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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Charlotte Tutton

Holly Willoughby says Paul O'Grady's death 'doesn't feel real' in This Morning tribute

This Morning host Holly Willoughby echoed the nation's feelings on Wednesday morning, as she said it "didn't feel real" that beloved TV presenter Paul O'Grady had died.

Holly and co-host Joel Dommett opened the show with a tribute to the late TV star and comedian, who died on Tuesday aged 67.

Paul's husband Andre Portasio confirmed the news in a sad statement on Wednesday morning, leaving fans and pals in shock.

After years of appearances on This Morning, including as his drag persona Lily Savage, the show and its hosts remembered the late TV favourite with a montage of his best moments in the studio.

As the clip finished, Holly was joined by Paul's friends Carol Vorderman, Vanessa Feltz and Scott Mitchell and she said the news "didn't feel real".

This Morning host Holly Willoughby said it "didn't feel real" that beloved TV presenter Paul O'Grady had died (ITV)

Visibly moved by the clips and the news of his passing, Holly told them: "Oh, it doesn't feel came as a shock to everybody this morning, waking up and hearing that news."

Remembering Paul and discussing the "outpouring" of tributes to the late star, she added: "He seems to bring so much joy to so many people."

Meanwhile, Scott opened up on the moment he found out Paul had died after receiving an unexpected message on his phone.

The widower of late TV icon Dame Barbara Windsor said he "just knew", after waking up in the early hours of Wednesday morning and checking his phone.

Paul O'Grady died on Tuesday aged 67 (ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
Paul's husband Andre Portasio confirmed the news (Dan Wooller/REX/Shutterstock)

He explained: "I'm a terrible sleeper and I just happened to look at my phone at about 2:30am. I saw a text from Andre.

"Andre and I, we'd rarely text each other and I just knew. Before I opened the text I just knew, and he'd kindly just let me know before it came out.

"I'm just devastated. He was such an incredible man, I'm talking about the human and not the performer."

Announcing the tragic news in a statement on Wednesday, Paul's husband Andre said: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.

“We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.

“He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.

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

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV1 and ITVX.

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