Paul O’Grady’s ‘terrible’ illness made him feel ‘like he was dying’
17th February 2023

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Comedian Paul O’Grady, 67, has candidly described how coronavirus continues to affect him after the illness hit him so hard that it caused his “breath to go”. The Paul O’Grady Show host revealed that he is still suffering from the effects of Covid-19.

Paul hasn’t had an easy health journey, previously having to take off two months of work last year.

“I managed to escape Covid until last year and then I caught it. I didn’t half get it; I was really ill,” he recalled.

“It wiped me out, I was shocked at how bad I was. I was a good two months getting over it. My breath had gone.”

After seeing his doctor for an X-ray, Paul was diagnosed as a recovering Covid victim.

He spent the summer getting his strength back by taking it easy at his Kent farm and admitted he’d “never slept so much in his life”.

“Thank God I’m over it now, but at one time I thought: ‘Is this ever going to go? Am I ever going to get my energy back and stop being tired?’ It wasn’t pleasant,” he confessed in the exclusive interview with the Mirror.

Paul first caught the virus back in July while he was filming the second series of Sally Lindsay’s The Madame Blanc Mysteries in Malta.

“We got one day’s filming in the can and that night I felt a bit off and then the next day I felt like I was dying,” he recalled. I had a vicious headache and a terrible cough.”

The star, who formerly went by the persona Lily Savage, admitted he “felt shocked” when he ended up “back in bed again” after thinking the illness was behind him.

The presenter has faced an uphill battle with his health, previously suffering two heart attacks.

Both Paul’s parents died young from heart problems – his father when O’Grady was in his late teens and his mother when he was 33.

In 2021, his cousin Maureen tragically died, with Paul revealing she “went to bed and didn’t wake up.”

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In an interview with the Independent at the time, he was asked if he felt like his heart was a ticking time bomb.

“No, I refuse to let myself think anything like that,” he replied. “And I refuse to sit on the sofa watching daytime telly, counting tablets.

“You get people who give up and I get so annoyed.

“I think, ‘Don’t be silly, you’ve been given a second chance or a third or a fourth chance, so use it’.”

Back in 2016, Paul slammed Government cuts after claiming a hospital failed to treat his sister for a heart attack because it was a weekend.

He said at the time that his sister Sheila Rudd, 74, was not seen by a doctor until Monday despite going into hospital the Friday before.

“I blame this bloody Government. They’re run­­ning the NHS down,” he said of the Conservative government at the time.

“It was a Friday and no one saw her till the Monday because it was a weekend,” he added. (sic)

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