with his 'Good Morning Britain' presenter wife, 56, holding his hand, and several of her colleagues have sent their well wishes after Kate posted a tribute to Derek.

Susanna wrote on Instagram: "Our whole hearts are with you all"

Kate's 'GMB' co-host Charlotte Hawkins posted: "So desperately sorry Kate, it’s absolutely heartbreaking. So much love to you all (sic)"

Sometime 'GMB' presenter and former Labour Party spokesman Alastair paid a personal tribute to the lobbyist, insisting Derek had "so much more to give" before he was struck down by coronavirus in 2020.

He wrote on X: "Very sad to hear the news about Derek Draper. He was a huge character, a giver not a taker, and had so much more to give before Covid took its toll. Sad above all for @kategarraway and the children. Their love and support was profound and unshakeable to the end. RIP (sic)"

'Lorraine' host Lorraine Kelly posted "So sorry Kate. You fought so hard. Just incredibly sad. Sending you love"

'This Morning' presenters Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond paid tribute to Derek live on air on Friday (05.01.24).

Dermot read out Kate's tribute, and Alison said: "All of us here at 'This Morning' are sending our love to you, Kate, and of course, Darcy and Billy."

After being hit with COVID, Derek spent 13 months in hospital, making him Britain’s longest suffering coronavirus victim.

His health battle left him with long-lasting organ damage and requiring 24/7 care at home.

Just a few months before Derek was affected by COVID, he travelled to Australia with his and Kate's children, daughter Darcy, 17, and son Billy, 14, to support the TV presenter when she took part in 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!', on which she finished fourth.

One of Kate's fellow campmates, Georgia 'Toff' Toffolo, has recalled how affectionately Derek used to speak of his and Kate's "love story".

She wrote on Instagram: "I’m so so sorry Kate. I have such fond memories of Derek while he was waiting for you, while you were in the jungle. I loved the way he spoke of your love story. Thinking of you so much. X (sic)"

Several other stars have also sent their well wishes to Kate, including comedian Alan Carr.

He wrote on social media: "Oh Kate that’s so awful. Sending you so much love and the deepest condolences"

Singer Peter Andre posted: "Sorry to hear this Kate. We send all our love. Thoughts with you all"

TV presenter and 'This Morning' fashion guru Lisa Snowdon wrote: "Kate. Sending you all so much love and strength at this heartbreaking time. So cruel and so sad. RIP Derek"

Broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire posted: "Kate I am so so so sorry for you and your gorgeous children. As a family unit the four of you have been immense. Sending so much love and strength to you all"

TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher wrote: "Oh Kate so sorry to hear this very sad news. Sending so much love to you and the children and all your family"

Kate took to Instagram on Friday morning to confirm Derek had passed away, just weeks after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

She wrote: "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. (sic)"

Following Derek's COVID battle, Kate made two documentaries, 'Kate Garraway: Finding Derek' and 'Kate Garraway: Caring For Derek' about her family’s experience living with the changes in Derek’s health.

'Finding Derek' won the Authored Documentary prize at the National Television Awards in 2021, and 'Caring For Derek' repeated the feat at the 2022 NTAs.