Remembering Paul O’Grady: Amanda Holden and Carol Vorderman join stars to pay tribute
Dozens of celebrities came together in London on Wednesday to remember the late Paul O'Grady, following the star's sudden passing in March.
A total of 320 guests gathered at the Bloomsbury Ballroom in the capital on 18 October to celebrate Paul's life, with his family, friends and showbiz colleagues all in attendance. Entertainment was provided by Jools Holland, Elaine C Smith, Peter Groom, Mark Trevorrow and Jo Brand, who all took to the stage to perform songs and reprise roles that Paul loved.
Alan Carr and Amanda Holden led the star-studded arrivals at the memorial event, with the duo arriving together to pay tribute to their late friend, who passed away earlier this year after suffering a heart attack.
BGT judge Amanda, 52, looked glamorous in a blue velvet suit with a matching satin shirt, while Alan, 47, donned a navy velvet jacket and striped shirt.
Carol Vorderman, 62, opted for an all-black look and arrived alongside pal Lisa Maxwell, 59, who contrasted the ex-Countdown host's outfit with a white blouse and camel trousers.
Also among the celebrity arrivals was TV presenter Gaby Roslin, 59, who looked chic in a pair of statement fuchsia trousers and a black jumper, paired with a crossbody bag.
Loose Women's Janet Street-Porter, 76, arrived alone sporting a grey tailored blazer and matching skirt, while Coronation Street's Antony Cotton, 48, was accompanied by his partner Peter Eccleston at the memorial event.
The evening kicked off with Paul's husband Andre Portasio giving a moving speech to welcome everyone, before Julian Clary read the eulogy.
Throughout the evening several stars took to the stage, including actress Celia Imrie, who read a touching personal tribute from Queen Camilla, who worked closely with Paul on For the Love of Dogs.
Clips of Paul throughout his life were shown during the emotional event, showing him during his Lily Savage days all the way through to his final For the Love of Dogs shows. Jools Holland took to the stage as did the legendary Betty Legs Diamond, as they paid tribute to Paul.
The emotional memorial event comes after Paul “unexpectedly but peacefully” died at his home on 28 March. Paul had been part way through his UK tour of musical Annie at the time, and his death came just days after he had signed a new contract with Boom Radio to return to the airwaves.
Paul's husband Andre broke the news of his passing in a heartbreaking statement, which read: "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. I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years."
Paul's funeral took place on Thursday 20 April at St Rumwold's Church in Aldington, Kent, with his family and many famous faces in attendance. Paul was laid to rest in a private ceremony preceded by a procession that the public were encouraged to attend. The funeral procession moved through the Kent village where he lived.
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