Richard Arnold talks to Kate Gar­raway, plus in­sider show­biz gos­sip

Kate Gar­raway on three-day fes­tive cel­e­bra­tions and why this year will be so much more mag­i­cal af­ter her re­cent ill­ness

Woman's Own - - HELLO & WELCOME -

It’s been a tough cou­ple of months for Kate Gar­raway af­ter a menin­gi­tis scare caused her to take time off from host­ing Good Morn­ing Bri­tain. But she’s back and fight­ing fit – just in time for Christ­mas! Here, Kate, 51, chats to Richard Arnold about go­ing cross­coun­try over the fes­tive pe­riod with hus­band Derek Draper and their chil­dren Darcey, 12, and nine-year-old Wil­liam, and how her re­cent health prob­lems were a re­minder of just how lucky she is.

So how will you be spend­ing Christ­mas this year? Christ­mas will be tra­di­tional as al­ways. The rou­tine we’ve had since we got mar­ried 13 years ago is we go up to my in-laws on Christ­mas Eve in Chor­ley. We all dress up – when the chil­dren were younger they’d of­ten wear their na­tiv­ity play clothes – now we’re in our Christ­mas jumpers and we head up on the M6, with the car dec­o­rated in fairy lights. We al­ways stop at Keele ser­vices for a burger and then when we get to Derek’s par­ents we go to a church ser­vice. It’s very tra­di­tional, ev­ery­one has can­dles. It’s so lovely. It re­ally gets us in the mood.

Can I come? It sounds idyl­lic! That’s just the be­gin­ning. Af­ter that, it’s all back to the house and we all pile in – some of us are on a sofa bed or a mat­tress: Derek’s sis­ter, her hus­band, their chil­dren, our chil­dren. When we first got mar­ried it was just Derek and I, but now his sis­ter is mar­ried and they have chil­dren and of course we do… so we are all un­der one roof. It’s mag­i­cal.

What about Box­ing Day? We do it all again! We get up and drive to my mum’s in Ox­ford­shire and do an­other Christ­mas lunch. My brother comes up from Corn­wall with his kids and the crack­ers come out again. Fa­ther Christ­mas can’t come twice, of course, so we have lit­tle presents on the Christ­mas tree. More treats, but it’s not over yet.

You’re telling me there’s more… Yes! The next day we go to my un­cle’s and that’s the full Gar­raway clan – about 30 of us now. This is go­ing to be ex­tra spe­cial this year be­cause one of my cousins who got mar­ried last year is ex­pect­ing a baby – su­per ex­cit­ing – and an­other cousin got mar­ried in the au­tumn, so they’ll be there as hus­band and wife for the first time.

I’m ex­hausted al­ready! It sounds it, but be­cause we’ve done all the driv­ing my

‘we all pile in – some of us are on a sofa bed’

mother-in-law won’t let me lift a fin­ger, nei­ther will my mum and nor will my aunt and un­cle. It’s like: ‘Wel­come, put your feet up and have a cuppa.’ We have the best Christ­mas be­cause Derek and I drop in and drop out and there are no dishes. You don’t wash a mug up, but you do put in the miles.

This Christ­mas will be all the more poignant af­ter you fell ill, I’m sure… It will be. I felt a bit groggy be­fore work a month or so ago – just like a cold was com­ing on, a bit of flu lurk­ing – so I went to bed early, woke up on the Fri­day when I gen­er­ally co-host GMB and felt re­ally dread­ful. I went to turn the light on in the bath­room to have a shower and couldn’t look at the light and felt re­ally sick, but I some­how got my­self dressed and got in the taxi to go to work.

You must have been bad… By the time I got to work I felt re­ally un­well, sick, flu-like, hot and cold and still couldn’t look at the lights.

We’ve done enough sto­ries, haven’t we, over the years on Good Morn­ing Bri­tain about the signs for sep­sis and menin­gi­tis and al­though I wasn’t think­ing it, the pro­duc­ers were think­ing this is not right so they sug­gested that I not just go home but ac­tu­ally to hos­pi­tal.

Were you wor­ried? For­tu­nately it was just a virus but it re­minded me that – es­pe­cially when you are do­ing char­ity work for Save The Chil­dren or Global’s Make Some Noise – there are so many young­sters for whom the scary times are ac­tu­ally some­thing much more se­ri­ous. It just re­minds you how lucky you are and that how­ever ter­ri­fy­ing it was, how lucky it is that you are up and about. It makes you even more ap­pre­cia­tive of your health and you hug your chil­dren a lit­tle bit harder, don’t you?

‘it just re­minds you how lucky you are’

Speak­ing of good causes, last year you were never out of a Christ­mas jumper… I was do­ing the Christ­mas jumper chal­lenge and so I had to wear a dif­fer­ent one ev­ery day from 1 De­cem­ber, which was for Save The Chil­dren. This year I’ll be do­ing an­other chal­lenge that will in­volve Christ­mas jumpers, too, so watch this space.

Richard Arnold and Kate

Kate with Derek, Wil­liam and Darcey

Red-car­pet ready – Kate and the kids at­tend a screen­ing

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