Paul O’Grady says emotional farewell to his Radio 2 show
The comedian’s husband, Andre Portasio, broke the news of his death in the early hours of this morning, stating that the Lily
Savage and Blind Date star had died “unexpectedly but peacefully” yesterday evening.
Tributes have already poured in for the TV presenter, with fans and peers thanking him for his work for LGBT+ and animal rights causes.
Paul presented much-loved TV series For The Love Of Dogs, making him well-known for his love of animals.
It was only two weeks ago that a heartbroken Paul took to social media to tell his fans he was grieving the death of one of his pet pigs, Tom Tom, as he shared his final post.
The hog had been diagnosed with a tumour and had to be put to sleep while Paul was away from home, performing in a production of Annie.
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Uploading a video of the animal to social media, Paul wrote: “Got back from a week in Newcastle playing Miss Hannigan in Annie to find that Tom Tom, one of my pigs had been put to sleep.
“I knew it was coming as he’d been diagnosed with a tumour but even so it’s awful when you lose a pet.
“He was the cheekiest of the gang and one of the other pigs who was obviously very fond of him is now depressed and gone into mourning and there’s those who say that animals don’t have feelings.
“On a lighter note, I’m thoroughly enjoying playing Hannigan again after so long, especially with a truly amazing and lovely cast. Next stop Edinburgh.”
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In a statement, Paul’s husband wrote today: “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.”
He added: “I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years.”
Paul and Andre wed in 2017 in front of celebrity guests including Ian McKellen, Michael Cashman and comedian Julian Clary.
Tributes have been pouring in from the entertainment industry for the beloved star.
Paul’s former BBC Radio 2 co-star Vernon Kay wrote: “Paul O’Grady was one of the nicest and kindest people I’ve ever met.
“Always a joy to be around and obviously, so much fun. He will be missed. Telly and friends have lost one of the best….RIP.”
Martin Lewis added: “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.”
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