Ben Shephard has praised Kate Garraway's "eternal optimism and positivity" as her husband Derek Draper remains in hospital fighting the effects of coronavirus.

Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway

Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway

The 'Good Morning Britain' presenter thinks about his co-host's plight on a daily basis and admits the toughest part of the situation is "not knowing" what the outcome will be, but he has commended his pal for being "so brilliant and professional".

Derek has been in hospital since March when he contracted Covid-19, and while he is now free of the virus, he is still dealing with the damaging impact coronavirus has had on his body.

Ben said: "Kate and I have been through an extraordinary time as friends over the last twenty odd years, through various things, divorces, marriages, graduations, changing schools, new jobs... you get to know each other very well.

"We also work together in an environment that is incredibly pressurised whereby we have to have absolute trust in each other because anything could happen at any stage and we need to be able to help each other when things go wrong and be there for each other when things go right.

"I drive home from work every day past the space where I spoke to Kate and she told me that Derek had been taken to hospital because I stopped for a tyre change.

"Every day I drive past the tyre shop, I think back to that moment when we were talking about Derek first going into hospital and what was happening. It feels like a lifetime ago now and I genuinely can’t explain my pride, admiration and love for what Kate has been through, and Bill and Darcey, and how remarkable she has been in juggling the number of different factors. She is having to juggle things personally, as a mum and a wife and a daughter and a daughter-in-law, and then professionally.

"There is not a day when I don’t think about her and what is happening that day and whether I can do something to help her today. There is not a moment when I’m working with her where that admiration tarnishes.

"Kate is so brilliant and professional and we have fun so you sometimes forget the relentless journey that they are on at the moment. We all want to know what the outcome is going to be and that is the hardest thing, not knowing.

"It is so, so difficult and her eternal optimism and positivity is something that we can all look at. It is something that I use to inspire me as well. In 2021, I will undoubtedly be more optimistic and positive, because of my friendship with Kate and how much I admire her."

Kate also praised Ben for being there for her, admitting it has put a "huge pressure on him".

She said: "For 20 years, Ben has had to do so much for me. In the run up to the jungle, he lived every moment of that with me. But this year has been another level.

"He has been at the end of the phone and trying to do everything that he can to help. To be serious for a minute, it has been a huge pressure on him.

"Working alongside somebody that you care for and you are worried about, plus also trying to do the job, it’s a huge thing and I am very grateful that he has been there and I am aware how tough it’s been for him ... He has been amazing."

The pair will host Good Morning Britain’s 1 Million Minutes Awards virtually on December 17th, as the campaign - which urges Brits to pledge their time and volunteer to help others - marks its fifth anniversary.

To pledge your support to GMB’s 1 Million Minutes Awards go to: ITV.com/1MillionMinutes.


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