Paul O’Grady, a well-liked TV host and comedian who rose to fame as Lily Savage in a drag performance passed away at age 67. His husband, Andre Portasio, confirmed in a statement that O’Grady d*ed “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening (28 March).
Portasio said in a statement (According to Daily Post)
“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. 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.”
O’Grady recently wrapped off her run as Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie and was scheduled to take over the part again for performances later this year in the UK and Ireland.
Tributes poured in early on Wednesday (29 March). TV presenter Lorraine Kelly wrote on Twitter:
“Such sad news. Paul O’Grady – funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise … I always think dogs are the best judge of character and they ADORED him.”
The LGBTQ+ rights campaigner Peter Tatchell remembered O’Grady (as reported by Yahoo)
“One of the loveliest people you could ever meet. Everyone whose lives he touched will miss him greatly, as will those who enjoyed his wit and admired his compassion.”
O’Grady, born in Birkenhead in 1955, relocated to London in his 20s and worked as a social worker for Camden Council. At homos*xual bars by 1978, he was honing his drag persona Lily Savage, a loud-mouthed single mother and sporadic s*x worker based on female relatives.
When O’Grady was nominated for the Perrier award, the UK’s most prestigious comedy award, and started performing on radio and television as himself, he gained widespread exposure. Savage was retired by O’Grady in 2004 and moved to “a convent in Brittany.”
His hosting credits include the Bafta-winning talk show The Paul O’Grady Show, Blankety Blank, celebrity gameshow Paul O’Grady’s Saturday Night Line Up, and the reboot of Blind Date. He took over for the show’s longtime host and close friend, Cilla Black, who passed away in 2015 and had been the show’s presenter for many years.
O’Grady was a well-known animal enthusiast who raised dogs, pigs, bats, ferrets, and other animals on his farm in Kent. He also hosted the prestigious program For The Love Of Dogs. In a special one-off episode last year, the queen consort joined him to celebrate the 160th anniversary of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
An organization for which he served as an ambassador. Also, he supported the UK-based Orangutan Appeal and received the RSPCA Animal Hero award for his “exceptional contribution to animal welfare.”
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Throughout his career, he was known for being outspoken about the treatment of care workers, austerity, and the Tory party. He also revealed that he quit his talk show because celebrities were so dull that they were like “relatives you felt obliged to visit.”
In August last year, O’Grady presented his final BBC Radio 2 show, having hosted the program for nearly 14 years. In his final show, he said (According to The Sun)
“one of the longest jobs I’ve ever held down. I only came to do a few hours for Elaine Paige and look what happened.”
O’Grady published a four-volume autobiography and was given an MBE in 2008 for his contributions to the entertainment industry. When described as a national treasure in an interview with the Observer in 2017, he responded (as reported by NNN)
“Oh, what a terrible phrase. That wasn’t planned.”
O’Grady leaves behind his husband, Sharon, daughter, and two grandchildren. You can bookmark our website Smartnewszone.com and check out the most recent entries for the most up-to-date information on the dea†hs of other celebrities, the reasons for their dea†hs, autopsy reports, obituaries, and other related topics.