Tributes flood in as comedian and presenter Paul O’Grady dies aged 67
Our thoughts are with Paul’s family and friends
Tributes flood social media for much loved comedian and television presenter Paul O’Grady, who has died aged 67.
His husband, Andre Portasio, announced the star had died ‘unexpectedly but peacefully’ after he passed away on Tuesday evening, March 29th.
Born in Birkenhead, Merseyside, O’Grady hosted a number of game shows including Blankety Blank in the late 90s under the guise of his famous persona, Lily Savage. He also presented Blind Date and For The Love of Dogs.
Mr Portasio, who married O’Grady in 2017, said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening. We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.
“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.”
The world of showbiz is in mourning after the death of Paul O’Grady as tributes have been pouring in to praise hiss legacy.
This Morning’s Vanessa Feltz, said: “Utterly distraught to imagine a world without beloved Paul O’Grady. I inherited the Big Breakfast bed from him in 1996 and have loved him ever since. Wise witty kind and entirely original. We will never see his like again.”
Former EastEnders star, Martin Kemp, said: “Goodbye my friend… the nicest man in Showbiz… It was such a pleasure spending time with you!!”
Lorraine Kelly wrote: “Such sad news. Paul O’Grady – funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise … I always think dogs are the best judge of character and they ADORED him.”
Battersea Dogs Home said: “We’re deeply saddened to learn that our wonderful, kind friend and beloved Ambassador Paul O’Grady MBE has passed away. He will be so dearly missed by all of us at Battersea. Our love and thoughts go out to all of Paul’s family and friends at this difficult time.
RSPCA wrote: We’re heartbroken to hear the news that the wonderful Paul O’Grady has passed away. He was a shining light for animals with an inspirational passion and drive to help them. Our thoughts are with Paul’s loved ones, his many animals and our friends at @Battersea_.”
A close friend of Paul O’Grady who saw the TV star on the afternoon of his death has paid tribute to his ‘dear friend’ after visiting him just hours before his death.
Radio producer Malcolm Prince said he popped round to Paul’s for a ‘good old catch-up’ on Tuesday afternoon (March 28th) and the former drag queen was ‘laughing, smiling and full of life.’
In a post on Twitter, Malcolm shared ‘a few words’ about his last moments with the TV veteran, saying: “I’m devastated. Yesterday afternoon, I popped round to Paul’s for a good old catch-up. Surrounded by his beloved dogs, he was laughing, smiling and full of life.
“He was so proud of ‘Annie’, so happy to be back on Boom Radio and he was looking forward to so many new projects. And now he’s gone. I can’t believe it. We have lost a unique talent – and I’ve lost a dear friend. We were all lucky to have Paul in our lives.
“My heart goes out to Andre, Paul’s family, and friends. Oh how I’ll miss him”.
Mr Prince also shared the final photo he and Paul had together, adding: “Farewell Paul, I’ll miss you my friend xxx.”
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.”
108-year-old reveals secret to long life is having dogs not kids
She was inundated with almost 300 cards to wish her a ‘happy birthday’
An elderly woman has celebrated her 108th birthday and revealed her secret to having a long life was having dogs rather than children.
Ada Daniel has lived at Codnor Park Care Home, Derbyshire, since 2015. Knowing the centenarian had a very impressive birthday coming up, staff at her home put the news out there and appealed for 108 birthday cards.
But Ada was inundated with nearly 300 cards — showing what a popular lady she is.
She also received a very special card from the King and Queen to mark her big day.
Ada couldn’t believe it as she said: “Three hundred? Ooh, gracious! Can’t believe it. Can’t believe it.”
Staff surprised her with a private birthday party which included an afternoon tea and numerous balloons which had been donated during the appeal to make her day extra special.
Kelly Goucher, activity co-ordinator at Ashmere, the company which runs the home, told the BBC: “Ada hasn’t got a lot of family left.
“She never had any children so she doesn’t have any grandchildren so we just wanted to get her as many cards as possible. She quite likes the fact that people know about her because of her age.”
It was Kelly who decided to launch the appeal for 108 birthday cards on Facebook. She said she was shocked at the number of people who responded and wanted to send Ada their well wishes.
She said: “I woke up to 135 messages the following morning of people wanting to send cards.
Kelly also went on to explain that Ada didn’t have children but instead owned a lot of pet pooches. “She had a lot of greyhounds,” she said.
Adding: “She’s definitely a character. I did ask her what her secret was once and she said it was ‘to have dogs, not kids’.”
Boy, 11, seriously hurt in horror dog attack in Manchester
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward
An 11-year-old boy has been seriously hurt after being attacked by a dog in Manchester.
The incident happened on Sunday afternoon (June 4th) in Swanley Avenue, Monsall and emergency services, including an air ambulance were in attendance.
Greater Manchester Police have said the young boy sustained injuries which were not life-threatening in the attack.
A 35-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of having a dog dangerously out of control and the animal was also seized, officers said.
A cordon was put in place along Swanley Avenue, with a number of police vehicles and ambulances at the scene in the immediate aftermath. GMP are now asking for witnesses to come forward.
Officers have appealed for any CCTV, mobile or dashcam footage. Superintendent Nicola Williams said the ‘awful attack’ had left the boy’s family ‘incredibly distressed’.
She added: “I understand the concern an incident of this nature will cause in the wider community, and I want to reassure you we will carry out an extensive investigation into what has happened.
“The dog has been secured and we have made an arrest of a woman who remains in police custody.”
Members of the public can give information by calling 0161 856 1146, quoting log 1530 of June 4th 2023, or use the LiveChat function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk. Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.