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Edinburgh Live
Tom Bryant & Lee Dalgetty

Paul O'Grady holds back tears during his final TV show airing soon

Dog lover Paul O'Grady will have grieving fans weeping again, as he returns to TV in a tear-jerking episode where he has to part with a dog who stole his heart.

In the latest series of Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs, filmed last year, he assists a Newfoundland named Peggy back to health after an operation, reports The Mirror. The man behind Lily Savage, who passes away late last month, wanted desperately to take the pup home but said there was 'no room at the inn'.

Having already adopted several dogs from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where the series is set, he helped out Peggy after she had a three-and-a-half hour operation at the Royal Veterinary College to repair her back legs.

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Helped by Paul and a team of experts, the two-year-old then had eight weeks of physio, hydrotherapy and assisted walks in a supported harness before she could be rehomed. But, sadly, in this case it was not to be with Paul, who tells her: “Oh dear, I wish I was ready for you, Peggy, but I am afraid I can’t do it this time, there is just no room at the inn.

“Peggy, it’s been a real privilege meeting you, it’s not every day you get to meet a special dog like you. You are very beautiful. It’s been lovely knowing you, take it easy, Peggy.”

But as Paul gets ready to leave, Peggy starts whining, leaving the presenter bereft, telling her: “Don’t start, Peggy please. I’m going to get a job on the railways. It’s too hard to say goodbye.”

Paul with Peggy on the show. (ITV)

Peggy is later rehomed with a family, who adore her. Paul is delighted, and not surprised. He says: “She steals the heart of everyone she meets and I am head over heels.”

A tribute fund set up by Battersea in Paul’s honour has hit almost £250,000. Chief executive Peter Laurie said last week that the charity had received countless letters, calls, emails and messages of support.

All the money donated will go towards the running of the much-loved charity, which has featured in every series of the hit ITV show. Mr Laurie also hinted bosses at Battersea, in South London, were considering a permanent tribute to the star.

He said: “We will be looking to find a suitably fitting way to remember the profound impact Paul had at Battersea and the rescue animal sector – something that will support the animals Paul loved so much, and that would make him proud.”

Paul had to tell Peggy there was 'no room at the inn' for her. (ITV)

Paul regularly spoke of his love for the show, and the home. He said in 2012: “Hand on heart. This has been one of the nicest jobs I’ve ever had.

“Battersea is a magical place. People think it’s all doom and gloom but it’s not, it’s such a happy place. I’ve had a ball. It’s such an enriching place to work. I’m coming back. They can’t get rid of me.”

Paul died 'unexpectedly but peacefully' on March 28.

The 11th and final series of Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs starts on Thursday April 13, at 8.30pm on ITV1 and ITVX.


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