Over 90,000 people sign petition for Paul O’Grady statue in his hometown
‘It only feels right to honour the life of such a great human being by immortalising him in statue form, in his hometown of Birkenhead’
Over 90,000 people have signed a petition for a Paul O’Grady statue to be erected in his hometown.
The campaign to erect a statue of the national treasure in his hometown of Birkenhead, Merseyside, is gathering momentum in the wake of his death last week. The TV presenter and comedian, who passed away aged 67 on March 28th, touched the hearts of millions as the sudden news sparked a wave of mourning across the UK.
A Change.org petition has been launched online and it already passed a staggering 87,000 signatures last week. At time of writing, it has already reached a whopping 94k.
Kieran Gabriel, who set-up the campaign, wrote: “It only feels right to honour the life of such a great human being by immortalising him in statue form, in his hometown of Birkenhead.
“Paul has left a huge legacy with his trailblazing work as a drag artist, social and political causes, LGBT rights and of course, his love of animals. This is a petition to the Wirral Council, who must surely take stock of the huge outpouring of love in the wake of Paul’s passing. Liverpool has Cilla, Birkenhead deserves Paul.”
O’Grady’s ‘unexpected’ but ‘peaceful’ death was confirmed by his husband Andre Portasio. In a statement released last week, Portasio said: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.
“He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion. I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years.”
Some who have signed the Change.org petition have suggested there be a few dogs around Paul’s statue to honour his other work with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, which has received over £100,000 in donations since his death.
O’Grady was an ambassador for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, which paid tribute to the ‘devoted animal lover’, saying he was a ‘champion for the underdog’.
Last year, the showbiz star helped celebrate 160 years of the organisation when he was joined by the Queen Consort in a special one-off episode of For The Love Of Dogs.
The organisation’s chief executive, Peter Laurie, said: “Battersea will forever remember Paul as a devoted animal lover with the biggest heart, who fell head over heels in love with every dog he met at our centres.
“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.”
It comes after a mural in south Manchester paying tribute to O’Grady was defaced with graffiti just days after it was created.
Coronation Street legend Julie Goodyear diagnosed with dementia
Coronation Street legend Julie Goodyear, who played Bet Lynch, has been diagnosed with dementia, her husband has revealed.
The 81-year-old who played the iconic pub landlady of the Rovers Return on the show sought medical advice after ‘suffering forgetfulness’ but there was now ‘no hope of a reversal in the situation’, her husband Scott Brand said.
He shared news of her diagnosis in a statement, writing: “My darling wife and I have had to come to terms with this heart-breaking diagnosis.
“Unfortunately, Julie has been suffering forgetfulness for some time and we have been seeking medical advice and assistance, but we now know that there is no hope of a reversal in the situation — and that her condition will get progressively, and perhaps speedily, worse.
“We have taken the decision to publicly announce the diagnosis as Julie still loves visiting friends and eating out.
“Inevitably she is recognised, and fans love to meet her – and she them – but she can get confused particularly if she is tired. I hope people will understand.”
Goodyear played the leopard-skin-wearing, big-haired barmaid on the cobbles from 1966 to 2003.
Thanks to Goodyear, Bet Lynch became one of the ITV soap opera’s longest-serving and best-loved characters.
The iconic actress also appeared on reality shows such as Celebrity Big Brother and Celebrity Fit Club.
Tragedy as police find body of missing man last seen leaving pub
Police have confirmed the body as being Christopher
Police have confirmed a body has been tragically found in the search for a missing man in Marple.
Christopher Barlow, 31, was last seen shortly after 1am on Sunday, June 4th after leaving the Royal Oak pub in Mellor, Stockport.
He was last sighted turning left to walk along Brabyns Brow from Town Street.
Police officers and specialist teams searched a specific area beside the Peak Forest and remained at the scene after the tragic discovery on Tuesday, June 6th.
Greater Manchester Police have confirmed the body as being Christopher, and his family have been informed. A report is currently being prepared for the Coroner’s Office.
Detective Superintendent Helen Critchley, of GMP’s Stockport district, said: “Firstly, our thoughts are with Chris’s family and friends at this very distressing time.
“I would also like to thank the local community for their support with the search and the wider public for their assistance in sharing our appeal.”
According to The Manchester Evening News, on Monday evening (June 5th) the water search and marine unit, as well as a number of police vehicles and detectives were at the scene.
A large section of the canal was closed off to boats the next day as the search for Christopher continued.
Canal towpaths were also taped off as divers went into the water and officers searched nearby woodland.
Man to complete visiting every Wetherspoon pub in Britain and Ireland this week
Now he only has one final pub left to visit
A man will complete his visit to every Wetherspoon pub in Britain and Ireland this week as he sips his final pint to conclude his mission.
Most people like to see how far they can make it in a pub crawl but David Bingham, 60, decided to take it much further than that.
The Derbyshire man, who set out on the task in 2019, will conclude his journey of sipping a pint at all 875 Wetherspoon venues this week, including the 40 that have closed.
Now he only has one final pub left to visit, and he’s booked a flight at the South Terminal in Gatwick Airport in order to tick it off his long list.
The last of the boozers will be The Flying Horse, which is conveniently located right after security at the airport. Wetherspoons has praised his dedication.
Mr Bingham, from West Hallam, has said his other passions are trainspotting and following Burton Albion. He took on the challenge while also pursuing his other hobbies. Mr Bingham told the BBC: “If we were going somewhere new, I’d suss out the Wetherspoons.”
His partner Una Cooper bought him a directory of the pubs and he began ticking them off. “I’ve had a drink in most pubs, I’d say 85%,” he said.
“I’m a lager lad, definitely. The one in Ramsgate [in the Royal Victoria Pavilion] is my favourite because the history behind that building is incredible.
“But there are five police stations, there are churches, there’s chapels, there’s a tram depot, there’s a fire station.
“They just save these fantastic buildings. I love architecture and I love buildings. It’s a history lesson.”
Wetherspoon spokesman, Eddie Gershon, said: “We applaud David Bingham on his outstanding achievement.
“Many people love to visit Wetherspoon pubs across the UK and Ireland, but only a handful have visited each and every one. David will now join that select group.
“He has obviously put in a lot of time and effort into achieving his goal and we thank him for his dedication to our pubs.”