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Good Morning Britain’s Kate Garraway says the early rises are all worth it

Kate Garraway (Jonathan Ford / ITV)
Kate Garraway (Jonathan Ford / ITV)

SHE manages to be a beaming ray of sunshine when most people are dopily slipping from under the duvet.

So, I suppose it’s not a great surprise to find Kate Garraway chipper.

But even by her bright and bubbly standards, she’s positively radiant.

“I’m having a VERY good day,” she tells iN10 after another full-on few hours on the Good Morning Britain sofa.

“We’ve just got the new figures for my Smooth Radio show and we’ve got two-and-a-half million listeners.

“And we moved house recently and have been without windows for the past two weeks. But my husband has just called to say they’re going in.

“So not only do we have the highest-ever listening figures for my show, but I’m going home to a house with windows, so it’s a really good day!”

Kate, Ben Shephard, Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan inform and entertain the nation each morning as we keep an eye on the minutes before we need to fire the kids out the door.

Kate Garraway, Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid present GMB ( ITV)
Kate Garraway, Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid present GMB (ITV)

From GMTV to Good Morning Britain, mum-of-two Kate has been the smiling, authoritative figure making it all look like a piece of lightly buttered toast, if not cake.

“It’s coming up to 16 years of being on the ITV breakfast sofa,” says Kate. “I was at Sky and the BBC before that so it’s pretty much 20 years of getting up in the middle of the night.

“I didn’t think I was a morning person before I started this but I suppose I must be, not just doing it for so long but actually enjoying it.”

Away from the cameras Kate is, well, pretty much like she is on them.

That’s open and interested, fun, full of laughs and darn good company.

She insists the sheer mad mix of what she does – like a breakfast cereal variety pack – is what makes getting up at a frankly hellish hour worthwhile.

“I don’t think there are many places left on TV – in fact I think GMB is it – where you can be interviewing the Prime Minister one minute, then having an ice bath and then be speaking to Pixie Lott.”

Ah, the former PM.

Kate may be a real showbiz expert, but she’s also a hard-nosed journalist who loves the cut and thrust of a political interview. David Cameron lost his cool and snapped that he wasn’t getting a chance to answer when Kate tried to pin him down in a pre-Brexit interview. “It was the fourth time he had been asked the question so frankly I thought it was about time he answered it,” she says. “But I have a lot of respect for him and I can say that by the time he left we were definitely on friendly terms.

“Look, it’s all part of the game with politicians.

“It’s our job to try and get the answers the public want and it’s their job to get the message across in the way they’d like.”

Kate gets on her bike!
Kate gets on her bike! (Clive Gee / PA Archive)

The starry encounters tend to be less confrontational. And, ever diplomatic, Kate says she finds just about all the celebs she comes across are pretty decent and straightforward. “Just because people are amazing actors, they’re not always going to be comfortable speaking about what they do. But then you get someone like Will Smith or Tom Hanks, who are an absolute joy.”

You’d think that by the time she finishes at GMB Kate would be happy to put her feet up with a coffee.

But then it’s straight off to her other day job, the mid-morning slot on Smooth FM she’s been hosting for the past two-and-a-half years.

She insists slipping behind the microphone and mixing desk is the perfect antithesis to the frantic, breaking news shift on GMB.

“I call it my phew moment,” she says. “It’s that moment where I can go in and play a bit of Marvin Gaye or Blondie and Will Young and just relax.

“Plus, I get to finish by 1pm and get home to pick the kids up from school.”

Darcey, 10, and Billy, seven, are the youngsters she dotes on with husband Derek Draper. A good age, surely, before all that teen grumpiness kicks in?

“Oh, there’s always a spell they go through when there’s a bit of grumpiness,” she smiles.

“Actually, when they are grumpy is when they need their mum – or dad – most. I’ve got a few years yet before I reach the moody teenager phase, so I’m bracing myself for that.

“But being mum is absolutely the best thing and I’m so proud of them.”

Kate with Susanna (Jonathan Ford / ITV)
Kate with Susanna (Jonathan Ford / ITV)

Kate insists that the impact of motherhood isn’t just a matter of what happens at home.

It’s an all-encompassing state.

“Having kids seeps into your work life. I remember, a couple of years ago, I was reporting on the refugee situation on the Syrian border. There were all these youngsters who started throwing stones at each other and our camera crew. It was all getting very tense. Then I pulled out my mobile phone and played Gangnam Style, which I had on it because my kids absolutely loved it.

“I turned the volume up loud and all these kids stopped throwing stones and started doing the dance.

“It not only totally defused the situation but it also reminded you that they were just kids.

“I would never have thought of doing that if I wasn’t a mum.”

Charity fun and games with Olly Murs and Richard Arnold (PA Archive)
Charity fun and games with Olly Murs and Richard Arnold (PA Archive)

With a couple of decades on the telly, Kate has shown just about all sides of herself to the nation – and one particuarly unfortunate moment earlier this year. Co-host and – just as well – real big pal Ben picked her up in jest on screen to pop her into a vat of icy water.

“I panicked because I had my mobile in my pocket,” explains Kate. “I thought ‘Oh no, this is going to wipe out all my contacts’. But then he remembered I had a microphone pack on me and thought he couldn’t put me in wearing that so he put me down.

“But in the process he flashed my Spanx to the world. Yeah, thanks Ben!”

Oh, and to add insult to injury, Kate eventually did get an ice bath dunking with Ben.

Like the good-natured trooper she is, Kate kept smiling on through. And that winning likeability is surely part of what’s kept her at the top in the cut-throat world of TV for so long.

“I’ve been very lucky to be still doing it – and I’m also very cheap so maybe that explains it!”

Kate Garraway presents Good Morning Britain, on ITV weekdays from 6am


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