Paul O'Grady died in bed beside husband, says close friend Linda Thorson

Actor Thorson spoke to the star shortly before he passed away

ASH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  Battersea Ambassador Paul O’Grady during a visit to Battersea Brand Hatch Centre with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on February 2, 2022 in Ash, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Paul O’Grady has died at the age of 67. (WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Paul O’Grady’s friend Linda Thorson has said the star died in bed next to his husband.

The comedian, actor and presenter – who rose to fame as drag queen alter ego Lily Savage – died unexpectedly on Tuesday (28 March) at the age of 67.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Thorson said the star passed away beside his partner Andre Portasio.

Read more: My night out with Lily Savage: Remembering the brilliance of Paul O’Grady

“He died in his own bed," she said. "His husband was there, Andre, who has been with for so many years.

"The most divine man, he is only 41, Andre, he will be so bereft of Paul, he worshipped Paul."

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Paul O'Grady and Andre Portasio attend the National Television Awards held at The O2 Arena on January 22, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/WireImage)
Paul O'Grady with his partner Andre Portasio. (WireImage)

Thorson said O’Grady was “upbeat” and excited about his upcoming plans when they spoke shortly before he died.

"We spoke for an hour, must have been one of the best conversations we’ve ever had,” said the Avengers actor.

She said he had just come back from performing in a new production and that he was “absolutely over the moon”.

“He loved the cast, got along with everybody," she said.

“He just was so upbeat, all these plans.”

Canadian actress Linda Thorson poses on June 12, 2013 during a photocall at the 53rd Monte-Carlo Television Festival in Monaco.  AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE        (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Linda Thorson was friends with Paul O'Grady. (AFP via Getty Images)

Thorson said the pair also got together with friends for a meal a couple of weeks before.

“He just lived every day of his life as if it was his last and yesterday it was,” she said.

She added that O’Grady “brought energy into the room”.

“He was very magical and he was an entertainer,” she said.

O'Grady's death was confirmed by Portasio, who he married in 2017.

He said in a statement: "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.

Read more: Paul O'Grady: A truly good person remembered

"I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years."

Watch: Tributes paid to ‘naughty, hilarious’ Paul O’Grady