Paul O'Grady, one of the most beloved and versatile entertainers in Britain, has passed away at the age of 67. His partner Andre Portasio announced his death on Tuesday evening, saying he died "unexpectedly but peacefully". The cause of death is not yet known, but O'Grady had suffered several heart attacks in the past and had a history of heart problems.
O'Grady was best known for his drag persona Lily Savage, who became a household name in the 1990s with her sharp wit and outrageous outfits. He also hosted popular TV shows such as The Paul O'Grady Show, Blind Date, For The Love Of Dogs and Paul O'Grady's Saturday Night Line Up. He was a passionate animal lover and a vocal advocate for LGBT+ rights and social justice.
Tributes have poured in from celebrities, fans and friends who have praised his humour, talent and kindness. Lorraine Kelly called him "a really special man" who was "funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise". Peter Tatchell said he was "a brilliant comedian and broadcast personality but a much-admired campaigner for LGBT+ equality and animal rights". Martin Lewis said he was "a funny man, with incredibly quick wit, who made millions laugh".
O'Grady's death is a huge loss for the entertainment industry and the nation. He was a unique and charismatic performer who could make people laugh, cry and think. He was also a generous and compassionate person who cared deeply about others. He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.