Paul O’Grady shared a heartbreaking final post before he died.
The beloved comedian and presenter died ‘unexpectedly but peacefully’ aged sixty-seven, the BBC reports.
He first rose to fame during the 1990s with his drag act persona, the iconic Lily Savage. As Savage, he presented many well-known TV shows including Blankety Blank and The Big Breakfast. Savage was so well loved that she even got her own show, Lily Live!, in 2000.
Later on in O’Grady’s life, he became a mainstay of early evening TV with his The Paul O’Grady Show that ran for a whopping fifteen seasons throughout the 2000s.
He then went on to star in Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, set at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home that has been a fan favourite since it first hit screens in 2012.
In a statement, O’Grady’s husband, Andre Portasio, announced his tragic passing at the age of sixty-seven.
“It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening,” he wrote.
“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.”
Fans have flocked to O’Grady’s social accounts to share their tributes, but in doing so have realised that the star shared one final heartbreaking post before he died.
“Got back from a week in Newcastle playing Miss Hannigan in Annie to find that Tom Tom, one of my pigs had been put to sleep. I knew it was coming as he’d been diagnosed with a tumour but even so it’s awful when you lose a pet,” he wrote.
“He was the cheekiest of the gang and one of the other pigs who was obviously very fond of him is now depressed and gone into mourning and there’s those who say that animals don’t have feelings.
“On a lighter note I’m thoroughly enjoying playing Hannigan again after so long especially with a truly amazing and lovely cast. Next stop Edinburgh,” he concluded the post.
Fans have been sharing their tributes to the star all over social media.
“I loved Paul O’Grady and I loved Lily Savage. He was in the trenches fighting for our community during the HIV & AIDS epidemic. Lily Savage was a genius & subversive creation that managed to reach mainstream audiences – the impact of which was transformative. RIP & thank you,” one person wrote.
Another said: “Saw Paul O’Grady way back in the day as Lily – always had a smile, a friendly word and a hug for me over the years that followed. Absolute gutted he’s gone. RIP x.”
While a third wrote: “A genuine icon, a trailblazer in so many ways. Paul O’Grady was someone that brought so much joy, his wit and craft as Lily Savage was just genius. Not just a brilliant entertainer but someone who thought for the rights for queer people and those living with HIV.”
Rest in peace, Paul O’Grady.