ITV to air poignant Paul O’Grady documentary – The Life and Death of Lily Savage – a year after he passed away

Paul died suddenly last March

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ITV will mark a year since the death of Paul O’Grady with a heartfelt documentary exploring why he decided to step away from the drag scene and his alter ego, Lily Savage, it’s been reported.

The show, about Paul’s life and career, will be called The Life And Death of Lily Savage.

The For The Love Of Dogs host died in March 2023 after suffering a sudden cardiac arrhythmia.

Paul O'Grady holding dog wearing a suit
Paul O’Grady was much loved throughout his career (Credit: Cover Images)

ITV plans Paul O’Grady tribute show: The Life and Death of Lily Savage

The Sun has reported that ITV plans to air the 90-minute show to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Paul’s passing.

The Life And Death of Lily Savage will delve into how the entertainer took a brave decision to kill off his female alter ego and launch a new chapter in his career.

Lily Savage was the alter ego of comedian Paul O’Grady – a Liverpudlian ‘lady of the night’. The character became one of the biggest drag stars during the 1980s and 90s after her debut in 1978.

Paul as Lily even landed a gig on gameshow Blankety Blank and her very own: An Audience With…. The entertainer later retired Lily and began his own show – The Paul O’Grady Show.

Paul O'Grady chatting about his alter-ego Lily Savage on Loose Women wearing a burgundy suit and glasses
Paul O’Grady chatting about his alter-ego Lily Savage on Loose Women (Credit: YouTube)

‘Fly high lovely man’

ITV previosuly paid tribute to Paul just a month after his death, in an hour-long documentary that looked back at his incredible career and life. The programme featured clips from Paul himself. It also included interviews from some of his closest friends, including Stars Julian Clary and Carol Vorderman.

Fans of the star flocked to social media at the time. They gushed about the tribute: “I’m in bits! Such a lovely tribute to a seriously funny and genuine man.”

Another penned: “In tears tonight after watching ITV’s beautiful and poignant tribute to Paul O’Grady. Fly high lovely man, we are all going to miss you so much!!”

Paul O’Grady’s health issues

In 2020, Paul explained his issues with his heart. The star had suffered three heart attacks – in 2002, 2006 and 2014. He revealed in an interview with The Sun: “My cardiologist says I have the constitution of an ox. Three days after my last heart attack, I was back fire-eating with McFly.”

When Paul died, his heartbroken husband Andre Portasio said: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening. We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.

“He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.”

Entertainment Daily has contacted ITV for comment.

Read more: Cheryl Fergison declares Paul O’Grady would have ‘given her his blessing’ to host For the Love of Dogs after Alison Hammond lands job

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