Paul O’Grady death: Queen Consort leads tributes to ‘brilliant’ comedian and ‘fearless’ campaigner | Ents & Arts News


The Queen Consort has said she is “deeply saddened” at the death of Paul O’Grady after the TV star died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening.

Camilla said his “warm heart and infectious humour lit up the lives of so many”, according to Palace sources, who added she would be sharing her sympathies with the star’s family privately in due course.

They added that she had a special bond with O’Grady and worked closely with him in their support of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

The Royal Family’s official Twitter account paid tribute to O’Grady, posting an image of Camilla with the star.

It read: “Deeply saddened to hear of the death of Paul O’Grady, who worked closely with Her Majesty in support of @Battersea_, providing lots of laughter and many waggy-tailed memories.”

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Paul O’Grady: Funny and serious

ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly described O’Grady as “a really special man”, adding that it was “such sad news”.

She said he was “funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise” and “will be sorely missed”.

Commenting on O’Grady’s affectionate nature towards animals, she added: “I always think dogs are the best judge of character and they ADORED him.”

paul o'grady
O’Grady’s career spanned more than 30 years, during which he hosted The Paul O’Grady Show, Blind Date and For The Love Of Dogs

Gavin & Stacey star Rob Brydon said O’Grady was “a lovely, warm and caring man with a lightning fast and devastating wit”. “What terrible news,” he added.

Amanda Holden described O’Grady as “brilliantly opinionated, searingly sharp and very funny”.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell echoed their sentiments, highlighting how much O’Grady contributed to the LGBT+ voice.

Mr Tatchell said: “Paul wasn’t just a brilliant comedian and broadcast personality but a much-admired campaigner for LGBT+ equality and animal rights.”

Money-saving expert Martin Lewis tweeted his sadness at O’Grady’s death, saying: “Quite shocked and saddened to wake up to the news of Paul O’Grady passing. A funny man, with incredibly quick wit, who made millions laugh.”

Charlotte Hawkins, of Good Morning Britain, said: “Oh no, such sad news… what a warm-hearted, hugely talented and funny man he was. Plus a dog-lover of course.”

“Already giving them raucous, ripping up the rulebook, mischief making, calling it out, loving hell in heaven,” wrote TV presenter Carol Vorderman.

“Paul, what are we meant to do without you?”

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home described O’Grady as a “devoted animal lover” and a “champion for the underdog”.

The organisation, for which the TV star was an ambassador, praised his “razor-sharp humour and perpetual generosity and warmth”.

File photo dated 17/03/15 of Queen Elizabeth II looking at a Corgi as Paul O'Grady looks on during a visit to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London.
The late Queen with Paul O’Grady at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London in 2015

Its chief executive Peter Laurie said: “Battersea will forever remember Paul as a devoted animal lover with the biggest heart, who fell head over heels in love with every dog he met at our centres.

“Paul will always be associated with Battersea and we are truly saddened to have lost such a true friend and huge part of our charity.”

File photo dated 16/10/08 of Paul O'Grady being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by the then Prince of Wales (now King Charles III), at Buckingham Palace, central London.
Paul O’Grady being handed an OBE by then Prince Charles in 2008

Comedian Sooz Kempner said: “We all grew up watching Lily Savage (I can remember watching her on The Big Breakfast and my mum proper laughing) but it’s only in more recent years I realised what an incredible life Paul had had. What a loss!”

Actor John Barrowman tweeted: “I am totally shocked and sad to hear the awful news that Paul O’Grady has died. An awesome talent stretching decades. From watching him as Lily Savage at the Vauxhall Tavern to sitting with him laughing backstage at West End Bares to being a guest on his @itv Paul O’Grady show…”

EDITORIAL USE ONLY File photo dated 07/05/13 of Paul O'Grady with rescue dogs Razor a German Shepherd, Moose a Rottweiler and Dodger a Terrier at London's Battersea Park.
Paul O’Grady with rescue dogs at London’s Battersea Park

TV presenter Les Dennis said O’Grady was “a true comedy great”, adding his “twinkly, mischievous presence” would be missed.

Fellow broadcaster Vernon Kay said O’Grady was “always a joy to be around” and described the presenter as “one of the best”.

Meanwhile, presenter Toby Anstis said O’Grady was “hugely talented” and “the warmest, loveliest man”.

“Loved by so many, gone too soon,” he added.

Danny Beard, winner of the fourth series of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, said O’Grady was “the most important person in British culture for drag”.

“I don’t think there’s anyone who does the job that I do that doesn’t class Paul as an icon,” Beard told BBC Breakfast.

File photo dated 04/11/11 of Paul O'Grady standing next to a former costume of his alter ego Lily Savage at Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery, where it was appearing as part of the Savage Style: Costumes from Lily's Wardrobe exhibition.
O’Grady standing next to a costume of his alter ego Lily Savage at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery

“Paul was a trailblazer, they were on telly just after the AIDS crisis.

“They’ve been the most important person, I think, in British culture for drag, for the queer community.

“This is a really sad loss today.”


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