PAUL O’Grady has become a much-loved presenter across Britain – both as himself and Lily Savage, his alter ego.
The TV host took over the presenting role of Blind Date in the 2018 reboot – the show made famous by his late friend Cilla Black. Here is all you need to know about Paul and his career…
Who is Paul O’Grady? What was his early life?
Paul James O’Grady, MBE, 63, was born on June 14, 1955.
He is an English comedian, television presenter, actor, writer and radio presenter.
Growing up he worked from the age of eight, doing a paper round and working in a fruit and veg shop.
He has one daughter with friend Diane Jansen – and is a grandfather to Abel.
He was in a marriage of convenience with Teresa Fernandes from 1977 to 2005.
And he had a long-standing relationship with Brendan Murphy, who died in 2005.
In August 2017, The Sun exclusively revealed how the Blind Date host had secretly wed his ballet dancer partner Andre Portasio.
The pair began seeing each other in 2007 and got hitched during a 30-minute ceremony at the prestigious Goring Hotel in central London.
When did Paul O’Grady perform as Lily Savage?
Before he hit the big time, Paul performed as Lily Savage in the 80s.
He started off working the drag circuit with his act across pubs and clubs.
As he grew popular he eventually toured the country.
From 1989 to 1992, Paul performed annually as Lily at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, gaining increasing recognition for his act.
As a result, he was nominated for the 1991 Perrier Award alongside Jack Dee, Eddie Izzard, and Frank Skinner.
Paul followed this with a show titled Lily Savage Live from the Hackney Empire, which proved to be a sell-out.
Once he had gained national success, Paul was then asked to bring his act to mainstream TV.
He made guest appearances on TV programmes like The Bill and Brookside.
But it was when he took over from the late Paula Yates on The Big Breakfast from 1995 to 96 that he really hit the big time.
But he packed it in after one year saying that the early mornings “didn’t agree” with him.
As Lily he also hosted a reboot of hit BBC quiz show Blankety Blank.
Paul still appears as Lily, although not as much, and often for pantomime.
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What other shows has Paul O’Grady hosted?
Paul has enjoyed enormous success over the last 20 years, and has become a household name.
He has fronted numerous TV shows including The Paul O’Grady Show, The New Paul O’Grady Show, and Paul O’Grady Live.
More recently he is known for his love of animals, and fronted Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, Paul O’Grady’s Animal Orphans and Paul O’Grady’s Little Heroes.
He was presented with the Special Recognition Award at the 2018 NTAs after his stint on For the Love of Dogs.
He’s also been delving into the history of cinema with Paul O’Grady’s Hollywood on Channel 4.