James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Paul O'Grady expressed his 'joy' at returning to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in interview filmed shortly before death
4 April 2023, 08:29 | Updated: 4 April 2023, 08:31
Paul O'Grady expressed his "joy" at returning to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in an interview recorded shortly before the presenter's death.
Filmed as part of the forthcoming series of hit ITV show Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs, the presenter's "unexpected" death last week, aged 67, saw a surge in public donations for the much loved animal charity.
O'Grady became an ambassador for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in 2012, with public donations to the charity hitting £218,000 overnight following the news.
The London-based charity was the filming location for all 11 series of the popular television show, with the presenter described as a "genuine animal lover" by a spokesperson.
As part of the recent interview, which is set to air later this month, O'Grady said: "It's always such a joy to be back at Battersea. It really is my second home and I'm part of the furniture now.
"There are some smashing dogs in the new series, they really are lovely. But some sad stories as well and, of course, there is a dog that I fall in love with too. There always is.
The 11th series of Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs is scheduled to air as planned on April 13, with broadcaster ITV set to air a special tribute to the star on Sunday, April 9.
"When we first made this programme, I certainly didn't expect to stay this long but here I am, 12 years later.
"It's such a simple little show really. No special effects, no shiny floor. Just the dogs, the incredible people who work with the dogs, and me. But the reaction it still gets is really lovely."
Following the surge in donations, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home are said to be “overwhelmed" and "touched” by the influx of support.
O’Grady's unwavering support for the animal charity resulted in a range of awards, receiving a special recognition award at the 2018 National Television Awards for the impact the show had when it came to rehoming rescue animals.
He was also recognised with a RSPCA animal hero award for his efforts where animal welfare was concerned.