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Eurovision 2023: BBC pays tribute to late icon Paul O’Grady in moving trailer

Fans were left emotional by the inclusion.

By Charlotte Manning

Paul O’Grady has made a posthumous appearance as part of a promo clip for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest

The beloved TV presenter and comedian known for his drag act persona Lily Savage died “unexpectedly” on 28 March

The national treasure, 67, was also a proud Liverpudlian. So, it’s no surprise he wanted to get involved in this year’s Eurovision proceedings. 

“His appearance in the film was agreed with the blessing of his family and friends”

Fans of the Eurovision Song Contest were left emotional on Monday (8 May) after the BBC unveiled a new trailer featuring the late star.

Paul pops up halfway through the clip. He dons an apron alongside a dog in one hand, and a mop in the other. 

He can be seen cleaning the floor and smiling away at the camera. 

Paul O Grady features in the Eurovision trailer
Paul O’Grady appeared in a promo trailer for Eurovision (Image: BBC)

A BBC spokesperson confirmed his friends and family kindly gave their permission to keep Paul involved. 

“This is one of the last things Paul [O’Grady] filmed before he passed away last month. His appearance in the film was agreed with the blessing of his family and friends.

“Paul took part in this film as he wanted to mark his pride in his home region of Liverpool hosting the contest on behalf of 2022 winners Ukraine,’ they said. 

Paul o'grady features in Eurovision trailer
Of course, he was with dog in hand (Image: BBC)

Other famous faces include Wirral-born TV baker Paul Hollywood and actor Ricky Tomlinson.

Strictly Come Dancing star Nikita Kuzmin and Drag Race UK contestant Sister Sister also appear. 

Fans were also treated to a fiery performance from host Julia Sanina performing Маяк by her band The Hardkiss.

The film will open the first Eurovision semi-final and the 2023 contest when it airs tonight (9 May) at 8pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

It begins with the moment a young Liverpudlian boy discovers that his home city is set to host the 2023 contest.

He travels across the city telling his family, friends, neighbours that the world-famous competition is arriving.