Paul moved to London to work as a social worker before beginning his comedy career on the pub and club circuit.
Paul O'Grady presents his own Radio 2 show every Sunday, 1700-1900
Before joing Radio 2 full-time in April 2009, Paul was already a familiar voice to Radio 2 listeners having regularly covered Elaine Paige's slot on a Sunday afternoon and presented a special Christmas Day programme in 2008.
Born in Birkenhead, Paul O’Grady moved to London to work as a social worker and began his comedy career on the pub and club circuit developing the ‘blonde bombsite’ character of Lily - a single mother of two - notorious for her shop lifting and acid tongue.
Lily’s television career is well-known including hosting 'The Lily Savage Show' (BBC); 'Lily Live' (ITV); and 'Lily Savage’s Blankety Blank'. Her theatre career has seen her touring nationally with her own live show; a twelve week run in the West End and national tour in 'Prisoner Cell Block H - The Musical'; playing Miss Hannigan in 'Annie' at the Victoria Palace Theatre and on national tour. Lily has also enjoyed appearing as the Wicked Queen in 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' which she has performed five times, most recently at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London 2004/2005.
Lily is now resting whilst Paul has been increasingly appearing on television in his own right. He has two travel shows under his belt - the first recorded in the Far East in the spring of 2000 'Paul O’Grady’s Orient' and the second recorded in the US in the spring of 2001 'Paul O’Grady’s America'. He presented 'Screen Tests of the Stars' which was shown on ITV in April 2002.
Towards the end of 2002 he appeared in the role of the Child Catcher in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' at the London Palladium for three months.
2003 saw the launch of a new sitcom for the BBC called 'Eyes Down'. It ran for two series and in it Paul played Ray, the manager of a Bingo Hall.
'The Paul O’Grady Show' ran for three series at 5p.m. on ITV 2004/2005. Paul then moved to Channel 4 and launched 'The New Paul O’Grady Show' in March 2006 which ran for eleven series and resumed the title 'The Paul O’Grady Show'.
Paul has won many awards including a Bafta for Best Entertainment Performance (2005), a National Television Award for Most Popular Daytime Programme 2005, and a Royal Television Society Award for Best Daytime Show (2005). He was voted the TV Times 'Most Popular Entertainment Presenter' for 2009 and 2010.
Paul was made an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University in July 2005 and in October 2008 he was presented with an MBE by Prince Charles. In July 2010 he was given a doctorate by De Montford University in Leicester.
Paul published the first part of his autobiography in Autumn 2008 'At My Mothers Knee and Other Low Joints'. It sold over 700,000 copies and he was number one in The Times best sellers list for several weeks. The autobiography was shortlisted for the Biography of the Year Award at the Galaxy British Book Awards. The second volume was published in September 2010 'The Devil Rides Out' and was in the top ten of The Times best sellers list for several weeks.
In September 2010 Paul returned to ITV on Fridays at 9 p.m. with a new series 'Paul O’Grady Live' and he brought Lily Savage back from the convent in France to play Widow Twankey in 'Aladdin' in the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton in December 2010.
The second series of 'Paul O’Grady Live' on ITV began on the 15th April 2011. He appeared at the Hay Festival talking about his autobiography with Sandi Toksvig on the 28th May 2011 and he is just starting work on the third part of his autobiography.
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