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Kate Garraway and Dereks love story – snub, health woes and Strictly sign

Kate Garraway, 54 and husband Derek Draper, 54 are celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary today despite having a difficult two years.

The pair prepared to renew their vows for their 15th wedding anniversary during 2020 but their plans were put on hold when Derek became seriously ill, which nearly proved fatal.

Derek contracted coronavirus in March 2020 and was seriously ill for months, being put into a coma and still not having fully recovered.

He battled bacterial pneumonia and fought multiple infections.

Derek is now considered to be the longest surviving Covid patient in the country.

Here is a journey through the couple's relationship together:

Dating and marriage

Kate and Derek first met in 2004 where they had been introduced by a mutual friend, former GMTV political editor Gloria De Piero.

However, Kate admitted that it took her a while for an attraction to form between the pair.

She had divorced from her first husband, Ian Rumsey in 2002 after having married in 1998.

Derek arranged to meet Kate in Claridge's whilst she was with her friends and she has previously said that she acted 'cool' by ignoring him.

However, this didn't put him off as he asked her out on another date but he had to ring and cancel on the day because he'd originally arranged to serve wine at an amateur watercolour painting class at his church, which Kate didn't believe at first.

But Kate made sure he was telling the truth by turning up to the painting class herself.

After this the pair soon went from strength to strength.

Just 12 months after first meeting they took their relationship to the next level by tying the knot in front of close friends and family in an intimate ceremony.

Little did Kate know, Derek had been having dancing lessons from ex-Strictly Come Dancing pro Brendan Cole who also made a surprise appearance.

This was years before Kate went on to star on the fifth series of Strictly herself where she came eighth.

Parenthood

Derek and Kate share two children together, Darcey, 16, and William, 12.

Kate told The Mirror in 2006, after having Darcey that she'd always wanted children but wasn't panicking.

However, since Derek has been unwell, Kate admitted that is has been difficult home schooling the children on her own.

William, who is known as Billy was born in 2009.

Kate's children often appear on her Instagram where she has a million followers.

Derek's documentary

Kate decided to create a documentary to show the public the realities of Derek's illness.

The documentary Kate Garraway: Finding Derek premiered on ITV and is now available to watch on ITV Hub.

It takes viewers through the journey that Derek has been on and Kate said that when she decided to document the struggle, they didn't know what was going to happen.

She said the family were unsure whether they were showing a story of triumph where Derek made a full recovery of whether it would be a story of bereavement.

The documentary shows multiple video calls between the family and Derek, despite him even struggling to speak now.

Derek returned home in March of this year but is still seriously ill, with Kate saying that he often sleeps 20 hours a day out of 24 and that he still finds it hard to speak.

NTA victory

National Television Awards crowned Kate Garraway: Finding Derek the winner of the new category Best Authored Documentary.

Kate took to her Instagram page this morning to post a photo from FaceTiming Derek after having won the award.

She captioned the picture: "Wow. Thank you so so much. Have been in such an emotional daze all night I failed to get a single photo of me or the brilliant @flickerproductions team who made #findingderek @theofficialntas!!

"But maybe this is the photo you most wanted to see anyway – Me FaceTiming Derek (via Darcey’s phone!) to tell him we had won! From him and from the bottom of our family’s hearts THANKYOU.

"For all who are struggling on and holding on to hope – this is for you. And to all the other wonderful nominations in the category – @marcusrashford @katieprice @romankemp @robburrowmndfundraiser_ proud to be among you and I salute your brilliance & bravery xxx"

Kate also made an emotional speech when she collected the award where she had to hold back the tears as she was given a standing ovation.

She said: "I just want to say to all the Darceys, the Billys, the Dereks, the Dereks families out there – whatever you're going through and however you're affected, you're not forgotten.

"We want the joy back, we want it to be over; but if you're still living with the scars, the fight goes on.

"Derek should be here and get the chance to tell his story. Derek you're going to get the chance – believe!"

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