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Paul James O'Grady, MBE (born 14 June 1955) is an English comedian, television presenter, actor, writer and radio disc jockey.
He's achieved fame using his comedic drag queen character, "Lily Savage", and later became well known for presenting TV programmes as himself, such as The Paul O'Grady Show.
It was here in 1978 that he developed his drag act, basing the character of Lily Savage upon traits found amongst female relatives.
Touring Northern England as part of drag mime duo, the Playgirls, he eventually went solo as a stand-up comedian.
In May 1977, they got married to prevent her deportation; although they eventually lost contact, they only legally divorced in 2005."I've frequently been asked over the years who Lily Savage was based on and I've always answered that it was no one in particular and she was just a figment of my imagination.
The truth, I realise now, is that Lily owes a lot to the women I encountered in my childhood.
O'Grady has received a variety of awards, among them honorary degrees and an MBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to entertainment.
had grown up on a farm in Ballincurry, County Roscommon, Ireland, before moving to England in 1936, in search of work, settling down in the working-class area of Birkenhead, Cheshire (now Merseyside).
Hoping that he had a good future ahead of him, his parents budgeted to send him to a private school, the Catholic-run Redcourt, but his grades dropped.Born to a working-class Irish migrant family in Birkenhead, he attended Blessed Edward Campion Secondary Modern School, in Claughton Village, Birkenhead, Cheshire (now Merseyside).O'Grady moved to London in the late-1970s, there working as a peripatetic care officer for Camden Council.Seeking to diversify his career away from Savage, O'Grady starred in BBC sitcom Eyes Down (2003–04) and presented two travel documentaries for ITV.In 2004, he began presenting ITV's daytime chat show The Paul O'Grady Show, which proved a hit with audiences.