The news of O’Grady’s death was announced by his partner Andre Portasio.
“It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening,” he said. “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.”
Many from the TV industry paid tribute to O’Grady after news emerged of his death.
“Such sad news,” wrote Lorraine Kelly. “Paul O’Grady – funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise. Will be sorely missed. A really special man.”
Photographer Daniel Halawi wrote: “This is so sad, I loved watching him when I was younger, the Paul O’Grady show was the best and even went to see it live many times. Always a great personality and made me laugh. He is gonna be missed RIP.”
“Oh no, such sad news to wake up to that the magnificent Paul O’Grady has died at the age of 67,” said Charlotte Hawkins.
“What a warm-hearted, hugely talented and funny man he was... Such a loss and gone too young.”
Thank you for being kind to my little Battersea rescue dog, Paul O’Grady. Thank you for being soft and patient with him. Thank you for all the dogs you helped save, and for all the families you brought together. You will be so very missed. Rest in peace, lovely one. pic.twitter.com/nmKCg2Ad2q
— Joanna Randall (@JoannaRamble) March 29, 2023
“RIP Paul O’Grady. A true king – and queen – of entertainment. Who else could have brought drag to primetime, then become your nan’s favourite chat show host?” wrote journalist Nick Levine.
“That’s horrible news to wake up to in the middle of the night. Bless you and sleep well, Paul O’Grady. Your people – and all those dogs – Will miss you terribly,” said radio host Greg Scott.
“Before Drag Race and social media it was rare for queens to break through into mainstream media, Paul was one of the few leading the way and smashing down barriers. Everyone loved him, but he preferred animals. RIP Paul O’Grady AKA the legendary Lily Savage, you will be missed,” producer Tom Knight added.
— Georgie Heath (@GeorgieHeath27) March 29, 2023
“It’s been one of the hardest stories to produce. I’m beyond gutted that Paul O’Grady has passed away. He was my biggest inspiration both as himself and Lily Savage. Seeing him in the Palladium panto as the evil queen is something I’ll never forget. He will never be forgotten,” wrote producer James Brigg.