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Artist plans a ‘permanent installation’ after Paul O’Grady mural defaced

"Thanks for everything, Paul! Rest well."

By Alastair James

Paul O'Grady mural
Paul O'Grady's mural in Manchester. (Image: @ManchesterMurals)

The artist behind a mural celebrating the legendary entertainer Paul O’Grady, is now planning a “permanent installation.” It follows his original work being covered in graffiti.

The LGBTQ icon passed away on 28 March aged 67. The beloved TV presenter and comedian was well known for his drag act persona, Lily Savage.

Following O’Grady’s death, artist Chris Moore – aka ‘ManchesterMurals’ – painted a tribute to the icon in Manchester. It showed O’Grady with a dog, a passion of the entertainer’s.

The mural of Paul O'Grady in Manchester
The mural of Paul O’Grady in Manchester before it was defaced. (Image: @ManchesterMurals)

Posting about the mural on Facebook on Friday (31 March) Moore wrote that O’Grady “was one of the nation’s favourite drag artists.”

Referencing O’Grady’s love for animals Moore added: “He was an ambassador for Battersea, where he helped raise their profile. Only felt right to include a dog in his mural. Thanks for everything, Paul! Rest well.”

The mural went up two days after O’Grady’s passing and attracted many visitors. However, before long Moore was notified it had been defaced with green paint.

“There were lots of people who went to visit it who were really disappointed on the day and people who planned to visit it over the coming days to remember Paul,” Moore told the BBC.

Conceding that “ultimately, this is part of the street art scene,” Moore also told the BBC that: “I’m now thinking of how I can best showcase a permanent installation of the mural.”

O’Grady was a formidable presence on British TV. He also hosted the Bafta-winning talkshow The Paul O’Grady ShowBlankety Blank, celebrity gameshow Paul O’Grady’s Saturday Night Line Up, and the reboot of Blind Date.

Just days before he died O’Grady had finished touring the musical Annie, in which he played Miss Hannigan. He was set to resume the role in performances later this year.

He also wrote a four-volume memoir and in 2008 he was awarded an MBE for his services to entertainment.

Then, in 2013, he won Attitude’s Icon Award for Outstanding Achievement.