Amanda Holden's remarks on her Heart breakfast show about the late entertainer Paul O'Grady have caused a backlash from his fans.
Paul’s husband announced his peaceful passing at the age of 67 on Wednesday and the Britain’s Got Talent judge, who had appeared with the late star on a special episode of For the Love of Dogs last year, expressed her shock and shared her thoughts on the sad news during the show with her co-host Jamie Theakston.
She commented on the show: "Do you know what I loved about him? He was not woke in any way. He had massive opinions on everything, which I love people like that."
The comment made by the radio host has caused uproar among fans of the late comedian and broadcaster, as Paul was well known for being vocal about his support for LGBTQ+ causes and anti-austerity work. Many fans have criticised Amanda Holden's remark and have questioned her understanding of the term 'woke'. According to the Collins Dictionary, 'woke' refers to someone who is "very aware of social and political unfairness".
After Amanda’s comment about Paul, fans expressed their outrage on Twitter, with some questioning whether she even knew the late LGBTQ+ icon. One listener wrote: "When paying tribute to Paul O’Grady on during her Heart breakfast show, Amanda Holden said that he “didn’t have a woke bone in his body”, and I can’t work out whether she doesn’t know what woke means, or simply doesn’t know who Paul O’Grady is."
Another wrote: "What an awful tribute. Does Amanda Holden have any clue what the word 'woke' means. He was a socialist and a drag queen who fought for LGBTQ rights and against austerity. Ask Amanda what woke means.”
A third added: "The man was a queer activist, trailblazer and unapologetic drag queen on prime time TV when being gay was seen as dirty. What about that isn't woke?"
During the Aids crisis in the 1980s and 1990s, O'Grady gained recognition for his drag alter ego, Lily Savage. He was present at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in 1987 when it was raided by police, who wore rubber gloves to avoid touching gay men.
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern said: “In 2021, Paul O’Grady visited The RVT with [The Peter Tatchell Foundation] and spoke about the now infamous ‘poppers raid’, which took place when Lily was performing on our stage in 1987 at the height of the AIDS crisis.
“A true hero to LGBTQ+ people, thank you Paul.”
Paul had even admitted to being 'woke' in an interview before his death. He told the Sun in 2020: "I'm married to a ballet dancer, I've got a daughter, two grandkids and was married to a Portuguese lesbian barmaid. It doesn't get much more woke."
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