Fans emotional at poignant last episode of Paul O’Grady’s For The Love Of Dogs

The late Paul O’Grady in the final series of his much-loved show For The Love of Dogs  (ITV)
The late Paul O’Grady in the final series of his much-loved show For The Love of Dogs (ITV)

Paul O’Grady’s final episode of his much-loved ITV show For The Love of Dogs left fans emotional on Thursday night – particularly due to its poignant opening segment.

The comedian and presenter passed away in March. Following his death, the eleventh series of the show began to air posthumously, with it coming to an end this week.

In the opening section of the show – which follows the animals at the Battersea Dogs and Cat home in London – the star made some moving remarks.

“Life is full of unknown twists and turns,” said O’Grady. “So it’s always best to expect the unexpected.”

Fan Lewis Pringle wrote on Twitter: “I’ve watched every episode of Paul O’Grady’s For the Love of Dogs over the past 11 years, and I’m sad tonight was the very last edition. What a legacy Paul left.”

Another added: “The fact that it’s the last ever For the Love of Dogs makes it all the more bittersweet and poignant and so hard to come to terms with.”

It comes just a few weeks after the National Television Awards paid tribute to O’Grady as his show won in the factual entertainment category.

Before a montage from his career was played, host of the awards show Joel Dommett announced that they would be paying tribute to O’Grady and said: “Here at the National Television Awards we wanted to remember someone very special, the one and only Paul O’Grady.

“Nominated an astonishing 28 times for an NTA, his first nearly 30 years ago, his career came in many guises and no matter what he did, there was always kindness coupled with a unique sense of fun that won over audiences in an instance.”

Later on in the show, Davina McCall announced that O’Grady had won in the factual entertainment category.

He was up against Clarkson’s Farm, Sort Your Life Out and The Martin Lewis Money Show Live.

Representatives from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home accepted the award and one of them said: “I would like to thank Paul, of course, and the ITV team… for shining a light on the care that we’re able to provide for the 100 or more dogs and cats that come to Battersea every week.

“I know that Paul cared deeply for each and every one of those animals.

“I think that something about their plight and their vulnerability really struck a chord with Paul. He often referred to Battersea as his second home.”

The comedian and TV presenter – who rose to fame on the nightclub circuit as the acerbic, platinum wig-wearing Lily Savage – died “unexpectedly but peacefully” in March at the age of 67, his partner, Andre Portasio, said in a statement at the time.

Speaking to the Daily Star Sunday in June, Portasio said he was “trying to take it day by day”.

He said: “I am trying to take it day by day and cope with it. At the moment I am coping.

“It was such a shock for me to lose him. It was a shock to all of us. It was so unexpected. I am still digesting it all.”