Simon Thomas, 46, pays tribute to 'forever love' Derrina Jebb, 28, and gets a 'like' from tragic wife's mum
2 October 2019, 08:14 | Updated: 2 October 2019, 08:27
The presenter has been very open about his grief after suddenly losing his wife to cancer in November 2017 - but he's moved on with a new woman from church.
Simon Thomas has posted a loved-up photo of him and his new girlfriend - and she's got the thumbs-up from his tragic wife's mum.
The 46-year-old lost wife Gemma, 40, to acute myeloid leukaemia aged 40 in November 2017, leaving him a single dad to Ethan, now 10.
He began seeing Derrina less than a year later, and speaking about his new girlfriend in an interview last year, Simon said: "I’m very aware she was someone I didn’t know before and have got to know over the last few weeks and months.
"Right from the early stages – she had this empathy towards me. She’s Christian as well and that’s important to me as a man of faith.
"She’s been an incredible support for me. She was the only person who would always pick up the phone.
"What I saw in her, I saw in Gemma. When she said my phone is always on, she meant it."
He posted a tribute to his 28-year-old partner on Instagram, writing: "We love @derrina more than words can describe.
"A woman of boundless love, kindness and compassion who has loved me when I was hard to love, picked me up when I was in pieces and has the most beautiful bond with my boy.
"I am incredibly blessed to have her in my life and will love her forever."
It seems Derrina, whose dad is a preacher, has also made a positive impression on Ethan's grandma, Simon's tragic wife's mum.
She posted her own lengthy tribute, thanking her for helping "her boys" live again.
Wendy Sonnex wrote: "Lovely lovely pic and reminiscent of the sunset pic of you Ethan and Gemma one of my favourites.
"It’s good to see you and Ethan happy again... and I’m grateful to Derrina for caring for and loving our sweet boy as she does.
"Being a step mum isn’t the easiest of roles and Gemma’s shoes are hard to fill. Not that you can or would.
"Thank you Derrina for all you do for these two boys.
"We’ll never forget our Gems who is irreplaceable but I’m touched to see how, with Derrina’s help, the boys are learning to live again.
"Love and prayers.... Gemma’s mummy. Xxx"