Paul O'Grady honoured as Battersea dogs give much loved star guard of honour at funeral
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Paul O'Grady has been honoured as Battersea dogs have given the much-loved TV presenter a guard of honour at his funeral.
Last month, O'Grady died at the age of 67 with his family announcing at the time that he died 'unexpectedly but peacefully' on 28 March.
His husband Andre Portasio shared the news on social media, writing: "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.
"I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years."
The family did not give a cause of death at the time, but O'Grady's death certificate, obtained by the Express, has revealed that the presenter died from sudden cardiac arrhythmia.
The British Heart Foundation explains that sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) is when someone dies suddenly following a cardiac arrest, and no obvious cause can be found.
Today, O'Grady's nearest and dearest are paying their respects in Aldington, Kent - the TV stars adopted home of more than 20 years.
A procession of limousines and a coffin in a horse and carriage is making its way from his home in St Rumwold’s Church in nearby Bonnington to the private service.
Outside of the Walnut Tree pub in the village, a bake sale is being run, with all proceeds going to Battersea Dogs & Cats home.
The landlady of the pub, Karen Barrett, told PA that O'Grady had been a regular at her public house.
She said: “I don’t quite know how I feel about today to tell you the truth … until he comes past and I am going to cry.
“It will be real. He was just lovely and if you didn’t get to meet him, then you missed out on life. You really did, he was just great.”
Of course, many will remember O'Grady for his love of animals, and in particular, dogs.
For years, O'Grady worked with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to help many animals get the support they need, and eventually be re-homed.
Recently, fans have been able to tune in to to the final series of ITV's For The Love Of Dogs, which is a rather emotional journey indeed.