ITV announces schedule shake-up and new Paul O’Grady tribute programme

Virgin Radio

29 Mar 2023, 13:45

Paul O'Grady

Credit: Rex

ITV have confirmed they are changing their schedule tonight (29th March) in light of the sad news of Paul O’Grady’s death. 

The TV icon passed away aged 67 on Tuesday (28th March), as confirmed by his husband Andre Portasio, who said the star had died “unexpectedly but peacefully.”

Paul was a staple on ITV for a number of different programmes, including Blankety Blank under his drag alter ego Lily Savage, Lily Live! And The Paul O’Grady Show. 

In light of Paul’s passing, ITV have confirmed they will re-air Paul O’Grady’s For The Love of Dogs: A Royal Special at 5pm tonight, which will replace The Chase. 

On Sunday 9th April at 8pm, the broadcaster will then show a new programme dedicated to the entertainer’s incredible career in For the Love of Paul O’Grady as a tribute to his 30 years in showbiz. 

Finally, at 8:30pm on Thursday 13th April, series 11 of For The Love of Dogs will air on ITV1 as planned, with Paul finishing up filming for the new series in 2022. 

Paying tribute to the channel’s stalwart, ITV's Managing Director of Media and Entertainment, Kevin Lygo, said in a statement: “We are fortunate to have had a long association with Paul, at ITV. He was a huge, inimitable talent, delighting our viewers through his comedy and entertainment with a warmth, humour and joy that audiences of all generations related to and connected with.  

“He had a profound passion for animals too, which resonated with so many viewers, and For The Love of Dogs remains one of our best-loved series, and a really special programme for so many.   All those who worked with Paul are shocked and deeply saddened at his passing and the thoughts of everyone at ITV are with Paul’s loved ones.”

Paul’s husband Andre shared the news of his passing in a statement earlier today 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."

Tributes have been rolling in for the telly star, including from the Royal Family and Queen Consort Camilla, who worked closely with Paul while supporting Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

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.”

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