KATE Garraway choked back tears last night as she was honoured for her documentary on husband Derek Draper’s gruelling battle with Covid.
The GMB presenter, 54, got a standing ovation at the National Television Awards for Finding Derek.
Wiping away tears, she said: “Thank you so much for voting. I wonder if the reason you did because our story is your story.
“We’ve all been touched by the pandemic. Whether it’s livelihood, mental health, all the other extraordinary documentaries which have been highlighted and nominated tonight, they have also been affected by the pandemic.”
She added — referencing her two children and husband — “I want to say to all the other Darceys and Billys and Dereks — whatever you’re going through and however you are affected, you are not forgotten.
“We want the joy back. We want it to be over. But if you are still living with the scares. The fight goes on. But of course, most of all, Derek. Who should be here.
“Who should have the chance to tell his story, Derek, you are going to get the chance. Believe. The hope is real.”
The Good Morning Britain presenter, 54, won the Authored Documentary category for Finding Derek.
It was a moving account of his year in hospital after after being struck down by the virus in March 2020.
She received a standing ovation from a star-studded audience at London’s 02 Arena as she stepped up on stage to collect the gong.
She said: “It was hugely brave decision of ITV to commission this — they didn’t know what they were making, they didn’t know they were making a story about bereavement or about a triumph.”
She said it was unclear whether they would see a family in grief of relief -adding: “In the end really it ended up being something between the two.”
Finding Derek showed how Kate had battled to continue working on GMB while caring for her husband who spent months in a coma, as well as looking after the children.
Derek's body has been ravaged by the effects of the virus with his kidneys failing, his liver damaged and his heart and pancreas malfunctioning.
He has also had to fight of several other infections and has been left with holes in his lungs as a result of pneumonia.
Viewers were overwhelmed when they saw Kate struggling to come to terms with the fact Derek is unlikely to be the same again after doctors told her he is the sickest man they’ve had to treat in the past 12 months.
She said: “This virus has impacted every single one of us. By telling the story of Derek’s illness and how it has altered our lives, I hope to be able to reach out to others who are suffering.”
Ant & Dec were the night’s other big winners — scooping the TV Presenter gong for a record 20th year in a row.
ITV’s I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here!, which they host, won the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award.
Coronation Street also scored a stunning victory over rivals EastEnders.
The soap scooped a hat-trick of gongs. It won Best Serial Drama while and two cast members, Mollie Gallagher who plays Nina Lucas and Jude Riordan as Sam Blakeman, won the Serial Drama Performance and Newcomer awards respectively.
Other surprises included Best Drama going to Channel 4’s It’s A Sin, which looked at the Aids crisis of the 1980s.
The show was up against Netflix global hit Bridgerton, BBC Three’s steamy love story Normal People and ITV chiller, Des.
But David Tennant’s captivating performance as serial killer Denis Nilsen in Des did see him receive the Drama Performance award.
Strictly Come Dancing was named best Talent Show, the Great British Bake Off was top Challenge Show and Gogglebox won in the Factual category.
There was was victory for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield as This Morning won the Daytime gong.
Ricky Gervais’ After Life won the Comedy category and Beat the Chasers — a spin off of The Chase — was named best Quiz Game Show.
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