Good Morning Britain’s Kate Garraway spoke about the MBE she was awarded in the New Year’s Honours list for services to broadcasting, journalism and charity.
Kate, who has been with ITV Daytime since 2000, has presented GMTV Today, Daybreak and Good Morning Britain as well as taking over from Piers Morgan most recently as host of ITV’s late-night chat show Life Stories.
GMB hosts Susanna Reid and Richard Bacon congratulated her on the award, saying, “What a fantastic start to the new year!”
“Why are you all sitting down?” Kate said. “I’m expecting full bowing, full curtseying from hereon in” – to which the hosts got on their feet and curtseyed.
Richard asked: “You got a letter from the palace, previously from Kate – now you’ve had another letter from the palace. Tell us about the excitement of seeing that letter arrive?”
Kate explained: “It’s strange isn’t it, because I actually feel very awkward about it all really. I don’t know why because I’m thrilled to bits and incredibly honoured, but you just sort of think, ‘What, me?’ is the first thing you think, isn’t it, and then you think it’s not real.
“So what happens – in my experience anyway – is you get a letter saying you’ve been put forward for an honour, don’t know what, would you accept it if you did? Derek’s had a bit of time going in and out of hospital recently, so I was actually with him at the time and his sister-in-law was in charge of opening letters that looked official – mainly bills, and she opened it and said, ‘Gosh I shouldn’t have opened this, this is really exciting you should have opened this yourself’ and I said, ‘Oh for God’s sake, we need to say yes!’ to whatever it is and then you hear nothing.
“Then there was something in the papers a couple of weeks before Christmas and I thought, ‘Well I haven’t heard,’ and then on the 30th I got a letter. On the outside it said it was from Buckingham Palace and it said to Kathryn Draper Garraway on the outside. It also said MBE and I thought, ‘Well, they’re not going to get it wrong, it must be that’, and inside they just say congratulations, very pleased to hear, really thrilled that you’ve got this honour so I thought it must be true but I still didn’t quite believe it until on New Year’s Eve, people started – I think it was announced with the New Years honours list – people started to say congratulations. But it’s a strange feeling because it’s things that other people get.”
Before joining ITV nationally Kate presented on Sky News’ breakfast offering Sunrise and regionally has hosted news programming for Central News (from 1989-1996) and Meridian Tonight (1996-1998). She has also hosted programmes including The National Lottery Live for BBC One and as a regular on ITV’s Loose Women. In 2017 she made a cameo as herself in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks.
Susanna asked, “Can I just establish, do you mean to say you read it in the papers before you knew you’d been given it?”
Kate agreed, “Yes, basically. They had sent a letter saying would you accept and I said yes, but I thought, is that a little bit like for reality TV awards, they say you’ve been nominated and you don’t get a look in?
“I didn’t know whether that meant that you’d got it or not so I thought I’d just better wait for the official. I didn’t tell anybody. I didn’t even tell my parents because I felt like I didn’t want to tempt fate.
“But also I think it has strange feelings and there have been a few comments since it was announced, with people saying, ‘Why’s she got this? I look after my loved one’ and you sort of feel like, I haven’t got it for looking after Derek, it is for broadcasting and also charity work but there’s lots of people that you feel deserve it more so it’s a strange feeling.”
Richard asked, “Does it come with any special privileges?”
“It entitles me to whilst I’m on air on GMB an endless supply of tea, that’s in the contract, and that came with an official seal,” she joked. “I’d love it if it meant I had to practise archery of a Sunday or something, you know those strange laws that come with things. But no, I think it’s just letters after your name. I feel weirdly and surprisingly touched by it all.”