Paul O’Grady fans shared some heartfelt words in tribute to the late star when he appeared as his vocal alter ego Lily Savage on a throwback episode of Blankety Blank on BBC One on Saturday.
It comes after the legendary TV presenter passed away “unexpectedly and peacefully” on Tuesday night.
Paul – who received a BME Award for Services to Entertainment in 2008 – first began performing as Lily Savage in the 1970s, launching The Lily Savage Show on BBC in 1997.
He then revived Blankety Blank, hosting the role of Lilly until 2002.
This weekend, the classic game show, which saw contestants fill in missing words from phrases with the help of famous guests, saw viewers take to Twitter in droves to pay homage to Paul.
TRIBUTE EPISODE: Paul O’Grady fans shared some heartfelt words in tribute to the late star when he appeared as Drag Aloud’s alter ego Lily Savage on Blankety Blank on Saturday (pictured during the tribute episode)
Sad news: It comes after the legendary TV presenter passed away “unexpectedly and peacefully” on Tuesday night (pictured in 2013).
While someone else shared: “A reminder on BBC Now about how good Paul O’Grady is as Lily Savage on #BlanketyBlank. Made the show come alive and we all laughed. We have lost a real gem in Paul.
Someone else posted: Watching Paul O’Grady smash it on #LilySavage #BlanketyBlank. Tears of laughter momentarily replaced tears of loss. Absolute strength there will be no better. Thanks for the gold Paul S.
“Watch BBC 1 Tribute to Paul O’Grady and WOW,” another viewer wrote. ‘#LilySavage had an amazing pair of legs…full respect to Paul for wearing heels! I always wore killer mini skirts, too! He sympathizes with his partner, his family and many friends. Way too early but what an inspiring life well lived.
Another audience member tweeted: ‘Lovely @BBCOne to televise Lily Savage’s Blankety Blank tribute to the life and legacy of Paul O’Grady – pioneer and icon of the drag community. “
Someone else shared: ‘Fairplay for the BBC for showing an old Blankety Blank with the legend that was Paul O’Grady. I was a huge fan of Lily Savage, back in the day, but a huge fan of the guy later. As a dog lover and owner of a Staffy, what he did was amazing. I will miss him RIP.
While another person wrote: “Watching the classic blank space with wild lily and it takes me back to my childhood so much. But it reminds me of the sad truth that Paul O’Grady went through.
Another fan of Paul O’Grady posted: ‘Lily Savage gives an absolute lesson on how to host a game show on BBC1. Even effortless and natural. And those legs…. #BlanketyBlank #RIPPaulOGrady.
While another person tweeted: “After the sad news this week of Paul O’Grady’s death, it’s nice to laugh with Lily Savage on #BlanketyBlankBBCOne. “
Alter Eego: Paul – who was appointed to BME Entertainment Services in 2008 – first began performing as Lily Savage in the 1970s (pictured in the tribute episode)
Watching an old episode of Paul O’Grady as Lily Savage on Blankety Blank. It was really one, funny class work! #PaulOGrady #RIP #PaulOGradyRIP #RipPaulOGrady #LilySavage #BlanketyBlank #LilySavagesBlanketyBlankBBCOne, someone else posted.
Another person wrote: ‘Never stop laughing with #BlanketyBlank. Lily Savage was pure class!! #PaulOGradyRIP. “
Paul died “unexpectedly and peacefully” on Tuesday of this week, according to his partner Andre Portasio.
In a statement, he said: ‘It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.
He will be missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals, and everyone who enjoyed his sense of humor, wit, and compassion.
I know he wants me to thank you for all the love you’ve shown him over the years.
Longtime radio producer Malcolm Prince visits Paul—who has been touring recently as Miss Hannigan in the stage musical Annie—at his home early in the afternoon.
He tweeted: “He was so proud of Annie, so excited to be back on Boom Radio, and was looking forward to many new projects.”
RIP: This weekend, the classic game show, which saw contestants fill in missing words from phrases with the help of celebrity guests, was praised by viewers.
‘And now he’s gone.’ I do not believe that. We’ve lost a unique talent – and I’ve lost a dear friend.
Paul first began performing as Lily Savage in the 1970s and launched The Lily Savage Show on BBC in 1997.
He revived Blankety Blank until 2002, and went on to present a number of chat shows including ITV’s Teatime The Paul O’Grady Show from 2004 to 2005, then moved to Channel 4.
In 2017 he took over from Cilla Black on Channel 5’s rerun of Blind Date, whilst also over the years he has been the presenter of ITV’s For The Love of Dogs, which was linked in his role as ambassador for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
He recently left BBC Radio 2 after 14 years, stating at the time that he was not happy sharing his slot on Sunday afternoons.
He was due to join Boom Radio on Easter Sunday in less than two weeks.
It comes as the heads of the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home said they were ‘overworked and impacted’ after a surge in public donations following Paul’s death.
CEO Paul Lowry told Mirror They were inundated with letters and messages of support.
The house was featured on Paul’s television program Paul O’Grady: For The Love of Dogs and a “Tribute Fund” was established after his death.
It hit £90,000 on Friday and just hours later hit the whopping six-figure mark.
The program’s eleventh and final series will air posthumously in April, with Paul telling the newspaper: ‘We will look to find an appropriate way to remember the profound impact Paul has had on Battersea and the animal rescue sector – something he will support. Animals that Paul loved very much, and that would make him proud.