Paul O’Grady’s funeral details confirmed by star’s husband as locals invited to pay respects

Paul O'Grady with husband Andre Portasio who has revealed funeral details.

The first details of Paul O’Grady’s public funeral have been confirmed by the late star’s husband, who has invited locals to observe the procession.

Andre Portasio, O’Grady’s husband of 16 years, announced the comedian’s sudden death on 29 March from sudden cardiac arrhythmia.

The couple lived together in Aldington, a village in Kent, and Portasio has used a local Facebook community group to confirm a public procession before a private church funeral on Thursday (20 April).

“I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude for the overwhelming outpouring of support and love I have received since the passing of our beloved Paul O’Grady,” Portasio wrote, according to the Mirror.

“Your kind messages, beautiful flowers, and thoughtful texts of condolences have brought me comfort and solace during this difficult time.”

After thanking everyone for their “kindness and generosity”, he confirmed that alongside a private funeral, there would also be a chance for the public that O’Grady “cared a lot about” to pay their respects.

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A funeral procession will pass through the village of Aldington shortly after 2pm on Thursday (20 April). Locals have been politely requested to keep disruption to a minimum.

Paul O'Grady pictured at a red carpet event.
TV icon and drag trailblazer Paul O’Grady. (Getty)

Announcing the star’s death on 29 March, O’Grady’s husband Andre Portasio wrote: “He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.”

Speaking about what he would have wanted at his funeral, his best friend and actor Amanda Mealing told The Mirror he would want it to be “full of laughter”.

“He just told us to have a good time – he’d hate it if everyone was mawkish and morose. He would just say: ‘I don’t care, I won’t be here! Do whatever you want’.”

Mealing’s words echo O’Grady’s own in a 2021 Guardian interview. When asked how he wanted to be remembered, O’Grady simply said: “I don’t care, because I won’t be here.

Since his death, tributes have poured in from fans, colleagues and friends, praising his legacy as an LGBTQ+ rights campaigner.

ITV released a poignant documentary For The Love of Paul O’Grady which touched on his groundbreaking work as drag queen Lily Savage, and included a touching tribute from his ex-partner Brendan Murphy.

The final series of his flagship ITV show Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs is being broadcast posthumously every Thursday.