Paul O’Grady’s best friend Amanda Mealing discusses funeral plan

G82Y2J Pioneer British Academy Television Awards - Theatre Royal. Paul O'Grady with actress Amanda Mealing.

Paul O’Grady pictured with Amanda Mealing (best friend and actress). (Alamy)

Paul O’GradyAmanda Mealing,’s best friend, has revealed that plans are in place for a double funeral to honor the star. She was discussing his dying wish.

Former Casualty star, she described feeling “numb” when she received a message from O’Grady letting her know that he had passed away. She raced to comfort Andre Portasio at 3:00 AM on Wednesday, 29 March.

Mealing, 55 years old, was friends with O’Grady over 35 years. Mealing affectionately called O’Grady “Savage” to refer to his Lily Savage drag-queen alter-ego.

Continue reading: Paul O’Grady tribute fund sees Battersea Dogs Home inundated with over £100k in donations

Talk to the Mirror She admitted O’Grady had made it very clear to her that he wanted everyone to have a good time at his funeral, and that he would hate it if everyone was stoic and grouchy.

Tearful Mealing recalled the moment O’Grady, aged 67, died and how she raced to his farmhouse in Adlington Kent at 1 a.m.

She said: “Andre sent me a text at 1 am. It was there that I awoke to. It was all I could think of. I just couldn’t comprehend what the text had said. I just couldn’t understand it. After I had gotten myself together, I went to the house.

“Over the last few days, we’ve started conversations crying and end up laughing with tears just remembering ridiculous stories! Whatever happens, Paul’s funeral will be a celebration of his life and it will be full of laughter.”

Continue reading: Paul O’Grady died in bed beside husband

She then revealed more details about his funeral plans, revealing that there could be two funerals to ensure everyone can say goodbye.

She added: “There may be two funerals. There may be one small, private funeral and one large in a grand location for family members. I would think it’ll be in London.

Watch: Paul O’Grady, a star in showbiz, dies at the age of 67

“Then everyone can come to that and it gives people a chance to fly in. There are ongoing discussions. We’ve also been asking: ‘Can we do something in Liverpool?’ because obviously they very much feel he’s their baby. It’s so difficult.”

A tribute fund has been set up in the interim. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in honour of O’Grady has had an incredible £174,557 in donations at the time of writing following an overwhelming outpouring of love and generosity from members of the public who were devastated at the news of his death.

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