Paul O’Grady honoured with National Television Awards win
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house on Tuesday night (5 September) when the late Paul O’Grady was honoured with a posthumous award at the National Television Awards.
The comedian and drag performer sadly passed away “unexpectedly but peacefully” in March of this year, aged just 67.
O’Grady has been remembered by fans as an active campaigner for the LGBTQ+ community and for animal rights.
A special tribute was paid to the TV star at this year’s National Television Awards when his show For The Love Of Dogs won the award for Factual Entertainment Programme.
Representatives from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, for which O’Grady was an avid ambassador, accepted the award on his behalf.
“I would like to thank Paul, of course, and the ITV team… for shining a light on the care that we’re able to provide for the 100 or more dogs and cats that come to Battersea every week,” said Battersea Veterinary Director Shaun Opperman.
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“I know that Paul cared deeply for each and every one of those animals.
“I think that something about their plight and their vulnerability really struck a chord with Paul. He often referred to Battersea as his second home.”
Opperman’s speech was overshadowed by a rescue dog that accompanied him on stage and barked throughout, melting the hearts of everyone in attendance.
For The Love Of Dogs beat Jeremy Clarkson’s Clarkson’s Farm, Stacey Solomon’s Sort Your Life Out, and The Martin Lewis Money Show Live.
Reacting to the emotional win, viewers at home struggled to contain themselves.
“This made me CRY LIKE AN ACTUAL BABY!” one X (formerly Twitter) user commented.
“I could cry. Paul O’Grady was a wonderful man, a national treasure adored by so many. This award is a perfect way to honour his memory,” wrote a second.
And a third gushed: “The word legend is used a lot these days but nobody comes close to the irreplaceable Paul O Grady. RIP to a lovely man. What a beautiful tribute from the #NTAS.”
O’Grady had been an ambassador for Battersea since 2012, during which time 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.
Following the TV star’s death, the Dogs and Cats Home posted their own tribute to O’Grady.
“Battersea will forever 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,” it read.
“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.”
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