2 months ago

Tributes pour in for beloved entertainer Paul O’Grady who has died aged 67

Local TV
Local TV
Paul O'Grady, the beloved comedian and television presenter, has passed away at the age of 67. Known for his pioneering work in bringing drag to a mainstream audience, he blazed a trail for LGBTQ+ representation long before it was widely accepted. Born in Birkenhead, O'Grady honed his act in London clubs while working as a social worker in his 20s. He based his character Lily Savage on female relatives and soon gained a following for her loudmouthed, occasionally bawdy humour.

O'Grady's success in the clubs led to a nomination for the prestigious Perrier Award for Comedy in 1991, and from there, he made the leap to television. He presented a series of popular shows, including An Evening with Lily Savage, Blankety Blank, Blind Date, and the Paul O'Grady Show. He also won an MBE in 2008 for his services to entertainment.

In addition to his comedy career, O'Grady was a passionate animal lover and campaigned for animal welfare causes. He fronted his own show, For the Love of Dogs, which won awards and drew the attention of the Queen Consort, who appeared in a one-off episode last year.

And the King and Queen Consort have led tributes saying that they are 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 saggy-tailed memories.

Elton John paid tribute on Instagram saying: A brilliant entertainer, wit, and supporter of LGBTQ+ rights and the fight against AIDS and HIV who I was fortunate enough to spend time with".

"Thank you for all the joy you brought into the world, Paul. You went places nobody had gone before and we will miss you very much."

Producer and friend Malcolm Prince said yesterday afternoon, I popped round to Paul's for a good old catch-up. Surrounded by his beloved dogs, he was laughing, smiling and full of life. We've lost a unique talent and have lost a dear friend. We're all lucky to have Paul in our lives. My heart goes out to Andre, Paul's family and friends.

When asked recently how he'd like to be remembered in his typical fashion, he said I don't care because I won't be here. But he will be missed - a giant of entertainment who leaves behind a legacy of laughter and a commitment to fighting for a fairer society.

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