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Kate Garraway dedicates emotional song to husband Derek Draper as she returns to radio

Kate Garraway made her return to Smooth Radio on Monday (19 February), and played a special song dedicated to her late husband, Derek Draper.

The former political lobbyist died on 3 January aged 56, nearly four years after he first contracted Covid. His funeral took place earlier this month.

Garraway returned to her role as presenter on Good Morning Britain on 8 February, telling her co-hosts “we have to pick ourselves up and go on”.

She has now also returned to her presenting slot on Smooth Radio, where she played “Your Song” by Elton John in an emotional tribute to her husband. She shared details of the song’s significance to their relationship and during Draper’s illness.

Garraway confirmed that the British pop legend had delivered a poignant live performance of “Skyline Pigeon”, from his 1969 debut album Empire Sky, during the funeral service, which he attended with his husband David Furnish.

The song is about a metaphorical bird breaking free.

Kate Garraway returned to her radio presenting duties on Monday (Kate Garraway/Instagram: @kategarraway)
Kate Garraway returned to her radio presenting duties on Monday (Kate Garraway/Instagram: @kategarraway)

Thanking listeners for their “lovely and poignant messages”, Garraway said: “I just feel really honoured that you’ve shared your thoughts with me and I’m going to do my best to keep the music flowing.

“Now you may know that Elton John sang at my husband Derek’s funeral and it was a very special moment born out of him just being a lovely man and I just wanted to play him for you this morning.”

In an interview with Smooth Radio days before her return to the show, Garraway had described the tribute as “extraordinary and beautiful” and shared what the artist’s music meant to the couple.

She said: “There were lots of Elton John music I played to Derek in the coma and that we’ve played together when he’s been well, and that wasn’t one of them. And I think that was particularly lovely because the words are so beautiful.

“It’s beautiful. I played it with his sisters beforehand and they were in tears. I mean, really unexpected and really lovely and kind of very private, I think, and a very private thing because he is obviously the greatest showman. But it was a very private, sort of lovely thing, which was very kind. Very kind.”

In an Instagram post before her appearance, Garraway thanked supporters for their wishes saying: “Thank you for all your really lovely messages. It’s so kind of you to think of me and also share some of your thoughts.

“I know some of you have been telling me with your letters and messages about people that you’ve loved that you’ve lost and how important it is to share those feelings. I feel really honoured that you shared them with me. I’m going to keep chatting away and keep reading your messages.”