Amanda Holden Faces Backlash Over Paul O’Grady ‘Woke’ Comment
Amanda Holden is under fire for a comment she made about Paul O’Grady following his sudden death earlier this week.
The Britain’s Got Talent judge was remembering the TV star during her Heart Breakfast Show with co-host Jamie Theakston on Wednesday when she said what she “loved” about the latestar was that he was “not woke in any way”.
“You know what I loved about him, he was not woke in any way,” Amanda began, before Jamie chimed in and agreed: “Nope, that’s for sure.”
Paul O Grady and Amanda Holden pose during a reception for the 160th Anniversary of the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home animal welfare charity at Clarence House on July 14, 2022.
She continued: “He had massive opinions on everything, which I love people like that. Really, really funny. Very witty, bitingly sharp. Everything that came out of his mouth was brilliant, and I absolutely adored him.”
“He’s one of those people who it feels like he was always around,” Jamie added.
Amanda finished by saying: “You knew he was in the room, you absolutely knew he was in the room and I just, oh my god, we’re just all going to miss him so, so much.”
Remembering the wonderful #PaulOGrady ❤️
Listen live on @GlobalPlayer 👉 https://t.co/Jix9QhHCuUpic.twitter.com/jExAS8NX8o
— Heart (@thisisheart) March 29, 2023
Many listeners took issue with Amanda’s choice of words, highlighting the fact that the gay star was a trailblazing queer activist, trans rights supporter and arguably, as Lily Savage, the very first drag queen to breakthrough on to mainstream TV.
What an awful tribute. Does Amanda Holden have any clue what the word 'woke' means.
He was a socialist and a drag queen who fought for LGBTQ rights and against austerity. Ask Amanda what woke means.
— Ryan (@RyanCollins1987) March 29, 2023
Ma’am, Paul was the wokest of woke. The man was a queer activist, trailblazer and unapologetic drag queen on prime time TV when being gay was seen as dirty. What about that isn’t woke @AmandaHolden? https://t.co/qZM5G3IK7f
— Darren (@MxDarren_) March 29, 2023
When paying tribute to Paul O’Grady on during her Heart breakfast show, Amanda Holden said that he “didn’t have a woke bone in his body”, and I can’t work out whether she doesn’t know what woke means, or simply doesn’t know who Paul O’Grady is.
— Mark Grimshaw (@MarkGComedyUK) March 29, 2023
Amanda Holden’s “favourite thing about Paul O’Grady” being that he “wasn’t woke” has absolutely sent me.
Is she talking about the same Paul O’Grady? Drag queen, queer icon, supporter of trans rights, anti-austerity king Paul O’Grady?
Or does she just not know what woke means?
— Mared Parry 🎬🏴 (@maredparry) March 29, 2023
Amanda Holden on Paul O'Grady:
"He didn't have a woke bone in his body"
That would be the drag artist, AIDS campaigner, LGBTQ+ hero and anti austerity critic Paul O'Grady.
— andy bearrorist - superfurryandy *elsewhere* ahem (@MutualAidLiker) March 29, 2023
I've been thinking about that bizarre, clueless Amanda Holden comment about Paul O'Grady not having "a woke bone in his body". O'Grady was very woke indeed, and a perfect example of how you can be PC and say what the hell you want. He knew what free speech was, and used it.
— Louis Barfe (@AlanKelloggs) March 30, 2023
Amanda Holden and anyone saying this man was "anti-woke" when it's so clear what they mean by that can get to fuck. This guy cared about people, all of them. https://t.co/F7zjmbYDPh
— MJ 🇸🇪🇫🇮🇪🇸 (@brayfordbird) March 29, 2023
Amanda Holden, on Heart FM, talked about working with Paul O’Grady this morning and, in amongst, the warm tribute she said that she loved his sense of humour as he “didn’t have a woke bone in his body”.
People who say “woke” have no idea what it is or what it means have they?
— Tony Cowards (@TonyCowards) March 29, 2023
HuffPost UK has contacted Amanda’s reps for comment.
After the news broke of Paul’s unexpected death at his home on Tuesday evening, Amanda was one of the first stars to pay tribute on social media.
Sharing a photo of her with Paul, she wrote: “Woken up to this sad, sad news.
“I loved Paul. He was brilliantly opinionated, searingly sharp and very funny.
“I loved our conversations... I can’t quite believe it. Thoughts with Andre and their family.”
Amanda isn’t the only public figure to come under fire in the wake of Paul’s death.
Dominic Raab was left embarrassed after getting the star’s name wrong in the House of Commons.
Raab's lovely tribute to the late great comic Paul Grayson: pic.twitter.com/X8WtWVbTaJ
— Adam Cherry (@_adamcherry_) March 29, 2023
The deputy prime minister was attempting to pay tribute to the late comedian when he called him “Paul Grayson”.
Raab eventually corrected himself after after several MPs pointed out his error.