Paul O’Grady, officially known as Paul James O’Grady was an English comedian, broadcaster, actor, writer, and former drag queen.
He rose to fame in the London gay scene during the 1980s with his drag queen persona Lily Savage, through which he gained broader popularity in the 1990s.
However, O’Grady developed his drag act in 1978, basing the character of Lily Savage upon traits found among female relatives.
READ ALSO; Paul O’Grady dies aged 67, his partner Andre Portasio confirms
He toured England as part of the drag mime duo, the Playgirls, O’Grady then went solo as a stand-up comedian in the early 1980s.
O’Grady performed as Savage for eight years at a South London gay pub, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern gaining a popular following among London’s gay community and using his character to speak out for gay rights.
O’Grady attracted mainstream attention and made various television, radio, and theatrical appearances after being nominated for a 1992 Perrier Award.
As Savage, he presented the television shows The Big Breakfast, Blankety Blank, and Lily Live, earning various awards and becoming a well-known public figure.
Later in his career, O’Grady dropped the character in the 2000s and became the presenter of various television and radio shows, including The Paul O’Grady Show.
Wishing to diversify from Savage, O’Grady starred in the BBC One sitcom Eyes Down (2003–2004) and presented two travel documentaries for ITV.
In 2004, he began presenting ITV’s daytime chat show The Paul O’Grady Show. After the network refused to transfer creative control of the series to O’Grady’s production company Olga TV, he moved to Channel 4 in 2006, where the show was rebranded as The New Paul O’Grady Show, airing until 2009.
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O’Grady also presented the late-night ITV show Paul O’Grady Live (2010–2011) and BBC Radio 2’s Paul O’Grady on the Wireless (2009–2022).
His other television shows included Paul O’Grady: For the Love Of Dogs, Paul O’Grady’s Animal Orphans, Blind Date, and Paul O’Grady’s Great British Escape.
O’Grady was a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Kent. In 2020 he became president of the British Music Hall Society, taking over the role from Roy Hudd.
Well, the famous TV star and comedian has died. Paul O’Grady passed on the evening of Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at the age of 67. He died “unexpectedly but peacefully”, his husband Andre Portasio said in a statement.
At the time of this report, the family was planning his final funeral arrangement and the details are yet to be finalized. We will keep you updated.
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Paul O’Grady Parents
He was born at St. Catherine’s Hospital in the Tranmere area of Birkenhead, Cheshire, now Merseyside to Patrick Grady (father) and Mary Savage (mother).
His father (1912–1973) was Irish and grew up in Ballincurry, County Roscommon, before moving to England in 1936 and settling in the working-class area of Birkenhead.
His name was changed from ‘Grady’ to “O’Grady” in a paperwork mistake when he joined the Royal Air Force, and he kept the new name.
His mother (1916–1988) was born in England to Irish immigrants from County Louth.
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