Paul O’Grady death – latest news: Joe Lycett and Elton John pay tribute as Dominic Raab makes PMQs blunder

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Dominic Raab is being mocked after incorrectly paying tribute to the “incredible comic Paul Grayson”, instead of Paul O’Grady.

The presenter and comedian died on Tuesday evening (28 March), aged 67.

“Paul Grayson was an incredible comic, but he also...” Raab said during PMQs on Wednesday 29 March, before eventually correcting himself.

He went on to suggest the late comic’s alter-ego, Lily Savage, “broke glass ceilings and boundaries”.

Queen Camilla, Elton John, Lorraine Kelly, Piers Morgan, and others from the TV industry have paid tribute, as well as MPs at PMQs on Wednesday afternoon (29 March).

In 2013, O’Grady made a poignant comment on death and living past the age of 60.

Throughout his career the TV host, known for his drag persona Lily Savage, won numerous accolades including a TV Bafta, a British Comedy Award, and a National Television Award for The Paul O’Grady Show.

He was also known for his love for animals. He lived in a farmhouse in Kent with Portasio along with a menagerie of animals including four dogs, goats, sheep, chickens and barn owls.

Key Points

Queen ‘deeply saddened’ by death of fellow dog-lover Paul O’Grady

14:45 , Roisin O'Connor

Camilla has shared her sadness at the news that TV presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady has died aged 67.

The Queen Consort shared a special bond with the late star, and worked closely with him in their support of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

She will be sharing her sympathies with Paul’s family privately in due course, the Palace said in a statement.

Full story:

Queen ‘deeply saddened’ by death of fellow dog-lover Paul O’Grady

Paul O'Grady rips into austerity policies in fiery 2010 post-Budget monologue

15:01 , Roisin O'Connor

Paul O’Grady’s poignant words on death and counting his blessings

14:22 , Roisin O'Connor

In 2013, O’Grady was rushed to hospital after being struck by angina – chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscles. It’s not usually life threatening, but it’s a warning sign that you could be at risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Earlier that year, he had shared his thoughts on his mortality. “I do count my blessings,” he said, according to The Mirror. “I have had two heart attacks, and if I get to 60 that will be amazing. I don’t fear anything nowadays.

“There has to be an angel out there. They are trying to steer me out of trouble 24 hours a day.”

Paul O’Grady’s poignant words on death and counting his blessings

Dominic Raab misnames Paul O’Grady as ‘Paul Grayson’ in Commons speech

14:00 , Nicole Vassell

Dominic Raab drew groans in the House of Commons this afternoon when he paid tribute to “Paul Grayson” instead of Paul O’Grady.

Following on from a tribute from Labour MP Chris Bryant, Raab said: “I totally agree with him, Paul Grayson was an incredible comic but he also…”

After hearing the grumbles from his fellow MPs, Raab grinned and corrected his mistake.

Kim Cattrall shares video with Paul O’Grady

13:45 , Nicole Vassell

Another celebrity figure paying tribute to Paul O’Grady today is Kim Cattrall.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, the Liverpool-born Canadian actor posted a video of her appearing on O’Grady’s talk show, in which they happily embrace.

“Our hearts are broken,” reads Cattrall’s caption for the post.

ITV announces schedule change to honour Paul O’Grady

13:30 , Nicole Vassell

In light of Paul O’Grady’s unexpected death, ITV has announced a change to ITV1’s schedule for Wednesday.

At 5pm, ITV1 will broadcast a repeat episode of Paul O’Grady’s For the Love of Dogs: A Royal Special instead of The Chase.

Later, at 8pm, the channel will air a tribute special called For the Love of Paul O’Grady.

Finally, the new series of Paul O’Grady’s For the Love of Dogs will air at 8.30pm as planned.

Paul O’Grady (Multistory Media / Battersea Cats and Dogs Home)
Paul O’Grady (Multistory Media / Battersea Cats and Dogs Home)

Joe Lycett names Paul O’Grady as an inspiration

13:15 , Nicole Vassell

Joe Lycett has shared his upset at the death of Paul O’Grady, referring to him as an inspiration.

“I’m sad about Paul O’Grady,” his tweet on Wednesday began.

