Tributes are being paid to Paul O’Grady after the TV star died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening.
ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly described O’Grady as “a really special man” adding that it was “such sad news”.
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Paul O’Grady: Funny and serious She said he was “funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise” and “will be sorely missed”.
Commenting on O’Grady’s affectionate nature towards animals she added: “I always think dogs are the best judge of character and they ADORED him.”
Image: O’Grady’s career spanned more than 30 years, during which he hosted The Paul O’Grady Show, Blind Date and For The Love Of Dogs Amanda Holden described O’Grady as “brilliantly opinionated, searingly sharp and very funny”.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell echoed the ITV host’s sentiments, adding how much O’Grady contributed to the LGBT+ voice.
Mr Tatchell said: “Paul wasn’t just a brilliant comedian and broadcast personality but a much-admired campaigner for LGBT+ equality and animal rights.”
Money-saving expert Martin Lewis tweeted his sadness at Mr O’Grady’s death, saying: “Quite shocked and saddened to wake up to the news of Paul O’Grady passing. A funny man, with incredibly quick wit, who made millions laugh.”
Charlotte Hawkins of Good Morning Britain said: “Oh no, such sad news… What a warm-hearted, hugely talented and funny man he was. Plus a dog-lover of course.”
“Already giving them raucous, ripping up the rulebook, mischief making, calling it out, loving hell in heaven,” wrote Carol Vorderman.
“Paul, what are we meant to do without you?”
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home described O’Grady as a “devoted animal lover” and a “champion for the underdog”.
The organisation, for which the TV star was an ambassador, praised his “razor-sharp humour and perpetual generosity and warmth”.
Image: Queen Elizabeth II with Paul O’Grady at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London in 2015 Its chief executive Peter Laurie said: “Battersea will forever remember Paul as a devoted animal lover with the biggest heart, who fell head over heels in love with every dog he met at our centres.
“Paul will always be associated with Battersea and we are truly saddened to have lost such a true friend and huge part of our charity.”
Image: Paul O’Grady being handed an OBE by then Prince Charles in 2008 Comedian Sooz Kempner said: “We all grew up watching Lily Savage (I can remember watching her on The Big Breakfast and my mum proper laughing) but it’s only in more recent years I realised what an incredible life Paul had had. What a loss!”
Actor John Barrowman 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…”
Image: Paul O’Grady with rescue dogs at London’s Battersea Park Les Dennis said O’Grady was “a true comedy great”, adding his “twinkly, mischievous presence” would be missed.
Vernon Kay said O’Grady was “always a joy to be around” and described the presenter as “one of the best”.
Presenter Toby Anstis said O’Grady was “hugely talented” and “the warmest, loveliest man”.
“Loved by so many, gone too soon,” he added.
Danny Beard, winner of the fourth series of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, said O’Grady was “the most important person in British culture for drag”.
“I don’t think there’s anyone who does the job that I do that doesn’t class Paul as an icon,” Beard told BBC Breakfast.
“Paul was a trailblazer, they were on telly just after the Aids crisis.
“They’ve been the most important person, I think, in British culture for drag, for the queer community.
“This is a really sad loss today.”