Review: Kate Garraway: Finding Derek was a devastatingly intimate portrait of love in the time of Covid

With all the vaccines and roadmaps and wonder drugs, I have got a bit complacent about Covid-19 recently, but there was a programme this week which shocked me out of my coronavirus fug.

By Phil Cunnington
Friday, 26th March 2021, 6:00 pm

Kate Garraway: Finding Derek (ITV, Tues, 9pm) was an intimate portrait of the Good Morning Britain presenter’s life since her husband, Chorley-born political adviser-turned-psychotherapist Derek Draper was admitted to hospital with Covid in March 2020 – he is still there, a year later.

And it really was intimate – in her drive to show the uncomfortable reality of living with Long-Covid, Garraway unflinchingly invited us into her home, and her handbag.

She seems to have no vanity, with her house in chaos as adaptations are made to help Derek, whenever he actually makes it out of hospital – doing her own make-up, hair all over the place.

Kate Garraway presented a devastating portrayal of living with Covid

And she invites us into her darkest thoughts too. Amid the carnage of the alterations to her house, she says: “Am I fooling myself doing this, will he ever come home?”

Her family’s life is in limbo, as Derek slowly, slowly recovers. It’s a series of tiny, imperceptible firsts –the first time he opens his eyes from coma; the first words; the first emotion.

WATCH: The Line of Duty series six trailer.His mental health is another matter. One particularly distressing call shows Derek openly contemplating the end.

You get the impression that Garraway is generally a positive presence, but this long-term torture has an effect on her too: “I’ve never loved Derek more, or feared losing him more.”

A brave illustration of how this disease continues to devastate families, many months after the virus has seemingly passed on, this was a moving, warm portrait of how love perseveres.

After all the hype, Line of Duty (BBC1, Sun, 9pm) eventually burst back on to our screens, but not with the expected blaze of glory. But this slow-burn start to series six still held enough to keep you hooked.

I was prepared to hate This is My House (BBC1, Weds, 9pm), a hybrid of Through The Keyhole and Guess Who? However, it turned out to be funny, infuriating fun, and well worth catching.