Paul O’Grady, a well-liked TV host and comedian who rose to fame as Lily Savage in a drag performance passed away at age 67 on Tuesday, March 28.
In a statement, O’Grady’s companion Andre Portasio stated that the comedian peacefully passed away on Tuesday . Portasio asked people for privacy to come to terms with his partner’s loss.
As per The Guardian reports, in his statement, Portasio expressed his gratitude to people for supporting O’Grady throughout his life and understood that these people would miss him dearly.
Early on Wednesday, tributes started pouring in for the legendary TV presenter.
Peter Tatchell, an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, described O’Grady as one of the nicest people anyone could ever meet.
Paul O’Grady’s life
O’Grady, born in Birkenhead in 1955, relocated to London when he was in his 20s and worked for Camden Council as a social worker. By 1978, he started doing his drag act Lily Savage in gay bars, basing the loud-mouthed single mother and sometimes sex worker on female relatives.
O’Grady gained wide recognition in 1991 after being nominated for the Perrier award, the UK’s most esteemed comedy award, and starting to make appearances on radio and television as himself.
Over his career, he presented the Bafta-winning talk show The Paul O’Grady Show, Blankety Blank, celebrity gameshow Paul O’Grady’s Saturday Night Line Up, and the revamp of Blind Date, succeeding long-running presenter and close friend Cilla Black, who died in 2015.
O’Grady broadcast his farewell BBC Radio 2 show in August of last year after hosting the Sunday afternoon show for over 14 years.
O’Grady just wrapped off his run as Mistress Hannigan in the musical Annie and was scheduled to take over the part again for performances later this year in the UK and Ireland.
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