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Paul O’Grady ‘died in his own bed’ with his husband beside him, close friend reveals

Paul O’Grady died in his own bed with his husband Andre Portasio next to him, his close friend Linda Thorson has revealed.

The Avengers actress shared the devastating details about the Lily Savage star after he died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday night at the age of 67.

The entertainment world has been in mourning since news broke on Wednesday with tributes pouring in for the presenter from Zoe Ball, the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and even the royal family.

And now Thorson, 75, is the latest star to pay tribute to O’Grady, who she met while he was a presenter on The Big Breakfast, during an appearance on Thursday’s Good Morning Britain.

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Speaking of his sudden passing, she told hosts Susanna Reid and Adil Ray: “I can’t believe it. Just to hang up the phone and hours later for someone to die who was so happy. Full of life.

“But he died in his own bed. His husband was there, Andre, who he’s been with for so many years. The most divine man.

Linda Thorson spoke about the late star on Thursday’s Good Morning Britain (ITV)
Linda Thorson spoke about the late star on Thursday’s Good Morning Britain (ITV)

“He’s only 41, Andre. He will be so bereft. He worshipped Paul. He gave a speech at Paul’s 60th birthday. And Cilla [Black] was there Barbara Windsor. They’re gone.

“They’ll all be partying in heaven you know – and the Queen.”

The British TV icon passed away “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday, his husband said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

O’Grady was remembered as “one of the greatest drag artists the UK has ever seen” at a south London venue where he found mainstream success.

Wednesday night’s show at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT), in Vauxhall, saw a minute of raucous applause for the TV star, instead of a typical minute of silence.

He rose to fame on the nightclub circuit as the acerbic, platinum wig-wearing Lily Savage – a name believed to have been inspired by his late mother.

After touring the north of England with the character, he settled into a solo residency at the RVT, before transitioning to broadcasting and going on to host a number of popular television programmes.