Paul O’Grady’s husband Andre Portasio shares last photo of the couple together on their final holiday as he thanks fans for their support
Paul O’Grady’s grieving husband Andre Portasio has thanked fans and loved ones for their outpouring of support this week after the death of the star.
Andre shared a new post on Instagram on Thursday evening, two days after the beloved TV star died at the age of 67.
Paul’s husband, 41, shared the final photo of the couple together, taken during what would be their last holiday in January.
‘In time I hope to write to everyone individually and thank you for all posts, messages, phone calls, emails, cards and flowers of support,’ Andre told fans.
Last photo: Paul O’Grady’s grieving husband Andre Portasio has thanked fans and loved ones for their outpouring of support this week after the death of the star
‘I much appreciate you all taking the time to reach out. I’m so very touched and I’m sure Paul would be too!
‘Browsing for a picture I found the last picture we ever took together. Unbeknownst to us back in January this would be our last ever holiday together.’
Tributes poured in for the legendary presenter and radio star after his partner shared that he had passed away ‘unexpectedly but peacefully’ on Tuesday night.
Portasio said: ‘It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.
‘We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.
‘He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.’
‘I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years.’
O’Grady and Portasio were married during a low-key wedding ceremony in 2017 .
O’Grady had been set to return to the airwaves next month to host a one-off Easter Sunday radio show on Boom Radio.
Tribute: Paul’s death was announced by his partner Andre Portasio, who he married in 2017 (the couple are pictured here at the Royal Opera House in London in 2018)
O’Grady poses after receiving his MBE in 2008 at Buckingham Palace
Paul O’Grady in his Lily Savage persona performing as the Wicked Queen in Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
READ MORE: Paul O’Grady’s final moments: Star, 67, died in bed with his former ballet dancer husband Andre, 41, beside him
And he was performing right until the end – taking to the stage as Ms Hannigan in Annie at the Edinburgh Playhouse.
He became a household name in the early noughties , known for his wit and love of animals, and hosted a string of television programmes including his self-titled daytime chat show, The Paul O’Grady Show, which began airing in 2004.
He also took over the reins from Blind Date’s long-running presenter and his close friend Cilla Black, who died in 2015, to host the Channel 5 reboot of the show in 2017. And he fronted Blankety Blank, as well as ITV’s award-winning For The Love Of Dogs.
The father-of-one’s cause of death wasn’t immediately known, but he had previously spoken of surviving heart attacks in 2002, 2006 and 2014, and also kidney failure . He also had a debiltating Covid battle that left him unable to work for two months.
O’Grady married Portuguese lesbian barmaid Teresa Fernandes in 1977 to stop her deportation. They divorced in 2005 and he married ex-ballerina Mr Portasio in 2017.
Decades earlier in 1974, he had his only child, a daughter called Sharyn Mousley, with his dear friend Diane Jansen. O’Grady is also a grandfather to Sharyn’s son Abel, who was born in 2006 and is now aged 16, and Sharyn’s daughter Halo, born in 2009.
Loss: Paul passed away in his bed with Andre at his side it emerged today, as grief-stricken friends and family detailed the much-loved star’s final hours
Paul passed away in his bed with Andre at his side it emerged today, as grief-stricken friends and family detailed the much-loved star’s final hours.
Avengers actress Linda Thorson, 75, said devastated friends of the couple are supporting Andre, who has been left ‘bereft’ following his partner’s unexpected death aged 67 on Tuesday night.
Speaking to Susanna Reid and Adil Ray on Good Morning Britain today, Linda revealed she chatted to Paul hours before he passed away, and said the star ‘lived every day of his life as if it was his last’.
She added: ‘He was so happy, full of life. But he died in his own bed, his husband was there, Andre the most divine man who he has been with for many years. He’s only 41, he will be so bereft of Paul, he worshipped Paul.’
The actress said Andre gave a speech at Paul’s 60th birthday, with Cilla Black and Barbara Windsor among guests, adding: ‘They’re all gone. They’ll all be partying in heaven and the Queen.’
Paul’s producer Malcolm Prince – who the star took to Boom Radio with him when he left BBC Radio 2 – described Paul as being ‘full of life’ when he visited his home just hours before his death on Tuesday. He later shared a touching tribute to his long-time friend and colleague.
Barbara Windsor’s widower Scott Mitchell also revealed today how Andre texted him at 2.30am yesterday to inform him of Paul’s death.
Mitchell told The Mirror: ‘I have my phone by my bed and I just happened to press the text.
‘It said Andre, who would never text me, really. And I just knew. He just let me know what had happened.’
The last photograph of O’Grady taken three days ago showed the icon posing with a dog in Edinburgh, where he was performing in a stage production of the musical Annie
Paul’s close friend and former BBC Radio 2 colleague Malcolm Prince described him as being ‘full of life’ when he visited the broadcaster’s home earlier on Tuesday. Sharing this photo on Instagram, Prince wrote: ‘Our last photo together Oh how I’ll miss him. My thoughts are with Andre, Paul’s family and friends Farewell my friend x’
READ MORE – O’Grady’s heartbreaking last Instagram post
Speaking in 2013, the icon said he ‘counted his blessings,’ after having two heart attacks, adding: ‘If I get to 60 that will be amazing. I don’t fear anything nowadays.’
He later revealed he had lost family members – including his parents – to heart disease, adding his relatives had been, ‘cursed with hearts.’
After leaving his Sunday slot on BBC Radio 2 in August last year, O’Grady embarked on a schedule that would ‘overwhelm a man half his age’ – despite having to halt work for two months last year after contracting Covid.
Both of his parents died after suffering heart attacks, while Paul had survived two himself – in 2002 and 2006.
But despite feeling he had been forced out of Radio 2, O’Grady never contemplated retirement, despite his health scares.
The last photo of the late TV star and drag act showed him posing with a dog in Edinburgh, where he was performing in a stage production of the musical Annie before his death at 67.
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