Paul O'Grady

Comedian + Actor and Television Presenter
Born Jun 14, 1955

Paul James Michael O'Grady MBE is an English comedian, television presenter, actor, writer and radio DJ. He is best known for presenting the daytime chat television series, The Paul O'Grady Show and, more recently, Paul O'Grady Live, as well as his drag queen comedic alter ego, Lily Savage, as whom he performed in various television series including Blankety Blank (1997–1999) and Lily Live! (2000–2001).… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Paul O'Grady.


1955 Birth O'Grady was their third child, born at 7:30 am on 14 June 1955 at St. Catherine's Hospital, Tranmere. … Read More


1974 19 Years Old …  Following the birth of his daughter, Sharon Lee Jansen, on 16 May 1974, O'Grady agreed to pay £3 per week towards her upkeep, but refused to marry Diane, recognising his homosexuality. … Read More


1977 22 Years Old 1 More Event
Moving again to London, he rented a flat in Crouch End and began busking with a friend in Camden Town before obtaining a job as a physiotherapist's assistant at the Royal Northern Hospital. Made redundant by public sector cuts, O'Grady took up a job at a gay club called the Showplace, befriending Portuguese lesbian Theresa Fernandes; in May 1977, they legally married to prevent her deportation, although eventually lost contact, only gaining a divorce in 2005. … Read More
1978 - 1981 2 More Events
1983 28 Years Old Moving into the Victoria Mansions flats in Vauxhall, in March 1983 he joined the Equity union, allowing him to take a role in the theatrical adaptation of If They'd Asked for a Lion Tamer at the Donmar Warehouse. … Read More
1984 29 Years Old In 1984, O'Grady began work as a barman at the Elephant and Castle, a Vauxhall gay pub. … Read More


1985 30 Years Old In February 1985 he obtained his own council flat in Vauxhall's Victoria Mansions, moving in with his pet cats and friend Vera. … Read More
In 1988, he performed as Madame in The Scythe of Reason, and appeared at the Glasgow Mayfest, where he developed a lifelong friendship with actor Ian McKellen. … Read More
1990 35 Years Old In 1990 he appeared in the ITV miniseries Chimera as Tony Donaldson, a social worker skilled in signing for the deaf; during filming he became friends with co-star Liza Tarbuck. … Read More
1993 38 Years Old Also moving into film, he travelled to Dublin, Ireland to play the role of an inmate in the 1993 film In the Name of the Father; although not in the Lily character, he was credited as "Paul Savage".
In October 1994, he was invited on to an episode of BBC television series The Steve Wright People Show as Lily, where he proved popular and was invited back for a later episode. … Read More


1996 - 2001 5 More Events
2002 47 Years Old In April 2002, O'Grady suffered a heart attack, and was rushed to St. Thomas's Hospital in South London, where doctors attributed it to a combination of a congential family heart problems with stress, heavy smoking and caffeine. … Read More
In 2003, O'Grady appeared in Celebrity Driving School, a BBC Comic Relief show in which he learned to drive alongside friends Nadia Sawalha and Jade Goody. … Read More
ITV executives deemed this such a success that they offered him his own daytime chat show, with news of his agreement going public in autumn 2004; the result would be The Paul O'Grady Show. … Read More


2005 50 Years Old After a second series of The Paul O'Grady Show was commissioned, in March 2005 it was awarded Best Daytime Programme by the Royal Television Society, and O'Grady himself was subsequently awarded Best Entertainment Performance at the BAFTAs. … Read More
2006 51 Years Old 1 More Event
In June 2006, O'Grady suffered a second massive heart attack while at his Kent home; he was taken to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford where he underwent angioplasty surgery. … Read More
O'Grady has received a variety of awards, among them honorary degrees and an MBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to entertainment. … Read More
On 6 June 2009, the Daily Mirror confirmed that O'Grady signed a new two-year contract with Channel 4 in autumn 2009 to keep his show on air until the end of 2011. … Read More
2010 55 Years Old 1 More Event
…  Ofcom received several complaints over the incident, though his Bambi quote was soon after quoted by Peter Taffe at the Socialism 2010 conference.
2011 - 2012 2 More Events
In April 2013, O'Grady expressed his support for the Labour Party, championing Labour leader Ed Miliband as a better candidate for UK Prime Minister than Conservative incumbent David Cameron. … Read More
In 2014, he appeared in a Gogglebox special for Stand Up to Cancer.


In September 2015, it was announced that O'Grady would present a new six-part series for BBC One, following the work of The Salvation Army.
The series, called Paul O'Grady: The Sally Army & Me aired on Sunday evenings from 27 March until 1 May 2016.
Original Authors of this text are noted on'Grady.
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