Paul O'Grady's living situation with Andre Portasio wasn't the only unconventional part of his life

Beloved British TV presenter Paul O' Grady passed away 'unexpectedly' in March, leaving his partner of seventeen years behind.

Paul O' Grady and his partner of seventeen years Andre Portasio did not live together
© David M. Benett / Getty Images
Paul O' Grady and his partner of seventeen years Andre Portasio did not live together

Andre Portasio published a statement on Tuesday 28 March, 2023, announcing the death of his husband, Paul O' Grady. The TV presenter died 'unexpectedly but peacefully' on Tuesday evening, in his home.

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An unexpected but peaceful death

Andre Portasio published the following 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.

He also added a sweet message to the presenter's fans:

I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years.

Paul O' Grady rose to fame in the 1990s with his drag queen persona, Lily Savage, who presented game shows such as Blankety Blank with her strong scouse accent.

Later in his career, Paul O' Grady spoke about his love for dogs, and even hosted shows where he could put his passion to use. It is thanks to this shared passion that the presenter and Queen Camilla became close friends over the years.

Read more:Queen Camilla receives heartbreaking news weeks before coronation

An unconventional marriage

Paul O' Grady and his husband of six years, Andre Portasio, did not live together until the Covid-19 lockdown. The couple got married in a private ceremony in August 2017 after 11 years together, and yet kept separate homes, which the presenter said 'works a treat'.

He also said they took inspiration from the former couple of Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton, who famously lived apart throughout their 13-year relationship and despite having two children together. Talking to the Irish news, Paul O' Grady said:

We just don’t live together, which for me makes for a perfect relationship because when you’ve had enough, you can say; "I’ll see you, I’m off".

Paul O' Grady and Andre Portasio shared a large property in Kent, where they each had their own personal spaces.

The TV host first revealed his relationship with ballet dancer and teacher Andre Portasio in his 2012 biography, Still Standing. Born in Brazil, Portasio was a ballet dancer with the English National Ballet for years. Since he retired from ballet, Paul O'Grady's husband has been giving ballet lessons and working as an arts manager.

Read more:8 signs that reveal your marriage is hitting the rocks

'It doesn't get much more woke'

The couple's marriage certificate confirms O' Grady's previous 1977 convenience marriage to Portuguese lesbian model Teresa Fernandez was dissolved. The TV presenter and Fernandez were said to have gotten married because of the model's family pressure, but also to protect her from deportation.

Talking to The Sun, Paul O'Grady had jokingly said:

Christ. I’m married to a ballet dancer, I’ve got a daughter, two grandkids and was married to a Portuguese lesbian barmaid. It doesn’t get much more woke.

Read more:3 celebrity marriages that lasted shorter than a sneeze

Sources used:

Daily Mail: 'It makes for a perfect relationship': Paul O'Grady, 62, reveals he does not LIVE with new husband Andre Portasio, 37... as he insists their separate homes 'work a treat'

PinkNews: How Paul O'Grady found love with husband Andre Portasio after the death of his long-term partner

Paul O’Grady’s ex-wife reveals rare details into their unique marriage: 'We forgot to get divorced' Paul O’Grady’s ex-wife reveals rare details into their unique marriage: 'We forgot to get divorced'