Paul O’Grady’s heart-wrenching final wish fulfilled after tragic death last year

Paul O’Grady’s heart-wrenching final wish fulfilled after tragic death last year

Paul O'Grady's funeral was attended to by hundreds

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 31/03/2024

- 19:21

The Battersea Ambassador passed away in March 2023 at the age of 67 after suffering cardiac arrhythmia

Paul O’Grady had one final wish before his sudden death which was to be laid to rest alongside his former partner Brendan Murphy.

O’Grady and Murphy were business partners, best friends and former lovers and spent a happy 25 years together.

In 2005, Murphy was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and died not long after his diagnosis – leaving O’Grady heartbroken.

After O’Grady’s death last year, a procession through the streets of Kent took place before a church service, with his heartbroken widow Andre Portasio cradling their beloved dog Conchita on the hearse.

A private service was held for O’Grady’s friends and family, with it later being reported that his body was laid to rest next to Murphy’s.

The For The Love of Dogs star previously discussed how he felt when Murphy died and told The Mirror: “I’d lost my best mate, someone who’d been in my life for 25 years and saw me through the days when I was lucky to earn £50 from standing on a beer crate in the corner of a pub telling jokes.

Paul O'Grady and Brendan Murphy

Paul has reportedly been laid to rest next to Brendan's grave


“Murph and I were like brothers – joined at the hip, thick as thieves. It transcended any sexual relationship we’d had.

“This was a partnership. A double act, Emma Peel and Steed, Laurel and Hardy. We were both 40, barely able to believe what we’d achieved. I’d just won a BAFTA for the Paul O’Grady show – and then suddenly bang, he’s gone.

“One day I had this mate who was feisty and on the ball, the next he’s saying to me, ‘What’s this?’ and I realise he’s pointing at a cup.

“We got him in for an MRI scan and waited. When they told us it was brain cancer, I knew this was the end, but somehow we had to get through it.”

Paul O'Grady and Andre Portasio

Paul and Andre got married in 2017


Despite the heartbreak he went through, O’Grady did go on to find love again with Portasio – who was 25 year his junior – and met in a London-based nightclub.

They tied the knot in 2017, but the pair may never have wed if it wasn’t for O’Grady’s fellow comic and friend Julian Clary giving him the push.

He previously noted: “Julian put the seed in my head. He said ‘I’ve got married. You should’. And he’s right, then you protect your partner.

“If anything happens to me he is protected. It makes sense. You feel more committed. You have made a vow, you have to stick to it. But we still fight like cat and dog.”

Paul O'Grady

Paul O'Grady had one final wish for when he died


At the time of his death, Portasio found O’Grady on the floor after he heard a “loud bang” – at first admitting to not thinking anything of it.

He told The Mirror: "I walked to the kitchen to start putting some food on, and I started taking things out of the fridge.

"And all of a sudden, I could see him lying on the floor. Paul’s dog Arfur, who is one of his favourites, escaped and he nuzzled his face as he always did on Paul’s shoulder, as if to say 'wake up'. It was just heartbreaking.”

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