Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
'Tears in their eyes': Battersea Dogs and Cats Home workers turn up at work crying after death of Paul O’Grady
29 March 2023, 11:18 | Updated: 29 March 2023, 11:23
The animal-loving staff of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home turned up to work in tears this morning after the death of TV entertainment legend Paul O'Grady.
Paul died "unexpectedly but peacefully" aged 67 last night.
Tributes to the TV star have been pouring in, including from the Queen Consort, who has said she is "deeply saddened" by his death.
Peter Laurie, the Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats home, told LBC this morning that “almost everyone” arriving at work this morning had “tears in their eyes” after learning of Paul’s death.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Chief Executive pays tribute to Paul O'Grady
Deeply saddened to hear of the death of Paul O’Grady, who worked closely with Her Majesty in support of @Battersea_, providing lots of laughter and many waggy-tailed memories. pic.twitter.com/N13aBuBYCm— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 29, 2023
“Battersea is in shock. Staff arriving and volunteers arriving for work this morning, almost every one of them had tears in their eyes.
“Battersea people, staff, visitors, staff, volunteers are deeply upset. He was a colleague, a friend to so many of my teams. We are all trying to process the news at this stage.”
“Paul had that ability to form a bond with almost every dog that came in. He was so kind to the animals.”
The Queen Consort has been left "deeply saddened" at the death of her friend, saying his "warm heart and infectious humour lit up the lives of so many".
The pair shared a special bond over their love of dogs, met many times and worked closely together in support of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
The royal family's official Twitter account paid tribute to the star, saying: "Deeply saddened to hear of the death of Paul O'Grady, who worked closely with Her Majesty in support of @Battersea_, providing lots of laughter and many waggy-tailed memories."
TV personality and comedian Paul O’Grady dies unexpectedly aged 67
It posted an image of the Queen Consort smiling alongside O'Grady after they took a rescued West Highland Terrier for a walk during a visit to a Battersea centre in Kent last year.
A source said Camilla would be sharing her sympathies with O'Grady's family privately.
They added that the Queen Consort was "deeply saddened" to hear of his sudden death at the age of 67 and that his "warm heart and infectious humour lit up the lives of so many".
As part of its tributes, ITV will be reshowing the special episode of O'Grady's hit show For The Love Of Dogs which featured the Queen Consort at 5pm on Wednesday.
The Lily Savage Show trailer
Camilla is patron of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and O'Grady was a long-time ambassador for the animal welfare charity.
He spoke of his affection for Camilla in February last year when their dogs took part in a loyalty duel at Battersea's Brands Hatch centre in Kent.
Praising the then Duchess of Cornwall's commitment to Battersea, he siad: "I just love her, she's great."