It’s official, Paul O’Grady fans are the best.
The beloved presenter died ‘unexpectedly but peacefully’ at his Kent home on March 28 at the age of 67.
Today O’Grady’s funeral is taking place in his home town of Aldington, and crowds have been coming and going since 10am on Thursday to pay their respects.
But, true to O’Grady’s legacy as the nation’s most devoted dog-lover, alongside the regular human mourners lining the streets are an array of four-legged friends.
There is even expected to be a guard of honour by dogs from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the London rescue centre where the Lily Savage star filmed his series For The Love of Dogs.
But it’s not just pooches and their owners in the Kent area who are paying their respects.
Prepare for goosebumps, because O’Grady’s fans have flooded the internet with pictures of their dogs to pay homage to the late TV icon.
One fan posted a picture of two pugs side-by-side, and wrote: ‘RIP Paul. Boys paying homage. You were a good person & you loved doggies. That is good enough for me. Heaven will all the better.’
Breaking hearts all over the internet, a chocolate Dalmatian stared into the camera, as his owner wrote: ‘Today is the funeral of a genuinely food man who was much loved and respected.
‘He cared deeply about animals and was socially very aware. Paul O’Grady will be greatly missed.
‘As a mark of respect, to Paul, I am posting a photo of my dog and I am saying #RIPPaul.’
Don’t dry your eyes just yet, as a doe-eyed Staffordshire bull terrier also appeared on Twitter, next to the words: ‘In honour of Paul O’Grady’s funeral today he’s gunna mish up to his favourite spot and enjoy the sunshine. RIP Paul.’
Back in O’Grady’s adoptive hometown of 20 years, the first celebrities to arrive were Jo Brand, former EastEnders actress Cheryl Fergison, and Peter Tatchell.
A bake sale was organised outside the Walnut Tree pub with proceeds going to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
An insider previously said: ‘Paul’s funeral will be completely private but Andre wanted to make sure locals were involved in some form.
‘He has invited them to come out on Thursday and pay their respects to the cortege which will be taken down three certain streets in the village.’
They added to The Sun: ‘A post was shared on the local community group by Andre so the word has started to spread.’
O’Grady was born in Birkenhead on the Wirral, Merseyside but later moved to Kent.
The TV legend is survived by his husband Andre Portasio, who he married in 2017.
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