ITV set to air Paul O’Grady tribute a year on from his passing

Paul O'Grady

ITV is set to air a special tribute honouring the late Paul O’Grady this Easter.


The one-off special, titled The Life and Death of Lily Savage, will air on Friday, 29 March at 9PM and mark the one-year anniversary of Paul’s shock passing.

This poignant programme will delve into the life of the entertainer and the pivotal moment when he decided to retire his iconic drag persona, Lily Savage, to embark on a new phase in his career.


Lily Savage, known as the witty Liverpudlian “lady of the night”, first graced the stage in 1978 and quickly rose to fame as one of the most beloved drag stars of the 1980s and 1990s.

Her popularity led to a solo show, An Audience With Lily Savage, on ITV and the opportunity to host the well-loved game show Blankety Blank on BBC One.

However, Paul chose to say goodbye to the character and focus to The Paul O’Grady Show, as well as other hosting presenting jobs.

Featuring personal accounts from Paul’s close friends and family, including, for the first time, his daughter, Sharyn Mousley, and, using Paul’s own words from earlier recordings, The Life and Death of Lily Savage tells the story of decades of hard graft bringing Lily from the fringes of London’s gay counterculture into the heart of the nation’s living rooms and discusses why Paul suddenly decided to kill Lily off.


Featuring interviews with Paul’s sister, Sheila Rudd, friends Sir Ian McKellen, Julian Clary, Jools Holland, Jo Brand, Alan Carr and Graham Norton, together they unpick this often overlooked chapter of Paul O’Grady’s extraordinary story.

Alongside the tribute, ITV will also air Paul O’Grady’s final show, Great Elephant Adventure. Filmed in the months before his sudden and unexpected death, this was Paul’s final TV project and one that he was incredibly passionate about.

Paul’s other shows included For The Love Of Dogs on ITV, which is set to continue with new host Alison Hammond.

The show has been a staple at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home since its inception in 2012.

Alison Hammond meets the Battersea Team (l-r) Nat Ingham Canine Behaviour Manager, Alison Hammond, Ali Taylor Battersea Head of Animal Behaviour and Becky Verne Rehoming Welfare Manager with Battersea Rescue Dogs Pip and Olive

In the new series, Alison will join forces with the skilled staff and volunteers at Battersea, dedicating her efforts to care for the animals and prepare them for their prospective new owners.


She said: “I am very aware that I can never replace the iconic Paul in this wonderful series, but if I can continue to shine a light on the brilliant work done at Battersea and help to tell the stories of these beautiful dogs, then it will be an absolute privilege to give it my all.”

Paul sadly passed away in March of last year, aged 67.