Paul O’Grady delivers touching and comical eulogy for Cilla Black
Ahead of his funeral tomorrow, footage has been unearthed of a touching eulogy Paul O’Grady gave for his friend Cilla Black at St Mary’s Church, Woolton in Liverpool, back in 2015.
The two stars were good pals, and this was evident throughout his speech where he told several hilarious anecdotes about their antics, admitting he was “proud” to have been such close friends with her and insisting a light in his life went off when she passed away.
He also heartbreakingly revealed that he expected to die before her, revealing: “I’ve been asked to speak about Cilla on numerous occasions but I never thought I’d be here.
“I firmly believed she was indestructible, and I always thought I’d be the one to go first.
“We discussed my funeral a number of times and she had a major role in it which involved a mantilla and lilies.
“I’m going to have to re-think that now, aren’t I?” he lamented.
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Paul died at the age of 67, “unexpectedly but peacefully” at his Kent home on March 2.
It was later revealed that the popular presenter’s cause of death was sudden cardiac arrhythmia.
While it is unknown if mantilla and lilies will feature in his funeral service many details have already been revealed.
Following a service at a nearby church, his funeral will be held at Port Lympne Safari Park.
The presenter lived just three miles from the Kent animal reserve, owned by conservationist Damian Aspinall, and was a regular visitor.
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It boasts 600 acres, which are home to 900 rare and endangered animals, including lions and tigers.
Locals have been invited to line streets near his home as the cortege passes through the village where he lived in Kent.
The star’s grieving husband Andre Portasio shared the details of the funeral on local Facebook pages in a private group, according to the Daily Mail.
The post was accompanied by a photo of Paul smiling broadly while wearing white angel wings.
Andre wrote: “I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude for the overwhelming outpouring of support and love I have received since the passing of our beloved Paul O’Grady.
“Your kind messages, beautiful flowers, and thoughtful texts of condolences have brought me comfort and solace during this difficult time.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the support and love I have received from our community, and we want to thank each and every one of you for your kindness and generosity. As a mark of respect and as Paul would have wanted, we will be holding a private funeral on Thursday, 20th April 2023.”
He added: “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.”
He finished: “We kindly ask everyone to respect the family’s wishes and maintain social distancing throughout the event. Thank you for your understanding and support during this difficult time.”
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