You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Paul O'Grady's tearful words prior to his death as the comic addressed health struggles

Daily Express logo Daily Express 29/03/2023 Michelle Marshall

The beloved TV presenter and comedian, Paul O'Grady, has died at the age of 67 as tributes poured in for the Lily Savage star. The star's cause of death is yet to be confirmed but his husband Andre Portasio said he died "peacefully".

The Brit personality made a name for himself in comedy, and television - and later became known for his love of dogs.

Paul suffered heart attacks in 2002, 2006 and 2014, and his parents both died of heart issues.

He had spoken openly about his health woes over the years as the former 40-a-day smoker had his first heart attack in 2002, and a second in 2006.

In 2013, the star was rushed to hospital after being struck by angina - chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscles.

READ MORE: Carol Vorderman and Piers Morgan lead tributes as Paul O'Grady dies

Paul O'Grady alongside Queen Consort Camilla © Getty Paul O'Grady alongside Queen Consort Camilla Paul O'Grady married Andre Portasio in 2017 © GETTY Paul O'Grady married Andre Portasio in 2017

Earlier that year he had opened up about mortality, saying: "I do count my blessings.

"I have had two heart attacks, and if I get to 60 that will be amazing. I don't fear anything nowadays."

He added to The Mirror: "There has to be an angel out there. They are trying to steer me out of trouble 24 hours a day."

In 2020, at the age of 65, Paul opened up about having three heart attacks, kidney failure and a coronavirus scare behind him.

Paul O'Grady was known for his character Lily Savage © GETTY Paul O'Grady was known for his character Lily Savage Paul O'Grady was an ambassador for Battersea Cats and Dogs © Getty Paul O'Grady was an ambassador for Battersea Cats and Dogs

At the time he told The Sun: "My cardiologist says I have the constitution of an ox.

"Three days after my last heart attack, I was back fire-eating with McFly.

"The heart is a muscle so you have two choices: Sit on the sofa and count your tablets all day, or get on with it and get moving - swimming and walking, gentle exercise."

Talking about the first heart attack, when he was resuscitated in an ambulance, he said in an interview with The Times: "I'd sort of been waiting for it... all our family has died of heart disease.

Paul O'Grady tearful words prior to his death © GETTY Paul O'Grady tearful words prior to his death

"But I never thought I wasn't going to make it. God, no."

He added: "Everyone asks, 'Did you see anything?' No, sorry. Nothing. No heavenly choirs, no light at the end of the tunnel."

Of the second attack, he said: "I was in Waitrose and it was like an earthquake. I had to sit down by the yoghurt, thinking: 'I'll be OK in a minute.'

"I went home to bed, then got up and made ice cream and meatloaf, as I had friends coming.

"It kicked in about 4 in the morning, so I took a painkiller and an aspirin and waited till 9am, when Sean who works for me, arrived.

"I was so white he thought I had a hangover. He nearly had a heart attack himself."

In 2017, he was hospitalised in India with kidney trouble while filming his animal show and doctors rescued him with antibiotic and saline treatments.

The Blind Date host said at the time: "I'm not scared of death at all. It's the way you die that worries me - that's the fear.

"I think I could lie there on my death bed and say, 'Well, I've had a good time and filled a book. I've done everything I wanted to do'.

"I think health can also be a state of mind, I've had three heart attacks and I'm fine. You've got to take your medication and exercise. Your heart's a muscle so you can't just sit on the sofa and moan you're not well."

He added: "You see things that make you more aware of mortality. I've lost lots of friends lately to cancer - and the AIDS years were like a clean sweep of all my mates.

"You have to accept things and realise you haven't got 50 years any more like you had as a teenager."


More from Daily Express

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon