Fans of Paul O’Grady shared some heartfelt words in tribute of the late star as he appeared as his loudmouthed drag alter ego Lily Savage in a throwback episode of Blankety Blank on BBC One on Saturday.
It comes after the legendary TV presenter died ‘unexpectedly and peacefully’ on Tuesday evening.
Paul – who was made an BME for services to entertainment in 2008 – first started performing as Lily Savage in the 1970s, going onto launch The Lily Savage Show on the BBC in 1997.
He then revived Blankety Blank, hosting as Lily until 2002.
This weekend, the classic game show, which saw contestants fill in missing words from phrases, with help from celebrity guests, was shown, with viewers taking to Twitter in their droves to pay tribute to Paul.’
Tribute episode: Fans of Paul O’Grady shared some heartfelt words in tribute of the late star as he appeared as his loudmouthed drag alter ego Lily Savage on Blankety Blank on Saturday (pictured in 2005)
Sad news: It comes after the legendary TV presenter died ‘unexpectedly and peacefully’ on Tuesday evening (pictured in 2013)
While someone else shared: ‘A reminder on the BBC right now of just how good Paul O’Grady was as Lily Savage on #BlanketyBlank. Brought the show to life and gave us all a laugh. We’ve lost a real gem in Paul.’
Another person posted: ‘Watching Paul O’Grady smashing it on #LilySavage #BlanketyBlank. Tears of laughter have momentarily replaced the tears of loss. Absolute force, there will never be better. Thanks for the gold Paul x.’
‘Watching BBC 1 tribute to Paul O’Grady and WOW,’ wrote another viewer. ‘#LilySavage had an amazing pair of legs .. full respect to Paul for wearing the heels! Always wore killer mini skirts too! Sympathies to his partner, family & many friends. Way too soon but what an inspiring life well lived.’
Another audience member tweeted: ‘Lovely for @BBCOne to televise a classic Lily Savage’s Blankety Blank in honour of the life and legacy of Paul O’Grady – a trailblazer and icon of the drag community.’
Someone else shared: ‘Fairplay to the BBC for showing an old Blankety Blank with the legend that was Paul O’Grady. I was a massive fan of Lily Savage, back in the day, but an even bigger fan of the man later on. As a dog lover and Staffy owner, what he did was amazing. I will miss him RIP.’
While another person wrote: ‘Watching the classic blankety blank with lily savage and it takes me back to my childhood so much. But reminds me of the sad truth Paul O’Grady has passed.’
One other Paul O’Grady fan posted: ‘Lily Savage giving an absolute lesson in how to present a game show on BBC1. So effortless and natural. And those legs…. #BlanketyBlank #RIPPaulOGrady.’
While someone else tweeted: ‘After the sad news this week of Paul O’Grady’s passing it’s lovely to laugh along with Lily Savage on #BlanketyBlank @BBCOne.’
Alter ego: Paul – who was made an BME for services to entertainment in 2008 – first started performing as Lily Savage in the 1970s (pictured on Blankety Blank in 2005)
‘Watching an old episode of Paul O’Grady as Lily Savage on Blankety Blank. He really was one, funny class act! #PaulOGrady #RIP #PaulOGradyRIP #RipPaulOGrady #LilySavage #BlanketyBlank #LilySavagesBlanketyBlank @BBCOne,’ posted another person.
And someone else wrote: ‘Haven’t stopped laughing with #BlanketyBlank. Lily Savage was pure class!! #PaulOGradyRIP.’
Paul died ‘unexpectedly and peacefully’ on Tuesday this week, according to his partner Andre Portasio.
He said in a statement: ‘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.’
His long time radio producer Malcolm Prince had visited Paul – who had recently been touring as Miss Hannigan in the stage musical Annie – at his home earlier in the afternoon.
He tweeted: ‘He was so proud of Annie, so happy to be back on Boom Radio, and he was looking forward to so many new projects.
RIP: This weekend, the classic game show, which saw contestants fill in missing words from phrases, with help from celebrity guests, was shown, with viewers paying tribute
‘And now he’s gone. I can’t believe it. We have lost a unique talent – and I’ve lost a dear friend.’
Paul first started performing as Lily Savage in the 1970s, going onto launch The Lily Savage Show on the BBC in 1997.
He revived Blankety Blank until 2002, and went on to present a number of chat shows including ITV’s teatime programme The Paul O’Grady Show from 2004 to 2005, and then moving over to Channel 4.
In 2017, he took over from Cilla Black on Channel 5’s Blind Date reboot, while over the years he also fronted ITV’s For The Love of Dogs, which was tied to his role as an ambassador for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
He recently left BBC Radio 2 after 14 years, noting at the time he wasn’t pleased with sharing his Sunday afternoon slot.
He was set to join Boom Radio for Easter Sunday in less than two weeks.
It comes as bosses of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home said they were ‘overwhelmed and touched’ following a surge in public donations after Paul’s death.
Chief Executive Paul Laurie told the Mirror they had been inundated with letters and messages of support.
The home featured on Paul’s television show Paul O’Grady: For The Love of Dogs and a ‘tribute fund’ was set up after his death.
It had reached £90,000 on Friday and just hours later hit the huge six-figure mark.
The 11th and final series of the programme will air posthumously in April, with Paul telling the newspaper: ‘We will be looking to find a suitably fitting way to remember the profound impact Paul had at Battersea and the rescue animal sector – something that will support the animals Paul loved so much, and that would make him proud.’
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk