Paul O'Grady rescue dog steals show on BBC Breakfast as Battersea pay tribute
BBC Breakfast introduced some special guests on Thursday to remember Paul O'Grady one day after his "unexpected" death was announced to the public. The dog-lover dedicated his life to helping rescue dogs, and one animal he touched the life of was Battersea pooch, Blue. Blue's owner Joanna Randall joined BBC's Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt along with Battersea vet Shaun Opperman, and the cute dog stole the show.
BBC Breakfast showed a clip of Paul meeting Blue and building a connection with the nervous dog.
Following the scene, Charlie remarked: "It felt like there was continuity there, because lovely Paul O'Grady - there he was, just getting acquainted with Blue."
Addressing Joanna, he asked: "Because Blue was not so happy, was he?"
"No," she replied. "Well, he was relinquished to Battersea a couple of years ago.
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"He didn't have a really sad past, I think the family that he was with previously really wanted him, but they were moving into a house that wouldn't allow dogs.
"So that's how he ended up at Battersea, and Blue was born right before we all went into lockdown in 2020.
"So he had spent his very earliest months of life in one house, with one family, not really experiencing the rest of the world.
"And he wasn't meeting any other people, so when he ended up at Battersea all of a sudden, his entire universe got turned inside out."Paul O'Grady: Battersea paid tribute to the late Paul O'Grady (Image: BBC) Paul O'Grady: Blue rewatched his episode of Paul O'Grady's show with owner Joanna (Image: BBC)
When asked how she took the sad news on Wednesday, Joanna explained: "It was really, really upsetting to hear about Paul's passing yesterday.
"And we had a long cuddle on the sofa and a little cry. We watched the episode that he was on as well and just felt deeply, deeply sad.
"Because Paul was just so tremendously kind to all dogs, especially to Blue who was having a really hard time at that point when he ended up in Battersea.
"So it was just nice to have a friend like Paul in his life, I don't think he could have asked for a better friend."
During the conversation, Blue strolled around the iconic red sofa and at one point interrupted the chat by trying to voice his own opinion.
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It seemed he could have been grieving the loss of his friend as he let out a cry during the interview.
Also paying tribute to the 67-year-old, Shaun described Paul as "a huge presence at Battersea".
He went on to call him a "tireless campaigner and advocate for rescue dogs".
Paul adopted five dogs from the charity himself and never ceased his work with the rehoming centre.
On Wednesday, it was announced by Paul's husband Andre Portasio that the comedian and TV presenter had died on Tuesday night.
Since then, tributes have poured in from across the world of entertainment to remember the national treasure.
BBC Breakfast airs daily at 6am on BBC One.
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