The beloved entertainer Paul O’Grady has died aged 67, after five decades on stage and screen.
He shot to fame as the acid-tongued drag queen Lily Savage, going on to win millions of fans and a host of awards as a comedian, game show host, chat show compere, radio DJ, animal rights champion and bestselling author.
Here we take a look at the life and times of the unforgettable O’Grady.
O’Grady found nationwide fame in his drag queen persona Lily Savage, first performing under that name in the 1970s (Tony Harris/PA) Born in Birkenhead, Merseyside, in 1955, O’Grady once said that his ambition as a child had been to work in a dry cleaner’s (Rebecca Naden/PA) O’Grady was close friends with the late singer and TV presenter Cilla Black (Myung Jung Kim/PA) After being nominated for a Perrier Award in 1991 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Lily Savage became one of the UK’s best loved comedy acts, going on to present The Big Breakfast, Blankety Blank, and her own show for the BBC (Yui Mok/PA) Performing under his own name, O’Grady’s success arguably reached new heights with the daytime chat shows, The Paul O’Grady Show and The New Paul O’Grady Show – and a galaxy of awards followed (Ian West/PA) O’Grady was outspoken on a number of political issues – here he addresses a rally in favour of then Labour leader Ed Miliband as part of the 2015 general election campaign (Stefan Rousseau/PA) O’Grady was a doughty fighter for the rights of animals, particularly dogs. Here, the Battersea Ambassador takes a rescue dog for a walk alongside the then-Duchess of Cornwall (Stuart Wilson/PA) O’Grady was a staunch defender of LGBT+ rights. In 2014 he spoke alongside Peter Tatchell at a demonstration outside Downing Street, calling for corporate sponsors of the Sochi Winter Olympics to denounce Russia’s anti-gay laws (Dominic Lipinski/PA) Cutting a cake to mark Stonewall’s 10th birthday with, from left, Julian Clary, Angela Mason and Sir Elton John in 1999 (PA) O’Grady also entertained millions of listeners every week with a Sunday night teatime show on BBC Radio 2 for 14 years, which he left only last year (Steve Parsons/PA) O’Grady, in character as Miss Hannigan from the musical Annie, who also found time in a long career to write several best-selling books, leaves a partner, Andre Portasio, and a daughter, Sharyn Mousley (Ben Curtis/PA) O’Grady at the Savage Style exhibition of costumes worn by his alter ego (Peter Byrne/PA)