Published Wednesday, 29th March 2023
By James Cowen
Comedian Paul O'Grady has passed away 'unexpectedly but peacefully' aged 67, his partner has said.
Paul was recently in the North East, touring as part of the stage production of 'Annie', playing Miss Hannigan
Writing on Instagram a few weeks ago after returning from performing in Newcastle, O'Grady said he was "thoroughly enjoying" playing the role again after so long "especially with a truly amazing and lovely cast".
He was known for his television work, with shows such as 'For The Love Of Dogs' and 'The Paul O'Grady Show'.
His drag alter ego Lily Savage was loved by thousands.
Paul's partner confirmed the news late last night.
"It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening," Mr Portasio said.
"He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.
"I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years."
Fans and stars in the world of showbiz have been sharing their own tributes for the comedian.
O'Grady's long-time producer Malcolm paid tribute to the much-loved star:
Mr Prince said: "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 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."