Paul O'Grady's husband confirms star's funeral to take place in Aldington, Kent

Paul O'Grady with Winston. Credit: ITV Meridian

Paul O'Grady's husband has confirmed that the star's funeral will take place this week in the village he called home for more than 20 years.

Andre Portasio took to social media to share the details of the private service, which will take place on Thursday in a church in Aldington.

Locals have been invited to pay their respect as the funeral procession passes through the village, marking Paul's affection for the area.

Paul was not only a keen animal lover, but cared deeply for those in the local community.

His husband, Andre, said the procession will take place after 2pm on Thursday and asked locals to stand to the side of local roads to avoid congestion and public disorder.

"We kindly ask everyone to respect the family's wishes and maintain social distancing throughout the event", he said.

Read Andre Portasio's statement in full

Posting in a local facebook group, Andre said:

"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. This information has not been made public, but I wanted to share it with local residents.

"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.

"We would therefore like to invite all locals to join us in paying our respects to Paul in Aldington Village between 14:10 - 14:45 on Thursday. In order to avoid road congestion and public disorder, we kindly ask all residents to treat this invitation personally and if attending to stand on either Roman Road, Forge Hill, or New Road Hill so to respect the villagers and the local area.

"Please note for public safety Church Road as well as Knoll Hill will be closed on the day of the procession. 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.

"Sincerely, Andre Portasio"

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The star died aged 67 on Tuesday 28 March at his home in Kent, from a sudden cardiac arrhythmia.

At the time, residents in Aldington spoke of the “real loss” they felt at the TV personality’s unexpected death.

More than a dozen members of the public arrived to lay bouquets of flowers, and even a large bag of Pointer bone-shaped treats, before the tributes were taken inside.

One message, referring to his hit show Paul O’Grady: For The Love of Dogs, read: “Farewell Paul… and thanks for all the #PogDogs.”

Born on the Wirral in Merseyside, O'Grady moved to Kent and set up a small holding near Ashford for his menagerie of animals including dogs, goats, sheep, chickens, barn owls and also alpacas.

The TV personality was also recently appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Kent having championed the county, especially in 2020, with his programme "Paul O'Grady's Great British Escape".