The LGBTQ+ community is coming together to share memories of the late Paul O’Grady following news of the beloved broadcaster’s death.
The 67-year-old comedian, a big supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and known for his drag queen persona Lily Savage died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening.
The presenter, who was born in Merseyside, hosted several game shows including Blankety Blank in the late 90s under the guise of Savage.
Comedian and radio host James Barr described him as “a truly brave and hilarious man”.
Paul O’Grady was in the trenches fighting for our community during the HIV & AIDS epidemic, she took drag mainstream, she made our mums howl with laughter and normalised gay people on TV by being utterly vile. I can’t imagine a world without her. A truly brave and hilarious man x pic.twitter.com/Zf5ABmg9J7
— James Barr (@imjamesbarr) March 29, 2023
Andi Herring, CEO and Co-founder at LCR Pride Foundation said: “We’re deeply saddened this morning to hear of the passing of Paul O’Grady.
“He and the unforgettable Lily Savage, have touched the lives of so many people in the Liverpool City Region and beyond, his passing is a huge loss to all.
“Fiercely funny with razor sharp wit, yet kind and compassionate, Paul was a trailblazer and inspiration to the LGBT+ community and will remain in our hearts always.
“Our thoughts are with all of Paul’s family, friends and fans at this time.”
And Chris Porter, LGBTQ+ team leader at Merseyside’s YPAS (Young Person’s Advisory Service) said: “YPAS are really sad to hear of the passing of local legend Paul O’Grady. Lily Savage will forever be iconic locally and nationally.
“We need a Lily Savage statue in Liverpool!”
Writer and broadcaster Damien Barr shared his condolences and wrote that Lily Savage was a “genius creation” who pushed drag into the mainstream.
Paul O’Grady created Lily Savage who put drag at the heart of telly for years. She was a genius creation and working class icon. One night she staggered behind the bar at CeCe Blooms in Edinburgh where student me was (briefly) a glass collector. Lily was lovely! #RIPPaulOGrady pic.twitter.com/w7d5C3ONqJ
— Damian Barr (@Damian_Barr) March 29, 2023