Derek Draper death: Lorraine Kelly and Susanna Reid lead tributes after sad news of his passing

Tributes have flooded in for Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper following his death aged 56.

The Good Morning Britain presenter, who has been caring for the former Labour party adviser since he contracted Covid during the pandemic, announced his passing on Instagram on Friday.

In December, Draper suffered a heart attack that left him “fighting for his life” due to “the damage inflicted by Covid”, which Garraway said caused “further complications”.

In the wake of his death, Garraway's ITV colleague Lorraine Kelly led the tributes and praised the star for her strength following his lengthy battle with Covid.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, she penned: "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.”

Following Kelly's lead, many of Garraway's GMB co-stars took to social media to share their condolences including Susanna Reid and Charlotte Hawkins.

In the comments of Garraway's post announcement post on Instagram, Reid wrote: "Our whole hearts are with you all."

Presenter Hawkins also said she was "desperately sorry" to hear the news and added: "Kate, it's absolutely heartbreaking. So much love to you all."

Comedian Jason Manford also replied to her post announcing Derek’s death: “Kate, I am so so sorry. Sending love to you and your family,” while former Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts added: “Sending so much love.”

Line of Duty star Vicky McClure also shared under the post: "So so sorry to hear this Kate. Sending all my love to you and your family.”

Meanwhile, former X Factor winner Alexandra Burke said: “Kate, I’m so sorry. Sending you all so much love. Keeping you all in my thought’s & prayers.”

Alan Carr also shared his sympathies under the statement, writing: "Oh Kate that's so awful. Sending you so much love and the deepest condolences".

A superstar tribute came from Sir Elton John, who sent his "love and thoughts" to Garraway: "So sorry to hear of this news, Kate. Love and thoughts to you and your family x."

Radio host Zoe Ball said she was "heartbroken" for the broadcaster and her children, commenting: "So much love coming your way from so many. May Dereks star always shine brightest for you xxxx".

Singer and presenter Peter Andre said he was "sorry" to hear the news, adding: "We send all our love. Thoughts with you all."

Elsewhere, Carol Vorderman has shared a tribute to Draper, and sent love to Garraway.

She wrote on X/Twitter: “Heartbreaking, after the last years, they have lost the man they love so much.”

Broadcaster Alastair Campbell wrote: “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.”

The outpouring of support for Garraway wasn't solely restricted to social media as ITV daytime shows This Morning and Loose Women paid tribute to Draper and their colleague Garraway.

This Morning presenters Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond held back tears as they announced his death live on Friday's show.

While reading out Garraway's words, viewers at home were shown a montage of photos of Draper and his family in happier times.

Concluding the tribute, Hammond said: "We just want to say all of us here at This Morning are sending our love to you Kate and of course Darcy and Billy" before a photo of Garraway and Draper following her time on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! paused on screen for a moment's silence.

After coming back from a commercial break, O'Leary looked visible teary-eyed while both he and Hammond continued on with the show.

While Loose Women, which was broadcast an hour after the announcement, paid tribute to Draper at the beginning of Friday's episode.

Kaye Adams said: “We’re gonna start with the saddest of news,” with the panel, including Linda Robson and Sue Cleaver, saying they are “so full of admiration” for Garraway and her family’s bravery.

Adams added: “We can’t really say anymore, it’s so raw.

"Kate’s most recent book was called The Strength of Love, and, my goodness, Kate, you displayed the strength of love in a way I can’t contemplate.”

Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair paid tribute to Draper, saying: "I am so sad to hear the news about Derek. My heart goes out to Kate and their children William and Darcey.

"It is extraordinary and remarkable that Derek survived so long after the ravages of Covid. 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.

"He was an important part of the New Labour story, at the centre of things right at the beginning. But most important of all, he was a good colleague and great friend. And we will miss him deeply."