Paul O'Grady's husband reveals he will be spending the anniversary of his death in New Zealand

As today marks the first anniversary of Paul O'Grady's death, let's have a look at what his husband revealed about his last days and how he will celebrate him.

Paul O'Grady death anniversary husband
© Joe Maher / GETTY IMAGES
Paul O'Grady death anniversary husband

On 28 March 2023, comedian and TV presenter Paul O’Grady passed away. His death, due to cardiac arrhythmia, came as a shock as O’Grady had just come back from tour.

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Paul O’Grady had had cardiac issues for a long time and famously suffered several heart attacks. O’Grady also had a severe case of Covid-19. When he passed away, many commented on the fact that the 7 months of intense work must have had a strong impact on his health. At the time of his death a TV insider had said:

Paul had committed to a workload that would overwhelm a man half his age, but he liked regular work to keep him occupied.

The passing of Paul O’Grady moved many. Now, a year after his untimely death, let's look back at the details his husband revealed about the day he passed, fans will be happy to know that O’Grady stayed true to himself until the very end.

Paul O’Grady's ‘cup of tea’

Well, that's not entirely true... In the late evening of 19 October 2023 it was revealed by numerous publications that, O’Grady’s husband, Andre Portasio, shared how the comedian passed away. It was while smoking a joint.

Portasio revealed that he had gone to the kitchen to make a 'cup of tea', which was their code for 'rolling a spliff'. O’Grady’s late husband also shares that he passed away after a ‘very ordinary day, just watching TV together at home.’

Giving more details, Portasio adds:

Paul went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, brought it back, lit it and started smoking it – and that was our last time together, the last thing we did. He passed away there in his chair.

Paul O’Grady’s memorial service and its revelation

All these details were revealed during a memorial service held at London’s Bloomsbury Ballroom. Part of the guests were friends of O’Grady as well as many people from the entertainment industry.

An attendee said:

It was a very moving speech, with some lovely memories and stories – and everyone laughed a lot – but it was also surprisingly ­candid. It was just Andre’s way of dealing with grief and getting things off his chest.

Reminiscing about his friendship with O’Grady, Julian Clary shared a story about a dinner he had at the comedian’s house.

I went over to Paul’s for dinner, and he served me pumpkin soup. After that, the ­evening got a bit a wild - and I can’t remember very much.
The next day, Paul called me and said, ‘How did you find the soup?’ and laughed hysterically.
God knows what he’d put in it!

These new details about Paul O’Grady’s passing somehow manage to make him even more endearing. As if his activism for the gay community and animal welfare wasn't enough. He really is truly missed.

How Andre Portasio will mark O'Grady's death anniversary

In an exclusive article published by Mirror on the morning of 28 March, Portasio made a very sad revelation: he cannot cope with being in the UK on the anniversary of his husband's death.

He explained:

I wanted to be as far away from it as possible in New Zealand,
I don’t want to be anywhere near my kitchen where I found him, and be reminded of what happened.

Portasio also shared that he will be bringing O'Grady's passport with him as a way to bring his husband with him. He said:

he couldn’t do long-haul flights as he got older. But he would have loved New Zealand, and on the day in question, I will remember him quietly in my own way.

Read more:

Paul O’Grady: His husband reveals how he's doing months after his sudden death

Gogglebox star George Gilbey has died aged 40

Kate Garraway: How has the presenter been doing since the tragic death of husband Derek Draper?


The Sun: He lit a spliff and then passed away in his chair, says Paul O’Grady’s loving husband at emotional memorial

ITV News: Paul O'Grady's cause of death confirmed after star died unexpectedly aged 67

Independent: What Paul O’Grady meant for LGBTQ+ representation

Mirror: Paul O’Grady’s husband’s heartbreaking decision on first anniversary of his death

UK celebrities who have died in 2023 from Paul O'Grady to George Alagiah UK celebrities who have died in 2023 from Paul O'Grady to George Alagiah