Paul O’Grady: ‘I’m not worried about sex, money or fame – I just want a mongoose’

The comedian and broadcaster on a near fatal heart attack, his fear of rats and flashing his bum from a train

Born in Birkenhead, Paul O’Grady, 66, found fame as the drag queen Lily Savage, who became presenter of the TV gameshow Blankety Blank in 1997. After retiring the character in 2004, he was given his own chatshow, The Paul O’Grady Show, which won a Bafta in 2005 and ran until 2015. He has just published his first children’s book, Eddie Albert and the Amazing Animal Gang: The Amsterdam Adventure, and there will be special Christmas episode of his new ITV show Saturday Night Line Up. O’Grady has a daughter and lives with his husband in Kent.

When were you happiest?
When I hit 30 and managed to get a council flat in London. It was in the most terrible state, but it was bliss to have a flat of my own.

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