“I hoped I might meet him one day to tell him what an inspiration he was to me: how I loved gloriously loose & effortless his shows were, how he proved you could be political in a light ent space and that you could do all this & be really, really funny.”

Watch: Paul O’Grady’s drag alter ego Lily Savage interviews Hulk Hogan in resurfaced clip

13:00 , Nicole Vassell

Dogs Trust shares tribute to Paul O’Grady

12:45 , Nicole Vassell

Owen Sharp, the chief executive of Dogs Trust, has paid tribute to presenter and animal advocate Paul O’Grady after his death on Tuesday (28 March).

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Paul O’Grady,” reads the statement.

“Paul was a devoted dog lover, which shone through in his charity work and his television shows.

“He was a huge supporter, in particular, of dogs that were looking for their forever homes. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and dogs at this difficult time.”

Sally Lindsay remembers friend O’Grady as a ‘whirlwind’

12:30 , Nicole Vassell

Sally Lindsay has paid tribute to her friend, Paul O’Grady.

The actor became friends with O’Grady while she was working at Coronation Street and he worked on his talk show in the early Noughties.

“Everyone's devastated,” she told co-hosts Holly Willoughby and Joel Dommett on Wednesday’s edition of This Morning.

“He was a whirlwind. He was funny, he was intelligent, there was no-one like him.”

She also called O’Grady a “social warrior” and noted the cost of living crisis as something that he felt passionate about.

“He never lost his roots,” Lindsay continued. “He was a very real man, and hysterically funny. The world is a darker place today.”

Sally Lindsay (Getty Images)
Sally Lindsay (Getty Images)

12:15 , Nicole Vassell

As Lily Savage, Paul O’Grady regularly appeared on This Morning in the 1990s, hosted by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan.

Since O’Grady’s death, fans have been remembering the star with a video that shows Savage throwing her wine glass into the water at the Albert Dock in Liverpool during a live wine tasting.

RSPCA remembers Paul O’Grady as campaigner and supporter

12:00 , Nicole Vassell

The RSPCA has paid tribute to Paul O’Grady.

Chris Sherwood, chief executive of the RSPCA, said: “Paul O’Grady’s love for animals and the incredible way he told their stories inspired countless families to re-home rescue pets and give them a second chance of happiness.

“His tireless campaigning saw Paul recognised with an RSPCA Animal Hero Award for his outstanding contribution to animal welfare, while he once adopted a little lamb Winston from us who had been rescued from a wheelie bin.

“The thoughts of all at the RSPCA are with his loved ones and our friends at Battersea at this difficult and sad time.”

Camilla with Paul O’Grady in 2022 (Getty Images)
Camilla with Paul O’Grady in 2022 (Getty Images)

Ultimate outsider to national treasure: A Paul O’Grady tribute

11:52 , Nicole Vassell

In his tribute for The Independent, Michael Hogan has remembered Paul O’Grady as a “truly unique talent” of British entertainment.

“Millions of us who’ve savoured his effervescent screen presence over the past 35 years have been left heartbroken by the news that he has died aged 67,” he wrote.

“O’Grady’s versatile career as a comedian, TV presenter, radio DJ and theatre performer means that there are few Britons whose lives he hasn’t touched.”

You can read more below:

Paul O’Grady: The ultimate outsider who became a national treasure

Watch: Paul O'Grady rips into austerity policies in fiery 2010 post-Budget monologue

11:45 , Nicole Vassell

Drag queen Cheddar Gorgeous pays tribute

11:37 , Nicole Vassell

Cheddar Gorgeous, who was the runner-up in the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, has paid tribute to Paul O’Grady’s drag persona, Lily Savage.

In a tweet, the performer highlighted the impact that Savage had on British culture.

“Lily will forever walk the alleyways of our hearts,” Cheddar wrote.

“She was a British institution and cultural icon. As drag faces backlash, fuelled by click bait and a homophobic fringe, let us take some comfort today from these wise words: ‘If I wanted your opinion, I’d slap it outta ya.’”

Carol Vorderman names Paul O’Grady as ‘most honest and sincere person in showbiz’

11:30 , Nicole Vassell

Carol Vorderman has shared some of her memories of Paul O’Grady.

Appearing on This Morning on Wednesday (29 March), Vorderman told co-hosts Holly Willoughby and Joel Dommett about their decades-long friendship, and remembered their lunch dates that would often go on “for 12 hours”.

She also spoke out about O’Grady’s desire to stand up for those in need of support.

“He was a fighter; he never judged the weak, the vulnerable, the misunderstood. He'd fight like a lion for them.

Carol Vorderman and Paul O’Grady (Getty)
Carol Vorderman and Paul O’Grady (Getty)

“He wasn't just a showbiz person,” she added.

“We knew that with Paul, whatever he was ranting about, he'd always be speaking the truth. The most honest and sincere person I've met in showbiz.”

11:15 , Nicole Vassell

ITV has remembered Paul O’Grady as a “huge, inimitable talent” after the news of his unexpected death.

O’Grady hosted several shows on the channel throughout his career, including Blankety Blank and The Paul O’Grady Show.

ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment Kevin Lygo said: “We are fortunate to have had a long association with Paul at ITV.

“He was a huge, inimitable talent, delighting our viewers through his comedy and entertainment with a warmth, humour and joy that audiences of all generations related to and connected with.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“He had a profound passion for animals too, which resonated with so many viewers, and For The Love Of Dogs remains one of our best-loved series, and a really special programme for so many.

“All those who worked with Paul are shocked and deeply saddened at his passing and the thoughts of everyone at ITV are with Paul’s loved ones.”

Former colleague remembers how Paul O’Grady advertised jobs in Job Centre

11:00 , Nicole Vassell

A former colleague of Paul O’Grady has shared a memory of how he ensured a wide range of people could apply to work on his TV programme.

Mark Downie, who worked with the presenter on his Channel 4 chat show The Paul O’Grady Show, wrote about O’Grady pushing for roles to be advertised in the Job Centre.

“When we worked together at Ch4, Paul O’Grady insisted that new roles on his show were advertised in the local Job Centre,” Downie wrote.

“He wanted anyone and everyone to be able to apply so they could get a break like he had.”

Watch: Susanna Reid recounts Paul O’Grady was first GMB guest when show launched in 2014

10:45 , Nicole Vassell

How Lily Savage mocked police as they raided the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in 1987

10:30 , Nicole Vassell

After news of the death of Paul O’Grady, fans have been looking back at some of the presenter’s most memorable moments.

One of those moments was in 2021 when O’Grady reflected on a time when police officers raided London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern, which remains a popular social spot for the LGBT+ community.

Nicole Vassell reports.

How Lily Savage mocked police as they raided the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in 1987

Queen Consort ‘deeply saddened’ by the death of Paul O’Grady

10:20 , Nicole Vassell

The Queen Consort has shared her condolences after the death of Paul O’Grady.

Camilla worked closely with O’Grady in support of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

“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,” reads a tweet from the official Royal Family account.

Roisin O’Connor reports.

Camilla ‘deeply saddened’ to learn of Paul O’Grady’s death

Watch: Paul O’Grady – Best moments of presenter who rose to fame as Lily Savage

10:12 , Peony Hirwani

Paul O’Grady as Lily Savage in 2004

10:02 , Peony Hirwani

Paul O’Grady AKA Lily Savage dressed as the wicked queen at the photocall for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at The Victoria Palace Theatre on 7 July 2004 in London.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Watch: Paul O’Grady – Lily Savage rips into ‘lad’ culture in resurfaced drag performance

09:52 , Peony Hirwani

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home hails Paul O’Grady as ‘champion for the underdog’

09:42 , Peony Hirwani

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has paid tribute to Paul O’Grady as a “devoted animal lover” and a “champion for the underdog” following his death.

In a statement shared with the PA news agency, Battersea chief executive Peter Laurie said the home was “joining the nation” in mourning the loss of O’Grady, who helped raise its profile to millions around the world.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Read more:

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home hails Paul O’Grady as ‘champion for the underdog’

Woman thanks Paul O’Grady for ‘being kind to my little Battersea rescue dog’

09:32 , Peony Hirwani

A woman named Joanna Randall has thanked the late Paul O’Grady for showing love to her “Battersea rescue dog”.

“Thank you for being kind to my little Battersea rescue dog, Paul O’Grady,” she wrote on Twitter. “Thank you for being soft and patient with him. Thank you for all the dogs you helped save, and for all the families you brought together. You will be so very missed. Rest in peace, lovely one.”

Grady was known for his love for animals. In fact, he also made a documentary called Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs in 2012.

It is a multi-award-winning British reality documentary television series set at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

Singer Rowetta sends her condolences to Paul O’Grady’s family

09:22 , Peony Hirwani

Rowetta has sent her condolences to Paul O’Grady’s family.

“Sad news to wake up to,” shr wrote on Twitter. “Paul was such a beautiful, warm, kind and funny man. Loved him as Lily Savage and I loved being on The Paul O’Grady Show.

“Always so supportive. Condolences to his partner and loved ones.”

Journalist Julie Bindel writes about Paul O’Grady’s Lily Savage

09:12 , Peony Hirwani

“One of the things I loved about Paul O’Grady’s Lily Savage was how she was based on a woman he loved, not one he constructed from sexism or misogyny,” Julie Bindel wrote on Twitter. “Lily was a kick-ass working class woman I recognised, and Paul, excesses aside, got her to a tee.”

O’Grady achieved notability in the London gay scene during the 1980s with his drag queen persona Lily Savage, through which he gained broader popularity in the 1990s.

Producers, journalists, and hosts from the TV industry pay tribute to Paul O’Grady

09:02 , Peony Hirwani

Many people from the entertainment industry have paid tribute to “loving” Paul O’Grady.

GMB producer James Giggs pays tribute to his ‘biggest inspiration’ Paul O’Grady

08:52 , Peony Hirwani

“It’s been one of the hardest stories to produce,” James Giggs wrote on Twitter.

“I’m beyond gutted that Paul O’Grady has passed away. He was my biggest inspiration both as himself & Lily Savage.

“Seeing him in the Palladium panto as the evil queen is something I’ll never forget. He will never be forgotten.”

Actor Samuel West pays tribute to Paul O’Grady

08:42 , Peony Hirwani

“Rotten news to wake up to,” Samuel West wrote on Twitter.

“Paul O’Grady was a primetime drag queen, a famously kind person, a fierce critic of austerity, a brave fighter for gay rights, a great friend to animals and an effortlessly funny comedian. RIP.”

Producer and Podcaster Tom Knight on Paul O’Grady’s death

08:32 , Peony Hirwani

“Before Drag Race and social media it was rare for queens to break through into mainstream media, Paul was one of the few leading the way and smashing down barriers,” Tom Knight wrote on Twitter.

“Everyone loved him, but he preferred animals. RIP Paul O’Grady AKA the legendary Lily Savage, you will be missed.”

Paul O’Grady’s poignant words on death and counting his blessings

08:22 , Peony Hirwani

In 2013, Paul O’Grady shared his thoughts on his mortality.

“I do count my blessings,” he said, according to The Mirror. “I have had two heart attacks, and if I get to 60 that will be amazing. I don’t fear anything nowadays.

“There has to be an angel out there. They are trying to steer me out of trouble 24 hours a day.”

Ellie Harrison reports.

Paul O’Grady’s poignant words on death and counting his blessings

Comedian James Barr pays tribute to Paul O’Grady

08:12 , Peony Hirwani

Comedian James Barr has paid tribute to late Paul O’Grady.

“Paul O’Grady was in the trenches fighting for our community during the HIV & AIDS epidemic, she took drag mainstream, she made our mums howl with laughter and normalised gay people on TV by being utterly vile,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I can’t imagine a world without her. A truly brave and hilarious man.”

When and how did Paul O’Grady die?

07:42 , Peony Hirwani

TV presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady died on Tuesday (28 March) at the age of 67.

The exact cause of his death hasn’t been revealed.

The news was announced by his partner Andre Portasio.

The TV star, also known for his drag queen persona Lily Savage, died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday (28 March) evening, a statement shared with the PA news agency said.

Portasio said: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.

“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 had a history of heart disease in his family. He had two heart attacks in 2002 and 2006.