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29th Mar 2023

TV presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady dies aged 67

Clodagh McKeon

“He was funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise”

Presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady has died at the age of 67.

His husband, Andre Portasio said in a statement that he died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening.

He said: “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.

O’Grady rose to fame in the 1990s with his drag queen persona Lily Savage, going on to present game show Blankety Blank and other light entertainment programmes.

Later in his career, he went on to host a number of chat shows, and also brought his love of dogs to the screen.

He had recently been on tour playing Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie.

Writing on Instagram a few weeks ago after returning from performing in Newcastle, O’Grady said he was “thoroughly enjoying” playing the role again after so long “especially with a truly amazing and lovely cast”.

O’Grady had recently announced he was teaming up with Boom Radio after quitting Radio 2 in August because he was “unhappy”.

He was due to present a new show on Boom Radio in less than two weeks time for Easter Sunday.

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A post shared by Paul O’Grady (@paulogrady)

O’Grady was described as a “really special man” by ITV’s Lorraine Kelly.

She said: “Such sad news. Paul O’Grady was funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise. He will be sorely missed.”

Good Morning Britain host, Charlotte Hawkins said O’Grady was “magnificent” while radio presenter Simon Mayo added that he was “a lovely man, always funny and a radio natural”.

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paul o'grady