The husband of the late Paul O’Grady has revealed the entertainer died peacefully in his chair after smoking a cannabis spliff.
Andre Portasio shared the story at a star-filled memorial gathering to commemorate Paul, who passed away suddenly at his home in Aldington near Ashford in March.
His husband revealed how the television icon went into the kitchen to make a “cup of tea” on the night he died — their pair’s secret code for rolling a joint.
The 67-year-old came back into the living room to smoke the spliff with his long-term partner before passing away peacefully in his armchair.
Andre, who married Paul in 2017, said: “We’d had a very ordinary day, just watching TV together at home, when Paul said he wanted to make a ‘cup of tea,’ and that was our little code for rolling a spliff.
“So Paul went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, brought it back, lit it and started smoking it – and that was our last time together, the last thing we did.
“He passed away there in his chair.”
The former ballet dancer revealed their poignant final hours together at the emotional memorial event on Wednesday night.
Well-known figures such as Alan Carr, Amanda Holden and Dawn French all made an appearance to remember their beloved friend.
In total, 320 guests were present at the event - held at London’s Bloomsbury Ballroom - in which fellow comedian Julian Clary also shared a funny memory of Paul.
He said: “I went over to Paul’s for dinner, and he served me pumpkin soup. After that, the evening got a bit wild - and I can’t remember very much.
“The next day, Paul called me and said, ‘How did you find the soup?’ and laughed hysterically.
“God knows what he’d put in it!”
The much-loved star, who lived in Aldington near Ashford, rose to fame with his drag queen persona Lily Savage in the 1980s and 1990s before going on to host a string of television programmes.
O'Grady had previously survived three heart attacks in 2002, 2006 and 2014 and suffered kidney failure. He talked very openly about his battle with Covid in April 2020.
The star's most notable appearance came on his daytime chat show The Paul O’Grady Show which began airing in 2004, followed by the New Paul O’Grady Show.
In 2008 he was made an MBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to entertainment.
O’Grady took over the reins from Blind Date’s long-running presenter and his close friend Cilla Black, who died in 2015, to host the Channel 5 reboot of the show in 2017.
He also fronted Blankety Blank, as well as ITV’s multi-award-winning For The Love Of Dogs.
Last year he was joined by the Queen Consort in a special one-off episode filmed at the Battersea rescue centre in Brands Hatch.
Earlier this week, Battersea announced it had renamed one of its veterinary hospitals after Paul.
Almost 20,000 donations were made to Battersea in Paul’s honour from generous members of the public wanting to pay their respects and express their gratitude, with the grand total coming in at £480,000.