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, as new details about the day he passed come out, fans will be happy to know that O’Grady stayed true to himself until the very end.
Paul O’Grady passed away after making a ‘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
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.
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