Eamonn Holmes pays tribute to TV presenter Paul O’Grady

GB News host Eamonn Holmes labelled Paul O’Grady “sharp” with a “pithy tongue” as he reflected on the dog-lover’s TV career. The former This Morning presenter went on to call Paul, 67, a “real person” as he paid tribute to the comedian and broadcaster. It came after Paul’s husband Andre Portasio published a statement announcing Paul had died “unexpectedly but peacefully”.

During his GB News Breakfast show, Eamonn, 63, recalled a moment Paul appeared on an interview as alter-ego Lily Savage and claimed he should be sacked.

He remarked: “I remember, 30-odd years ago, waking up on a morning and switching on the telly to see Lily Savage sitting on Richard and Judy, saying ‘And as for that Eamonn Holmes, he should be sacked, he’s ridiculous, whoever gave him a job?’

“This was me hosting the National Television Awards – so he had a pithy tongue. I mean he was sharp – especially as Lily.”

Showbiz journalist and fellow Liverpudlian Ellie Phillips replied: “Oh yeah, I think the thing with Paul and with Lily is that care-free attitude, say what you think, say it how it is, and you know, deal with the consequences later. That was how he said it.

“And I’d often interview him and he’d say things and he’d go afterwards, ‘Oh but don’t write that, though.’

“You know, he’d say things and go, ‘Don’t tell anyone I said that, didn’t come from me.'”

Eamon continued: “There was a realness about him you know, he was always a delight to meet and as you say, the best conversations with him were off-camera.

“He was a real person and he was able to tap into that on behalf of the viewers and listeners, wasn’t he?”

“He was really real, really candid, really raw, but so personable at the same time,” Ellie agreed.

“I think hearing him tell his stories and just talk about life in general, he made you feel like it didn’t matter who you were or where you came from.

“As long as you were fun and you were nice he’d chat to you and give you a chance and that was his attitude for everything, I think.”

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On Wednesday morning, Paul’s husband of five years Andre said: “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.

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

Paul was best known initially for his comic role as Lily Savage and later for his presenting.

He was also known for being a passionate dog-lover with his popular series For the Love of Dogs and did a lot of work for charities protecting dogs.

Breakfast with Eamonn and Isabel airs on weekdays from 6am on GB News.

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