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Paul O'Grady dies aged 67

Paul O'Grady dies aged 67
Paul O'Grady / © Cover Media

TV presenter and comedian Paul O'Grady has died at the age of 67.

O'Grady's husband of six years, Andre Portasio, announced that the TV personality had passed away on Tuesday evening.

"It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening," Portasio shared in a statement. "He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion."

He continued, "I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years."

O'Grady rose to fame in the '90s with his scouse drag queen persona Lily Savage, with which he hosted The Lily Savage Show and the revived game show Blankety Blank.

He later dropped the drag act and hosted several light entertainment programmes as himself, including The Paul O'Grady Show, the reboot of Blind Date and Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs.

During his career, O'Grady received several awards including a TV BAFTA, a British Comedy Award, and a National Television Award. He was made an MBE in 2008 for his services to entertainment.

Tributes have been pouring in from O'Grady's showbusiness friends. Lorraine Kelly described him as "funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise" and his long-time radio producer and close friend Malcolm Prince revealed he visited O'Grady on Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm devastated," Prince wrote. "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."

The cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

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