Paul O'Grady on The Royal Variety Show
Paul O’Grady’s funeral was held yesterday, April 20, in his local village of Aldington, Kent. The service began with a song from the 1959 musical Gypsy – You Gotta Get A Gimmick – which Paul had performed as Lily Savage with old pal Cilla Black and Barbara Windsor at the Royal Variety Show
In the old iconic clip, Paul, as Lily Savage, comes out in full costume and begins the routine by saying: “Nothing wrong with strippin'”, met with an eruption of laughter by the audience.
After a singing solo and some questionable trumpet playing, Lily is then joined on stage by Cilla Black. The presenting icon showed off her moves before revealing her costume lights up, much to Lily’s irritation.
But just as the laughter settles, Barbara Windsor emerges from behind the curtain wearing a butterfly suit. The three of them continue to gyrate through the rest of the song, in front of the royal family, and receive a huge ovation.
Now that the three beloved entertainers have died, many took to the comments section of the clip on YouTube. One user wrote: “Sad to think that all three legends here are no longer with us. R.I.P. Paul, Cilla and Barbara.”
Another commented: “I remember watching this on TV. After Paul’s passing I decided to have a revisit. So sad that all three are no longer here. Such talent!”
Paul met Cilla on Michael Parkinson’s chat show and had described their friendship as “soulmates”.
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Cilla died in 2015, and at her funeral Paul O’Grady gave a touching eulogy. He told stories of their “constant laughter” and described a moment when the pair tried to break into their holiday home in Barbados while Cilla was dangling through a window, shouting “surprise surprise” to the neighbours.
The comedian was also close friends with EastEnders legend Barbara Windsor. The two had known each other for 30 years before Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014.
After the diagnosis Paul stepped up to make an announcement and in a statement he said: “We’re all here for her but she’s still Barbara Windsor.
“I don’t want people to think she’s completely lost her mind, because it’s not true. It’s not the early stages but she’s still very much the Barbara Windsor I know. She is a toughie and Scott is her rock.”
Barbara’s widower, Scott Mitchell, attended Paul’s funeral along with the likes of Julian Clary, Ronnie Wood and Alan Carr.
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