GMB's Richard Arnold emotional as he pays tribute to 'friend' Paul O'Grady
Tributes have poured in for TV presenter Paul O'Grady who died on Tuesday night unexpectedly. Richard Arnold admitted he had a "gravelly voice" from the shock as he paid a moving tribute to his friend on Wednesday's Good Morning Britain. Richard described Paul as a "trailblazer" while Susanna Reid said he was "loving".
At one point, Susanna had to comfort her co-star when he spoke about Paul's death.
"As you said at the top of the show, Martin [Lewis] it's almost like laughter through tears," Richard began.
"Even at this early stage because just looking back, there are so many fond memories and I've appeared with Paul on several shows.
"I first met him back in 1990 and he was dressed as Lady Savage."
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He continued: "I remember I was sat on the floor one day during the run and I was threading ticket stubs.
"And all I heard was this voice go, 'You alright?' and I looked up and of course, there was this handsome man standing there but I only ever saw Paul as Lily.
"And I think it's impossible really to overestimate what a trailblazer he was because Lily, of course, was a persona that became famous on the drag circuit in South London.
"And you idolised him as a gay man actually because trailblazer really doesn't do justice and then, of course, he broke into the mainstream broadcasting landscape."GMB: Susanna described Paul as loving (Image: ITV) GMB: Richard seemed to get emotional on the show (Image: ITV)
As a clip of some of Paul's career highlights played, Richard said: "And the rest as we've seen, there is the history of man with glitter and wit coursing through his veins. Humour with such heart."
Susanna also described Paul as "funny and so compassionate and so loving".
Richard went on to say: "I have a gravelly voice this morning clearly from shock."
Later on, Susanna leaned in to comfort the entertainment editor over losing his friend.
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"Richard you know, we're sorry for your loss as well," she told him. "You know, it's just awful, you're involved in the news, you're involved in covering stories, but when it's someone that you know..."
"It does feel very close to home," Richard admitted.
Paul's partner Andre Portasio confirmed the news of the comedian's death in a statement.
He said: "It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.
"He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion."
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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