March 29, 2023
Paul O’Grady Dies: UK TV Host & Comedian Was 67
British TV host, comedian and Actor Paul O’Grady died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening according to a statement by his husband which was provided to local media. He was 67. Known for his drag Queen persona Lily Savage as well as hosting several TV game and talk shows, the multi-award winning O’Grady was also a radio personality. One of his most recent TV appearances was in 2022 with now Queen Consort Camilla for an episode of ITV’s For the Love of Dogs, a series O’Grady helped launch in 2012, which follows the staff at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. More recently, he had been on tour playing Miss Hannigan in a touring version of Annie . Two weeks ago, he posted to Instagram saying he was “thoroughly enjoying” playing the role alongside “a truly amazing and lovely cast.” Related Story Whoopi Goldberg & Charlamagne Tha God Defend Mississippi TV News Anchor Who Was Removed After Quoting Snoop Dogg Lyric On Air O’Grady’s husband Andre Portasio said in the statement: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening. He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, Friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion. I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years… We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.” Tributes flooded in from across the UK media sector, from newspaper journalists, TV producers and celebrities. Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden posting on social media: “Woken up to this sad, sad news. I loved Paul. He was brilliantly opinionated, searingly sharp and very funny. I loved our conversations… I can’t quite believe it. Thoughts with Andre and their family.” Malcolm Prince, who produced O’Grady’s show on local network Boom Radio, told news media the presenter was in cheerful mood and good health this week. “Yesterday afternoon, I popped round to Paul’s for a good old catch-up. Surrounded by his beloved dogs, he was laughing, smiling, and full of life. He was so proud of Annie , so happy to be back on Boom Radio, and he was looking forward to so many new projects.” O’Grady began developing the beloved Lily Savage character in the 1970s and performed as her in a solo show that ran for eight years at London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern. The character made a name by speaking out about LGBT issues and for a saucy sense of humor. O’Grady later hosted The Lily Savage Show for a short 1997 stint and then hosted a rebooted version of BBC gameshow Blankety Blank in character. Other credits include BAFTA-winning The Paul O’Grady Show , which had runs on both ITV and Channel 4 , Paul O’Grady’s Saturday Night Line Up and the 2017 reboot of Blind Date for Channel 5. Last summer, he presented his final BBC Radio 2 show after hosting the Sunday afternoon program for 14 years.
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