Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper has died (Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX)

Kate Garraway has announced that her husband Dirk Draper died at the age of 56and her friends offered their condolences.

She posted a photo on Instagram and wrote: “I am sorry to announce to you all that my dear husband Derek has passed away.”

“As some of you may know, he was seriously ill following a cardiac arrest in early December, which led to further complications due to the damage caused by Covid in March 2020.”

“Derek was surrounded by his family in his last days and I stood by his side and held his hand through the last long hours and when he died.”

The Good Morning Britain presenter continued: “I have so much more to say, and of course I will in time, but for now I just want to say thank you to all the medical teams who fought so hard to save him and him.” Make your last moments as pleasant and dignified as possible.

“I send so much love and thanks to everyone who has so generously supported our family. Rest in peace, Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life.”

Derek Draper and Kate Garraway

Kate announced the news on Instagram (Image: James Gourley/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Alan Carr wrote in the Instagram post: “Oh Kate this is so terrible. Sending you so much love and my deepest condolences.”

Susanna Reid added: “Our hearts go out to you all.”

‘Terrible news. They are in our prayers,” shared Brian McFadden.

Georgia Toffolo shared: “I’m so sorry Kate. I have such fond memories of Derek waiting for you while you were in the jungle. I loved the way he talked about your love story. I’m thinking of you so much .’

“I’m sorry, Kate. You fought so hard. Just incredibly sad. Sending you love,” Lorraine Kelly typed.

Lorraine Kelly

Lorraine shared a post (Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Another ITV colleague, Richard Arnold, told Kate: “Always by your side ❤️.”

Peter Andre took the time to let Kate know he was thinking of her.

“Sorry to hear that, Kate. We send all our love. Thoughts with you all ❤️,” he shared.

Alexandra Burke sent her love to Kate: “Kate I’m so sorry..❤️❤️ Sending you all so much love.” I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. XXX.’

Prominent New Labor politician Alastair Campbell recalled Draper’s incredible character on X, formerly Twitter: “Very sad to hear the news about Derek Draper.” He was a great character, a giver not a taker, and he had so much more to give before Covid took its toll. Especially sad about that

“@kategarraway and the kids. Their love and support was deep and unwavering until the end. REST IN PEACE.’

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds paid tribute to Draper following the death of the former lobbyist and prominent New Labor member.

In a post on X, he said: “So sad to hear this news this morning.”

“When I was a student in Manchester, Derek was still the talk of the town at Manchester University.

“When I met him, I always found him attentive and kind, very different from his public image at the time.

“Prayers for him and his family.”