Kate Garraway turns 50
Breakfast telly star Kate Garraway on reaching her half century and being the inspiration for an iconic movie character…
daytime Good Morning Britain mon-fri / itv / 6.00am
Kate Garraway hoots with laughter recalling her path to the
Good Morning Britain sofa.
‘My mum has cassettes – that’s how old I am! – on which I’m pretending to interview Margaret Thatcher and answering as her in some very strange voice about why she stopped supplying school milk.
‘So, looking back, I was either going to be some sort of weird ventriloquist or an interviewer!’ Luckily, Kate chose the latter and with a career of over 25 years in television – 17 of those on the sofa of ITV breakfast shows – it’s hard for many of us to imagine waking up without the sunny TV and radio presenter.
Here, Kate talks about her Bridget Jones alter-ego, embarrassing moments on the sofa, and the midlife
‘moment’ she had hitting the big 5-0 last month…
What’s the secret of your success on Good Morning Britain? I’m cheap! The bosses here obviously think, ‘She may not be brilliant, but she’s the best we can get for that price!’ Seriously, it’s a huge honour to start people’s days on the show. What I’m proud of is people’s trust in me. When you’ve been around for as long as I have, guests on the sofa trust you with their story and viewers trust me to handle it well. It’s lovely when mums, dads, nans and even kids come up to me on the street and say they can’t remember breakfast TV without me on it.
What are your most embarrassing moments on the sofa?
I’ve had wardrobe malfunctions,
I’ve been caught eating on camera – oh, and my phone rang live on air the day Piers Morgan started. It was my mum saying she didn’t know Piers was joining. The worst moment was Ben Shephard picking me up to dunk me in a pool and accidentally flashing my big nude knickers to the nation. That was a low point!
Is it true the character of the calamity-prone Bridget Jones TV presenter was based on you? Renée Zellweger, who plays Bridget, studied tapes of GMTV for research and when I went on set to watch filming of the sequel, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Renée said to me, ‘You are the real Bridget Jones, you’ve done everything she does’. I replied,
‘No, I’ve never flashed my knickers on live TV like her’, and literally, the next week, it happened!
Have you recovered from being surprised on-air for your 50th birthday last month?
It was a whirlwind! My husband Derek suddenly appeared with my kids, Darcey and Billy, and all I could think was, ‘I’m going to be in so much trouble with their school’. Then my mum and dad came on – I’m never going to trust my loved ones again!
How do you feel turning 50?
I’ve written a book about it, The Joy of Big Knickers, because, in truth, I did have a midlife moment last year. I won’t call it a midlife crisis because I associate that with running off with a toyboy and, unfortunately, that didn’t happen! But I had lots of questions about life, love, death and what’s going to happen to me.
Kate’s not fazed by her milestone Sofa co-hosts:
Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway
Big day in Bridget’s diary: Renée Zellweger researched Kate on tv