Queen Consort Camilla pays tribute to Paul O’Grady and remembers their 'waggy-tailed memories'

Virgin Radio

29 Mar 2023, 10:06

Paul O'Grady and Queen Consort Camilla

Credit: Getty

Queen Consort Camilla and the Royal Family say they are "deeply saddened" by the news of Paul O’Grady’s death.

The legendary TV presenter, who rose to fame in the 1990s with his drag queen persona Lily Savage, passed away aged 67 on Tuesday (28th March), as confirmed by his husband, Andre Portasio. 

Queen Consort Camilla and Paul worked closely while supporting Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and the pair came together in December for a Christmas special of his popular series, For The Love of Dogs.

The official Royal Family Twitter account shared a smiling photo of the former Duchess of Cornwall and Paul from their time together filming at Brands Hatch centre in Kent.

Paying tribute to Paul, the caption read: “Deeply saddened to hear of the death of Paul O’Grady, who worked closely with Her Majesty in support of @Battersea_, providing lots of laughter and many waggy-tailed memories.”

Meanwhile, a source close to the royals told The Mirror that Paul had a “special relationship” with the Queen Consort, and added that she was "deeply saddened" by his passing. She reportedly described him as having a "warm heart and infectious humour that lit up the lives of so many".

Speaking about their TV collaboration in December, Paul praised Camilla for her humour. He told the MailOnline: “Camilla's a really funny woman — you can have a great laugh with her and you don't feel like you're on ceremony. I always get a big hug and kiss from her, too, which always shocks everybody.”

Paul’s husband confirmed the sad news of his passing in a statement which read: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.

"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."

Paul, born in Tranmere, Cheshire in 1955, had a glittering 30-year career in showbiz, becoming a household name after starring as Savage on shows like Blankety Blank. 

He hosted his own daytime chat show, The Paul O’Grady Show, from 2004 to 2009, and again from 2013 to 2015. Paul also hosted the 2017 revival of Cilla Black’s dating series Blind Date. 

Tributes have been rolling in from all across the telly world, with TV host Lorraine Kelly posting a smiling photo of the talented star holding a puppy on Instagram. She wrote in the caption: “Paul O Grady. The kindest, funniest man - warm, witty and wise. Dogs are the best judge of character and they LOVED him.”

Taking to Twitter, Carol Vorderman added: “Already giving them raucous, ripping up the rulebook, mischief making, calling it out, loving hell in heaven. Paul, what are we meant to do without you?”

Virgin Radio’s own Chris Evans shared his tribute on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch today (Wednesday 29th March), and said: “[He was] Absolutely straight down the middle a wonderful human being. Really funny, unbelievably clever. He didn't say much, which is extraordinary if you think about what he did for a living, but he didn't say much, but when he said it, it really meant something.”

The thoughts of everyone at Virgin Radio go out to Paul’s friends and family.