Plans to award Paul O’Grady freedom of Wirral as tribute to his legacy

Councillors agreed that the tribute would recognise O’Grady’s years entertaining as well as his activism and charity work

Paul O’Grady and his dog Buster arriving for the National Television Awards
Paul O’Grady and his dog Buster arriving for the National Television Awards

Entertainer Paul O’Grady could be posthumously given the freedom of Wirral as part of plans to pay tribute to his legacy.

Councillors will vote next week on whether to award the honorary freedom of the borough to the TV presenter, who was born in Birkenhead, Wirral, and died in March at the age of 67.

O’Grady grew up in Merseyside but later moved to London, where he found fame as his drag alter-ego Lily Savage and went on to host a string of television programmes.

In a statement, Wirral Council said: “Since the sad passing of Birkenhead’s legendary entertainer Paul O’Grady in March, we’ve heard the many asks for us to celebrate his legacy and we agree.

“The first step in doing so will see councillors consider a recommendation to bestow the star – who first found fame as the self-proclaimed ‘blonde bombsite’ Lily Savage – with the honour of freedom of the borough.

“This would recognise his years entertaining the nation, along with his dedicated activism and charity work.

“We are also looking at other ways to pay tribute to the legacy of both Paul and Lily – more details will be shared as soon as we have them.”

Councillors will discuss the award at a regulatory and general purposes committee on Wednesday, June 7.

The agenda item for the meeting states: “This is a very significant step for the council to take.

“Very few people have been awarded this status and, it should only be awarded to someone who has made an exceptional contribution to the borough.”

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