Paul OGradys coffin carried into church for final goodbye at funeral
Watch live: Paul O'Grady's funeral procession in Adlington, Kent
Paul O’Grady’s coffin was carried into St Martin’s Church in Aldington this afternoon, as devoted followers of the national treasure lined the streets of his adopted Kent village.
Fans were reduced to tears as they watched his body getting taken away for the final time.
Paul’s sudden and unexpected death at the age of 67, following a cardiac arrhythmia, left a nation of TV lovers bereft – and it was only natural that they came along to pay their respects.
They had been invited along by Andre Portasio, his beloved husband of the past six years, who posted on Facebook encouraging locals to show their support.
Some brought their dogs, while the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, of which the late TV legend had been an ambassador, even organised a pet procession.
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Andre had written: “While the funeral will be a private ceremony, as many of you know, Paul cared a lot about his local community.
“We have therefore requested that the funeral procession passes through Aldington before heading to the church, as a way of marking Paul’s affection for the area.”
Church Road and Knoll Hill had been closed to traffic during the event, which drew in not just Kent locals, but fans from around the country.
The Salvation Army Band put on a rousing performance as part of the private funeral service, too.
Earlier, even pupils from the local primary school stood by the roadside with banners dedicated to the ex-Lily Savage icon.
Their tributes included a huge heart-shaped cut-out decorated with illustrations of dogs of all shapes and sizes, which pupils had drawn themselves.
Paul had dearly wanted his beloved friend and fellow Merseyside-born TV star Cilla Black to be front and centre at his funeral, something he’d joked about years earlier.
However, Blind Date star Cilla – whom Paul had poignantly labelled “indestructible” prior to her death – sadly died back in 2015.
That said, surviving celebrities have also paid tribute to the For The Love of Dogs presenter.
Carol Vorderman was one of them, fondly describing her pal as not just an impressive entertainer, but a “force for good” too.
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