Paul O'Grady, a true British icon, passed away today at the age of 67. Paul leaves behind a legacy filled with laughter, compassion, and a touch of the supernatural.
Best known for his sharp wit and quick humour, Paul brought joy to millions through his work as an entertainer, comedian, and television presenter. Alongside his bright career, Paul was also a passionate advocate for animal rights and a believer in the paranormal.
Born on June 14, 1955, in Birkenhead, England, Paul rose to fame in the 1980s with his drag persona, Lily Savage. He later transitioned to television, hosting several successful shows including 'The Paul O'Grady Show'.
However, it was his connection to the paranormal
world that added an intriguing element to his already influential life that we here at Higgypop HQ followed. Despite never seeing a ghost himself, Paul is no stranger to the world of the paranormal, he and 'Most Haunted' host Yvette Fielding go back years - in fact Yvette called Paul her "paranormal partner".
After news of Paul's death broke, Yvette took to social media with a tribute to her friend. She tweeted, "#PaulOGrady I’m devastated. He was a unique, lovely soul. We had good laughs and many screams together. See you up there Paul."
Paul's interest in the supernatural extended beyond mere curiosity, with several appearances on Yvette's popular television series. During these episodes, Paul joined the 'Most Haunted' team as they explored allegedly haunted locations and participated in investigations into the paranormal.
His fearless spirit and quick wit made him a memorable part of the episodes he appeared in and spawned some classic quotes. While investigating the infamous 30 East Drive in Pontefract, the comedian addressed the sinister black monk that is said to haunt the property and told it:
"Come on, lift the table now. You call yourself a poltergeist? You're a disgrace to the forces of evil!"
Paul O'Grady, 2015
Paul's commitment to the paranormal was further solidified when in 2018 he trained as an exorcist, an extraordinary step he took to help his close friend Cilla Black's ghost find peace. Paul said at the time that he'd been aware of Cilla's presence around him since her death in 2015. He told the Daily Star that "it was a thrill" to exorcise the spirit of fellow Liverpudlian, Cilla.
Paul and Cilla had been friends for many years, he gave an emotional eulogy at her funeral. His dedication to his friend's memory and his belief in the supernatural demonstrated the depth of his character and the unshakable bond between the two entertainers.
More recently, Paul's own home became a source of paranormal intrigue when he reported experiencing the mysterious scent of an unknown perfume wafting through the residence. This phantom aroma, believed by Paul to be the presence of a ghost, added another layer to O'Grady's already captivating life story.
Speaking on Yvette's podcast
in 2021, Paul said, "I have to be honest, I do like ghost hunting. There's a couple of reasons, to really see if there's an afterlife, to see if there is anything. And two for the sheer fun of it. I do like running around in the dark screaming."
The passing of Paul marks the end of an era. He was a beacon of laughter, and his unwavering commitment to the rights of the LGBTQ community, children and animals will be remembered fondly by fans and friends alike.
Rest in peace, Paul O'Grady.