Paul O’Grady’s funeral to feature touching tribute by Battersea dogs

Paul O'grady to be honoured by a guard of dogs at funeral.

Paul O’Grady’s funeral will take place on later today, Thursday (20 April), and his long-standing love of dogs will be marked in a very special way.

The star, known for his razor-tongued drag alter ego Lily Savage, died from cardiac arrhythmia on 28 March, aged 67.

As tributes continue to pour in from across the entertainment world, O’Grady’s husband, Andre Portasio, confirmed details of his funeral, with a chance for the talk show host’s local community in Aldington, Kent, being given the chance to pay their last respects.

According to The Mirror, there will then be a private memorial, understood to be taking place in Port Lympne Safari Park, which star often visited.

A group of dogs from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home will provide a guard of honour at the ceremony.

Paul O'Grady with husband Andre Portasio who has revealed funeral details.
Paul O’Grady with husband Andre Portasio. (Getty)

Paul O’Grady lived in Kent for more than 20 years and, according to a post by Portasio on a local Facebook group, a public funeral procession will pass through the village between 2.10pm and 2.45pm, with members of the public encouraged to stand on Roman Road, Forge Hill or New Road Hill.

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“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 in his post.

O’Grady hosted the ITV series Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, in collaboration with Battersea. As an ambassador for the charity since 2012, he re-homed five dogs himself and regularly visited the animal rescue centre, even bringing royalty the likes of Queen Elizabeth, and Camilla, the queen consort, with him.

After O’Grady’s death was announced, the rescue centre posted its own tribute.

“Battersea will for ever remember Paul as a devoted animal lover with the biggest heart. [He] fell head over heels in love with every dog he met at our centres,” they wrote.

“Paul will always be associated with Battersea and we are truly saddened to have lost such a true friend and huge part of our charity.

“Paul had an extremely hands-on-approach as a Battersea ambassador and has been fundamental in helping our charity to communicate important campaign messages. He was a champion for the underdog and would do anything to ensure all animals live a healthy and happy life. He will be dearly missed.”

Since the star’s death, more than £270,000 has been raised for the charity.

Paul O’Grady’s final season of For the Love of Dogs airs on ITV on Thursdays.