Paul O’Grady: TV presenter and comedian dies aged 67

LONDON — (AP) — Entertainer Paul O’Grady, who achieved fame as drag queen Lily Savage earlier than changing into a much-loved comic and host on British tv, has died. He was 67.

Britain’s queen consort, who labored with O’Grady to help animal charities, led tributes to a performer who emerged from the choice homosexual comedy scene and have become a nationwide treasure.

O’Grady’s companion Andre Portasio stated he died “unexpectedly however peacefully” on Tuesday night.

“He shall be enormously missed by his family members, buddies, household, animals and all those that loved his humor, wit and compassion,” Portasio stated in a press release.

Born in Birkenhead, close to Liverpool, in 1955, O’Grady was working as a local-authority care employee when he started performing as Savage, a tart-tongued Liverpudlian drag queen.

Savage grew to become a fixture as a standup and talent-show host at London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a landmark homosexual venue. O’Grady used his platform to talk out about LGBT rights on the peak of the AIDS disaster, a time when the Conservative authorities of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was passing anti-gay legal guidelines.

Lily Savage moved into tv within the Nineties, together with a stint internet hosting discuss present “The Lily Savage Present.”

Later, as Paul O’Grady, he hosted discuss exhibits and gameshows together with “The Paul O’Grady Present,” “Blind Date” and “Blankety Clean,” in addition to a long-running program on BBC radio.

An animal lover, he additionally offered “For the Love of Canine,” which profiled the work of the Battersea Canine and Cats House, an animal rescue charity. Camilla, the queen consort, was a visitor on the present final yr.

The official royal household Twitter account posted an image of O’Grady and Camilla with the message: “Deeply saddened to listen to of the dying of Paul O’Grady, who labored carefully with Her Majesty in help of @Battersea_, offering numerous laughter and lots of waggy-tailed recollections.”

Veteran gay-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell stated O’Grady “wasn’t only a good comic and broadcast character however a a lot admired campaigner for LGBT+ equality and animal rights.”

“Paul was one of many loveliest individuals you may ever meet,” Tatchell stated. “Everybody whose lives he touched will miss him enormously, as will those that loved his wit and admired his compassion.”

O’Grady is survived by Portasio, whom he married in 2017, and by a daughter from a earlier relationship.

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