Piers Morgan has revealed that he had feared he would "never hear Derek speak again" after chatting on the phone with Kate Garraway's husband last weekend.
Piers spoke with Derek Draper after calling Kate ahead of filming a Life Stories episode with the Good Morning Britain presenter.
Derek remains seriously ill after catching Covid nearly 20 months ago, a battle that Kate opened up about in her documentary Finding Derek.
He became the UK's longest-surviving Covid inpatient but was able to return home in April. He still requires round-the-clock care.
Writing for the Daily Mail, Piers said he was "stunned" when Kate offered to put Derek on the phone during last weekend's call.
"I just assumed he wouldn’t be capable of any kind of proper conversation, given his condition," he wrote.
He greeted Derek by saying "it’s so good to talk to you" and was surprised to hear a clear response of "hello".
Piers told Derek: "It’s great to hear your voice again. Keep battling, Derek – we’re all so proud of you!"
Derek then thanked him, "again, very clearly" according to Piers.
Piers, a former colleague of Kate's at Good Morning Britain, described the chat as "a strange, thrilling experience".
He also revealed that it was the first time he had spoken to Derek since a Christmas party in 2019.
Kate had just returned from Australia, where she had finished fourth in that year's I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.
Derek was "bursting with pride" for his wife, according to Piers, as the couple seemed happier than ever. Just four months later their world was turned upside down by Derek's illness.
Last Monday Piers and Kate met to record the Life Stories episode and discussed the touching phone call from the day before.
Both said that they couldn't believe it had happened, and Kate mentioned that one of Derek's carers had "burst into tears" afterwards.
The show will air on ITV on December 5.
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