Battersea dogs to form guard of honour for 'Champion of the Underdog' Paul O'Grady

Four dogs from Battersea will lead a guard of honour for the late TV star. Credit: PA

Beloved TV star, Paul O'Grady, is to receive a special send off from the dogs of Battersea this afternoon.

The charity, which Paul supported throughout his life, says four dogs will form a guard of honour to say thank you for all the work he has done through the years.

Lisa Porter, speaking to ITV Meridian presenter, Matt Teale, said Battersea Dogs and Cats Home felt it was right to come and pay respects to the man who worked so tirelessly to promote and support the charity.

Paul worked with Battersea for a decade, highlighting the work the charity did rehoming animals.

His show, Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs which aired on ITV, was watched across the UK and highlighted issues the charity faced, not only finding homes but caring for the animals it took in.

His genuine love for dogs, cats and passion for animal welfare had a positive impact on animals and humans alike.

Paul O’Grady with Winston the lamb at his home in Kent Credit: Joe Murphy/RSPCA

"We always wanted to come and pay our respects to Paul", Lisa told Matt. "Lucky enough we were able to come and do that.

"Obviously we were able to do some filming with Paul over the years, we've all met him, and it was something we all wanted to do."

"If he could have, he would have taken every dog home", Amy Holyhead told Matt. "You could see there was so much love for the animals and what he was doing... the whole time that he was with us.

Lisa Porter and Amy Holyhead speak to Matt Teale about Paul's relationship with Battersea.

Following his death, Battersea set up a “tribute fund” which has raised more than £270,000 for the charity.

On Thursday (20 April), the procession leading to the private service is will carry O’Grady’s coffin through his home town of Aldington in Kent, with local fans expected to gather along the streets to pay their respects and mourn the TV personality.

It comes after O’Grady’s husband Andre Portasio posted in local Facebook groups inviting the local school and community to line the streets to mourn the comedian, expressing his “deep gratitude” for the “overwhelming outpouring of support and love” he has received in the wake of O’Grady’s death.

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