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TV presenter and world record holder Paul O’Grady, who regularly hosted Guinness World Records attempts on his show, has died at the age of 67.

GWR is saddened to learn of the passing of the star, also known for his drag queen persona Lily Savage.

The upsetting news was shared by Paul’s husband Andre Portasio, who said he had died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening.

Paul, from Merseyside, UK, welcomed Adjudicators onto his show many times over the years, and was even a record holder himself.

paul o'grady with his gwr certificate

He has held the record for fastest time to recite a scene from a play/movie (English) since 2007.

On the set of The New Paul O’Grady Show in London, Paul recited a scene from Hi-de-Hi, a 1980s sitcom later made into a musical, in just 56 seconds.

His script was 300 words long.

One of the records broken on the set of Paul’s show was the most éclairs filled with cream in one minute. Andy Collins (UK) managed 13 of them in 2007.

paul o'grady on the set of his show

The show also hosted the fastest time to clear a board of PAC-Man on a moving vehicle, achieved by Anton Andre (UK) in 2009 with 1 min 38.91 sec, and the most stinging nettles eaten in one minute, with Alex Williams (UK) scoffing 5 ft (1.524 m) of them in 2005.

Also among the many records set on the show was the most underpants worn in one hour, set by Lee Phillips (UK) with 144 pairs in 2009.

As well as heading up his own show, Paul was known for hosting celebrity quiz show Blankety Blank, taking over on Blind Date from his late pal Cilla Black, and For The Love of Dogs, filmed at his beloved Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, of which he was an ambassador.

Sharing the tragic news, Andre said in a statement: “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 o'grady at battersea dogs home

Paul, who was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire, awarded for oustanding service to the community) in 2008, leaves behind his daughter Sharon, who he welcomed with close friend Diane Jansen in 1974, and two grandchildren.

Tributes from the showbiz world and beyond have been flooding in.

A spokesperson for Battersea also expressed their shock and sadness, tweeting: “We’re deeply saddened to learn that our wonderful, kind friend and beloved Ambassador Paul O’Grady MBE has passed away. He will be so dearly missed by all of us at Battersea. Our love and thoughts go out to all of Paul's family and friends at this difficult time.”

Our thoughts are with Paul, his loved ones, and his many fans.