Paul O'Grady's beloved dogs who brought such joy to the star's life
The nation woke on Wednesday to the sad news of comedian Paul O'Grady's sudden passing at the age of 67.
The popular TV presenter, who hosted the wonderful Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs, died peacefully on Tuesday evening. His husband Andre Portasio said: "He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion."
Paul was a huge animal lover, and his friend Malcolm Prince has revealed that the star was with his pet dogs just hours before his tragic death.
Speaking on Boom Radio, Malcolm said: "Yesterday afternoon, 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 so proud of 'Annie', so happy to be back on Boom Radio, and he was looking forward to so many new projects."
It's lovely to know that Paul had his dogs nearby before he passed. He had five pooches in all, Nancy, Arfur, Conchita, Eddie, and Sausage, and over the years gave a home to several rescue dogs.
MORE: Amanda Holden, Piers Morgan, Kim Cattrall and more pay tribute to Paul O'Grady
In 2020, Paul shared the devastating news that his beloved dog Boycie has passed away.
The announcement came via his close friend Malcolm Prince's Twitter account, in a post that read: "A message from Paul… Sadly, he had to say goodbye to Boycie today. He asked me to share this photo." The picture showed Paul and Boycie cuddling on the sofa.
Paul also lost his epileptic dog Bullseye in February 2019.
Paul paid tribute to his canine friend, writing: "I can't tell you, poor old Bullseye. He was such a lovely dog, he had a thing about doorways, you had to coax him through them and he wouldn't go upstairs. It was part of his condition I think, he was a sweet little dog and sadly missed. It's just terrible really and I just said to Malcolm, 'No more, that's it Malcolm, no more animals!'"
However, in April 2020, Paul's love of dogs saw him adopt a gorgeous puppy named Nancy from Battersea Dog's Home.
In an adorable update on her progress, he told fans: "Just thought I’d let you all know at Battersea how Nancy is doing. She’s twice her size, extremely confident, loves her grub and when she’s not terrorising Arfur (who’s mad on her) she likes to pose for glamour shots on her faux fur rug. Keep well and see you soon that’s if Nancy hasn’t chewed my foot off."
It wasn't just his own dogs that Paul adored – he shone a light on many incredible canine friends.
In December 2002, the star shared a photo on his Instagram page of himself with two paraplegic dogs who get around with their own set of wheels.
Paul wrote: "These two dogs are paraplegics after being hit by either a car or a motorbike. Chris from the UK came over as a volunteer and years later he’s still here caring for these dogs along with his team. Dogs are so resilient and can adapt to anything as these sets of wheels prove. They tear around the place with not a bother on them. @elephantnaturepark."
Paul, you will be missed by all.
READ: Heartbreak for Queen Camilla following shock death of Paul O'Grady
Don't want to miss a story? Sign up to the Family Hub newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.