Paul O’Grady has been laid to rest alongside his former partner Brendan Murphy, it has been reported.
The legendary TV star, who passed away last month at the age of 67, was left devastated when his former manager and partner Brendan passed away from an inoperable brain tumour in 2015.
On Thursday, Paul’s grief-stricken husband Andre Portasio rode a horse and carriage carrying O’Grady’s coffin through Adlington, Kent, while clutching their beloved dog Conchita.
It’s now been reported by The Mirror that Paul’s body was laid to rest next to Brendan.
Brendan tragically died just days before Paul’s 50th birthday in 2005, with the Lily Savage star paying tribute to his close friend shortly after his tragic death.
Final wish: Paul O’Grady has been laid to rest alongside his former partner Brendan Murphy, it has been reported
Heartbreaking: Thousands of fans and friends paid tribute to the legendary TV star, who passed away last month at the age of 67, during his funeral on Thursday
Paul told the Mirror: ‘I’d lost my best mate, someone who’d been in my life for 25 years and saw me through the days when I was lucky to earn £50 for standing on a beer crate in the corner of a pub telling jokes. Murph and I were like brothers – joined at the hip, thick as thieves.
‘It transcended any sexual relationship we’d had. This was a partnership. A double act, Emma Peel and Steed, Laurel and Hardy. We were both 49, barely able to believe what we’d achieved – I’d just won a BAFTA for the Paul O’Grady Show – and then suddenly bang, he’s gone.’
Paul went on to find love with Brazilian dancer Andre, 25 years his junior, who he married in 2017.
On the day of Paul’s funeral, a post on his official Instagram page read: ‘Yesterday was a very sad day. We said good bye to our beloved Paul O’Grady. We thank everyone who despite the weather came to pay their respects at the procession, humans and furry friends.
‘He would have been very humbled. The outpouring of love and kindness over the last 3 weeks has been truly amazing’
Paul O’Grady’s husband wiped away tears today as he led mourners into the late comedian’s funeral following his sudden death at the age of 67 last month.
Ronnie Wood, Alan Carr and Jo Brand were among the dozens of celebrities to follow grief-stricken Andre Portasio as he rode a horse and carriage carrying O’Grady’s coffin through Adlington, Kent, while clutching their beloved dog Conchita.
Hundreds of well wishers holding bouquets of flowers lined the streets to watch the cortege, which travelled from Paul’s home in Adlington to a picturesque 12th century church in nearby Bonnington.
The popular comedian and presenter, who found fame as his drag alter-ego Lily Savage and whose For the Love of Dogs TV show was watched by millions, made his final journey flanked by a ‘dogs guard of honour’.
A floral wreath in the shape of O’Grady’s late pooch Buster, who died from cancer in 2009, was pictured leaning against his coffin as it made its way to the Grade-II listed St Rumwold’s church.
On the day of Paul’s funeral, a post on his official Instagram page read: ‘Yesterday was a very sad day. We said good bye to our beloved Paul O’Grady.’
Devastating: Paul O’Grady died from cardiac arrhythmia aged 67 last month, shocking fans across Britain and around the world
O’Grady’s daughter Sharyn Mousley donned a black face covering as she walked into the service alongside a young man, believed to be the comedian’s grandson, who was holding a Lily Savage wig.
Three volunteers from from Battersea Cats & Dogs Home stood guard with a black Labrador cross and a pug as the coffin was carried into the ceremony by six pallbearers.
A brass band from the Salvation Army played a series of songs outside, including Tomorrow from the musical Annie.
O’Grady had been touring with a production of the hit show at the time of his passing.
Other famous faces seen saying their goodbyes were comedian Julian Clary, the late Dame Barbara Windsor’s widower Scott Mitchell and a string of EastEnders actors, including Scott Malsen, Cheryl Fergison and Linda Henry.
Touching notes were left outside the church by loved ones of O’Grady.
His daughter Sharyn wrote: ‘Gongan, we miss you so much, Abel and Halo will never forget you. Your little teddy is with you. I love you.’
Meanwhile a tribute from his ‘heartbroken’ sister Sheila read: ‘Dear Paul, beloved and loved brother, brother-in-law and uncle. Will love, remember and miss you forever. Rest in peace.’
After the funeral, a private event for family and loved-ones is planned at Port Lympne Safari Park, whish is just three miles from Paul’s home and where he loved judging animal competitions.
It is home to many rare and endangered species and the largest breeding herd of black rhinos in the UK, all in the grounds of an Edwardian mansion transformed by late casino mogul John Aspinall, a close friend of Lord Lucan and Sir James Goldsmith.
Meanwhile some 300 miles away, hundreds of O’Grady fans gathered in his hometown of Birkenhead, Merseyside, to pay their respects. One video showed dozens of well wishers bursting into a one-minute round of applause to ‘celebrate his life.’
Tough: Husband of Paul O’Grady, Andre Portasio, carrying one of their dogs, arriving for the funeral of Paul O’Grady at St Rumwold’s Church in Aldington, Kent
Hours before the funeral, owners with dogs from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where the 11 series of his award-winning ITV show For The Love Of Dogs were set, arrived in Aldington to say farewell to the star.
More than £270,000 has been raised for the charity since his death from a cardiac arrhythmia on March 28.
O’Grady became an ambassador for the animal charity in 2012 and rehomed five dogs while filming the show Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs.
Fans were shocked and heartbroken when the news of his death was announced last month.
O’Grady had spoken openly about his struggles with heart disease, which his death certificate – obtained by the Daily Express – showed was linked to his death.
The grandfather-of-two had three heart attacks between 2002 and 2014, while he also battled kidney failure and was unable to work for two months after contracting Covid in 2022.
Both his parents and grandparents died of heart issues, while his brother and other members of his family had also suffered heart attacks.
The star shot to fame as trailblazing comic drag act Lily Savage before becoming one of the country’s best-loved TV presenters and DJs.
Ex-ballet dancer Andre Portasio, who married O’Grady in 2017, paid tribute to his ‘humour, wit and compassion’ in a statement announcing his death.
O’Grady had his first attack at just 46, where he was rushed to hospital and underwent a two-hour surgery.
After this, he gave up smoking, having previously been reported to get through 40 cigarettes a day.
But just over four years later the TV presenter was back in hospital after a second heart attack at the age of 51.
And after an attack of angina in 2013, O’Grady was also reported to have had a third heart attack in 2014.
Saying goodbye: Locals have also been invited to line streets near Paul’s home as the cortege passes through the village where he lived. Pictured: Paul O’Grady and partner Andre Portasio
Paul O’Grady hosted classic TV quiz show Blankety Blank as his alter-ego Lily Savage
Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome – or SADS – is when a person’s heart stops suddenly and unexpectedly and the cause cannot be found.
This stops the heart from pumping blood around your body, stopping breathing and starving the brain of oxygen.
Also known as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, it affects around 500 people in the UK every year.
His death certificate was registered six days after his death by his PA and agent Joan Marshrons.