Paul O'Grady's best friend reveals late star's dying wish for those attending funeral

Paul O'Grady

Paul O'Grady's best friend has shared his dying wish for the funeral

Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 02/04/2023

- 17:15

Updated: 02/04/2023

- 17:19

The entertainer died suddenly earlier this week at the age of 67

Paul O'Grady's best friend Amanda Mealing has shared the late star's dying wish for his funeral following his unexpected death.

The presenter died at the age of 67 this week, with his husband Andre Portasio announcing the tragic news on Wednesday.

Actress Mealing has now spoken out about her friend's dying wish for those wishing to attend his funeral.

"He just told us to have a good time. He’d hate it if everyone was morose," she told The Mirror.

Paul O'Grady with actress Amanda Mealing

Paul O'Grady with best friend Amanda Mealing


"Whatever happens, Paul’s funeral will be a celebration of his life and it will be full of laughter.

"He just told us to have a good time – he’d hate it if everyone was mawkish and morose. He would just say, 'I don’t care, I won’t be here! Do whatever you want'."

Mealing continued to say there could be two funerals, with one private and another in "a very grand place" for people outside O'Grady's family to attend.

In a statement the broadcaster's husband 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."

Mealing explained that she fought back tears when she received a text message from Portasio in the early hours of Wednesday morning to say the star had died.

But has since cried happy tears as she recalled funny stories with O'Grady's friends and family.

Paul O'Grady holding a dog

The entertainer's friends say he 'got absolutely everything he could out of' life


She told how she was moved to tears when she was sent a clip at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London where he regularly performed as his drag alter ego Lily Savage, where patrons cheered instead of having a moment's silence.

"It was such a lovely gesture to hear all this noise for him. It’s been an enormous comfort to know he was so loved," she said.

The chat show host was godfather to Mealing's sons Milo and Otis and she spoke to him just days before he died.

But while feeling heartbroken, she also feels differently for O'Grady as "he absolutely rinsed his life", adding: "He got absolutely everything he could out of it and that is wonderful."

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