British comedian and TV star Paul O'Grady dies at 67

Entertainer Paul O’Grady, who achieved fame as drag queen Lily Savage before becoming a much-loved comedian and host on British television, has died. He was 67. 

Britain's queen consort, who worked with O'Grady to support animal charities, led tributes to a performer who emerged from the alternative gay comedy scene and became a national treasure. 

O’Grady’s partner Andre Portasio said he died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening.

“He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humor, wit and compassion,” Portasio said in a statement.

Born in Birkenhead, near Liverpool, in 1955, O’Grady was working as a local-authority care worker when he began performing as Savage, a tart-tongued Liverpudlian drag queen.

Savage became a fixture as a standup and talent-show host at London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a landmark gay venue.