Tributes have been pouring in for beloved TV presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady after his husband, Andre Portasio, confirmed he had passed away at the age of 67.

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

“I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years.”

During his highly successful career, Paul hosted a number of game and chat shows – including his much-loved Paul O’Grady Show.

He became a household name and a core part of British television culture, having also presented BBC Radio 2’s Paul O’Grady on the Wireless, Blind Date and Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, among many others.

Paul was also an LGBTQ+ trailblazer and, in the 1990s, introduced the nation to his drag queen persona Lily Savage.

He repeatedly spoke out in favour of LGBTQ+ rights and helped bring a number of these issues to the mainstream thanks to the huge platform he built throughout his lifetime.

“Paul O’Grady – funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise”

Drag Race UK finalist Kitty Scott-Claus said Paul/Lily “was the first drag queen and openly queer person I ever saw on television back in the 90s. The world today would be a different place without them.”

Peter Tatchell, one of the UK’s most prominent human rights campaigners, praised Paul for being an “admired campaigner for LGBT+ equality and animal rights”.

“Paul was one of the loveliest people you could ever meet,” he added. “Everyone whose lives he touched will miss him greatly, as will those who enjoyed his wit and admired his compassion.”

The UK’s leading sexual health and HIV charity, Terrence Higgins Trust, took to Twitter to thank Paul for being a “strong ally for the HIV community, including performing as Lily to raise vital funds.”

“Thank you for all you did, Paul,” it continued. “Rest in peace.”

Fellow broadcaster Lorraine Kelly paid tribute to Paul in a heartfelt message on Twitter.

“Such sad news,” she said. “Paul O’Grady – funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise. Will be sorely missed. A really special man.”

Drag Race UK winner Danny Beard told BBC Breakfast that Paul was “the most important person in British culture for drag”.

“I don’t think there’s anyone who does the job that I do that doesn’t class Paul as an icon,” they said.

“Paul was a trailblazer, they were on telly just after the AIDS crisis. They’ve been the most important person, I think, in British culture for drag, for the queer community.

“This is a really sad loss today.”

See how others paid tribute to Paul O’Grady below.