Tributes from the world of TV and showbiz have flooded in following the death of Paul O’Grady. Mr O’Grady died “unexpectedly but peacefully” according to his husband Andre Portasio.
Mr O’Grady will be fondly remembered for his presenting career as well as his drag act, Lily Savage. Many of his friends and former colleagues have taken to social media to pay tribute.
Journalist and TV presenter Piers Morgan said: “RIP Paul O’Grady, 67. A wonderfully warm, mischievous, hilarious guy with a sublime natural talent for broadcasting and making people laugh.”
TV host and author Carol Vorderman shared some loving words about Mr O’Grady. She wrote: “Paul O’Grady. Already giving them raucous, ripping up the rulebook, mischief making, calling it out, loving hell in heaven. Paul, what are we meant to do without you?”
Fellow TV presenter Vernon Kay described Mr O’Grady as a “joy to be around.” He 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.”
ITV presenter Lorrane Kelly said: “Such sad news. Paul O’Grady - funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise. Will be sorely missed. A really special man.”
Actor and TV presenter Les Dennis said: “So sad to wake to the news that Paul O’Grady has died. He was a true comedy great and his twinkly,mischievous presence will be missed by so many. RIP dear Paul.”
John Barrowman, star of Doctor Who and Torchwood as well as presenter of TV shows, paid tribute to both Mr O’Grady and his drag act, Lily Savage. He said: “I am totally shocked and sad to hear the awful news that Paul O’Grady has died. An awesome talent stretching decades.
“From watching him as Lily Savage at the Vauxhall Tavern to sitting with him laughing backstage at West End Bares to being a guest on his @itv Paul O’Grady show numerous times. I will never forget his generosity, warmth and humour.
“Both Scott and I are really sad about the news and our thoughts are with his husband André and family. Rest in peace Paul and Lily. Both British Icons.”
West End star and singer Joe McElederry shared a tribute to Mr O’Grady. He wrote: “I was standing in Paul O’Grady’s dressing room @TheatreRoyalNew less than 3 weeks ago! He was full of life chatting and being so wonderful as always! so so sad! And such a loss! A true showbiz entertainer! May he rest in peace.”