Paul O'Grady remembered by Russell T Davies and more as showbiz world pays tribute
Davies was one of many names from across the world of entertainment and showbiz paying tribute to O'Grady, who died on Tuesday 28th March.
Tributes have poured in for Paul O'Grady this morning, following the news of the presenter and comedian's passing at the age of 67.
O'Grady's husband Andre Portasio said in a statement that he had "unexpectedly but peacefully" died on Tuesday (28th March), adding: "He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion".
Joining him in paying tribute to O'Grady is Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies, who said in an Instagram post: "The saddest news. What a star. What a lovely man.
"He was ferocious in the fight against AIDS; he made everyone love drag; he once asked me if he could be in Doctor Who, 'I just want to wear a white coat and carry a clipboard and walk down a corridor saying "I think it’s alive, Doctor."'
"When asked in 2021 if he despised anyone, he said, 'Every single stinking member of this lying, self-serving government.' There will never be anyone like him."
A tribute post on the Royal Family's Twitter page saw a picture of O'Grady next to Camilla, Queen Consort, alongside the message: "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 waggy-tailed memories."
According to Palace sources, Camilla said that O'Grady's "warm heart and infectious humour lit up the lives of so many".
Malcolm Prince, who worked with O'Grady at BBC Radio 2 and most recently produced his Boom Radio show, said in a post on Twitter: "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.
"He was so proud of 'Annie', so happy to be back on Boom Radio, and he was looking forward to so many new projects. And now he's gone. I can't believe it. We have lost a unique talent - and I've lost a dear friend. We were all lucky to have Paul in our lives. My heart goes out to Andre, Paul's family, and friends. Oh how I'll miss him."
Meanwhile Mark Downie, a commissioner who oversaw The Paul O'Grady Show at Channel 4, said: "When we worked together at Ch4, Paul O’Grady insisted that new roles on his show were advertised in the local Job Centre. He wanted anyone and everyone to be able to apply so they could get a break like he had. And it made the show better. A kind and generous man."
Others paying tribute have so far included Battersea, the dogs and cats organisation for which O'Grady was an ambassador, plus Ken Bruce, who said: "Such shocking sad news about Paul O’Grady. A unique and brilliant broadcaster who brightened the nation."
Michael Cashman, a member of the House of Lords and LGBTQ+ rights activist, posted a picture of himself with a group including O'Grady, Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Barbara Windsor, and said: "What memories we have! How you stood up for what you believed in, you told it like it was, and nobody could tell it better!
"You were always unashamedly you. Now light up the sky Savage, light up that sky. You made the world better."
Vernon Kay added: "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."
Lorna Clarke, director of music at the BBC, added: "We are all shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Paul O'Grady. He was a much loved presenter to the Radio 2 audience, and his unique sense of humour, charm and warmth touched the hearts of many. Paul will be hugely missed and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time."
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Tributes have also shared by many others, including Rob Brydon, Les Dennis, Martin Lewis, Simon Mayo, Charlotte Hawkins and Carol Vorderman.