Paul O’Grady was GMB’s first ever guest as ITV show pays tribute after star dies aged 67

Good Morning Britain paid tribute to Paul O’Grady on Wednesday's show after the star died at the age of 67, his partner Andre Portasio announced in a statement.

The TV star, also known for his drag queen persona Lily Savage, died "unexpectedly but peacefully" on Tuesday evening, a statement shared with the PA news agency via a representative said.

Mr Portasio said in his statement: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.

“We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.

“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.”

Paying tribute to Paul on Wednesday's GMB, host Susanna Reid revealed that the late star was their first ever guest on the ITV show.

Susanna, 52, said: "He was the very first guest that we had on this show on Good Morning Britain, when we launched back in 2014.

"Ben [Shephard] and I were lucky enough to interview him on the sofa. I think we have a little bit of that now!"

It then showed the past clip of Paul talking to Ben and Susanna about the time he bumped into George Clooney.

During his career, he hosted The Paul O’Grady Show, Blind Date and Blankety Blank, as well as ITV’s multi-award-winning For The Love Of Dogs.

He also hosted ITV celebrity game show, Paul O’Grady’s Saturday Night Line Up.

Paul took over the reins from Blind Date’s long-running presenter and his close friend Cilla Black, who died in 2015, as he hosted the Channel 5 reboot of the show in 2017.

Last year he was joined by the Queen Consort in a special one-off episode of For The Love Of Dogs to mark 160 years of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, an organisation for which he was an ambassador.

Paul's love for animal was well-known, and he had lived in a farmhouse in Kent with Portasio along with a menagerie of animals including four dogs, goats, sheep, chickens and barn owls.

During the coronavirus lockdown, he wrote his debut children’s book, Eddie Albert And The Amazing Animal Gang, which was published in September 2021.

In August of 2022 he presented his final BBC Radio 2 show having hosted the Sunday afternoon programme for nearly 14 years.

Paul had been set to return to the airwaves next month to host a one-off Easter Sunday radio show on Boom Radio.


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