Paul O’Grady: Linda Thorson recalls ‘upbeat’ final call with presenter hours before his death

·2 min read

The Avengers star Linda Thorson has recalled her last conversation with Paul O’Grady just hours before his death.

The TV presenter and comedian died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday (28 March) night aged 67, with the news prompting an outpouring of tributes from his fans and famous friends.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Thursday (30 March), actor Thorson spoke about her friendship with O’Grady. The pair met due to the presenter’s love of the Sixties TV show The Avengers, in which Thorson starred.

“Paul rang me on Tuesday at 3 o’clock,” she told hosts Adil Ray and Susanna Reid. “We spoke for an hour – one of the best conversations I’ve ever had.”

Thorson said that O’Grady had spoken excitedly about his current performance as Miss Hannigan in the touring production of Annie the Musical.

“He was absolutely over the moon,” Thorson said. “He loved the cast… He was so upbeat, all these plans.”

Remembering her friend, Thorson said that the drag performer “lived everyday of his life as if it was his last and [Tuesday] was”.

“I never heard her say a bad word about anyone,” she said. “He brought energy into the room… He was generous to a fault, I will never meet anyone like that.”

Thorson, 75, then teared up, saying: “Just to hang up the phone and hours later, him be dead.”

However, she said that O’Grady, Cilla Black and Barbara Windsor would be “partying in heaven”.

One day before his death, O’Grady met with a radio production team to plan his return to the airwaves with an Easter show.

He was also reportedly planning to lead a campaign calling on the police to apologise for historic persecution of the LGBT+ community.