TV star and comedian Paul O’Grady has died at the age of 67, his partner Andre Portasio has said.
In a statement, a representative said the star, known for his drag queen persona Lily Savage, died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening.
Mr O’Grady was known for his drag queen character, Lily Savage, and he hosted a number of game shows over the years.
The Tranmere-born star presented the popular comedy game show, Blankety Blank, in the late 90s under the guise of Savage.
His career spanned over 30 years, where he hosted The Paul O’Grady Show, Blind Date and For The Love Of Dogs.
He also featured on TV shows like Dr Who and Holby City.
Mr Portasio, who tied the knot with Mr O’Grady in 2017 said: “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.”
Mr O’Grady commemorated 160 years of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home with Queen Consort, Camilla in a special episode of For The Love Of Dogs last year.
‘We have lost a unique talent’
Long-time friend and producer, Malcolm Prince offered his tribute to Mr O’Grady having been round his house only yesterday.
Mr Prince said: “I popped round to Paul’s for a good old catch-up. Surrounded by his beloved dogs, he was laughing smiling and full of life. He was looking forward to so many new projects.
“And now he’s gone I can’t believe it. We have lost a unique talent – and I’ve lost a dear friend. We were all lucky to have Paul in our lives.
“My heart goes out to Andre, Paul’s family, and friends. Oh how I’ll miss him.”