BBC Radio 2 accused of ‘crocodile tears’ over Paul O’Grady’s deathMarch 30, 2023
Paul O’Grady died suddenly earlier this week at the age of 67, just months after his departure from BBC Radio 2.
The star had previously explained he didn’t want to share his slot with younger presenter Rob Beckett and take “13 weeks” at a time off while the comedian broadcast in his place, so decided to leave instead, sparking an ageism row.
The TV and radio legend, well-known for his kind-hearted attitude towards dogs, left the station in August 2022, ending a spell of more than 14 years presenting his own show.
Today, the BBC honoured his life with a poignant Twitter message – but some were decidedly unamused.
“We’re incredibly saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Paul O’Grady,” the tribute read.
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“Paul was a brilliant broadcaster and incredible comedian. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Adding a love heart emoji, the tweet concluded: “We’ll miss you Paul.”
However, some struggled to believe there was any sincerity behind the words.
“Crocodile tears from a station who treated him abominably,” one blasted.
“His Sunday night audience loved him, so what did you do, in the name of ‘progress’? Cut his broadcast time and make it impossible for him to stay.”
Another chimed in: “You didn’t think he was ‘brilliant’ when you messed him around and contributed to him leaving the station, just like you did with a few others. RIP Paul.”
A third lamented: “You treated him shabbily!!! 5.00-7.00 on Sundays will never be the same.”
However, others took a more measured tone, exclaiming he’d brought “joy to the radiowaves” and thanking the BBC for inviting him onto his now legendary slot.
“It’s such a sad loss for a genuinely nice guy,” one follower added.
The star had previously spoken out about how he “wasn’t really happy” with the BBC’s request that he share his slot with Rob on a “13 weeks on, 13 weeks off” basis.
Paul’s tragic death occurred just days before he was due to start a new show at a different station.
He and his producer Malcolm were expected to begin their Sunday slot at Boom Radio in April.
At the time the BBC had said in a statement about his departure: “We’re sad to say that after 14 years on Sunday afternoons, Paul O’Grady has decided to leave Radio 2. We wish Paul the very best of luck and hope to work with him again in the future.”
Meanwhile, his former channel has announced a compilation of his best radio moments in a show called Remembering Paul O’Grady, which will be available to stream on BBC Sounds.
There is also expected to be a broadcast in his honour on Sunday night.
The BBC has been approached for comment.
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