Paul O'Grady's final wish comes true as he is buried next to his ex-partner who died in tragic circumstances
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Paul O’Grady's final wish came true as he was buried next to his ex-partner who died in 2005.
The TV icon was laid to rest close to his home in Adlington, Kent on Thursday (20 April). Mourners lined the streets to say goodbye to the immensely popular legend after his death at the age of 67 last month.
O’Grady, who rose to fame as his drag persona Lily Savage, leaves behind his husband Andre Portasio, who led the procession at the funeral.
The For the Love of Dogs presenter has been buried next to his ex-partner Brendan Murphy who died of a brain tumour in June 2005. It was O’Grady’s final wish to be buried alongside him.
Murphy also worked as O’Grady’s manager. At the end of ITV’s tribute to O’Grady, For the Love of Paul O’Grady, the words “RIP Brendan Murphy” were seen just before the special programme’s end credits.
In 2005, O’Grady spoke about the impact of Murphy’s death and reflected on the years they spent together. “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 for standing on a beer crate in the corner of a pub telling jokes,” he told The Mirror.
“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 49, 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."
O’Grady divulged more details about his relationship with Murphy and how his Lily Savage persona died with him in a 2012 interview with the Daily Mail.
“When you’re with someone 25 years they’re family”, he said. “We used to fight like cat and dog. We were two alpha males vying to be top dog. He was a tricky b****** and I can be tricky too. We’d have real punch-ups.
“But I’d tell him everything. Suddenly, I was totally on my own.”
“That’s when I said, 'Lily’s going'. Because he’d always been here with Lily. I thought, “I can’t do it anymore.”
“So, she sort of died with him.”