paul-ogrady

Paul O'Grady opens up about his secret wedding!

The Blind Date star has married ballet dancer Andre Portasio

by Gemma Strong

Paul O'Grady has spoken about his secret wedding to long-term partner Andre Portasio. Paul and ballet dancer Andre tied the knot on 5 August at London's Goring Hotel, and one month into married life, the TV star has opened up about their "smashing" nuptials. Stars including Sir Ian McKellan and Julian Clary were among the 50 guests invited to the ceremony, but one famous friend was notably absent – the late Cilla Black, who passed away in 2015. "She would have been over the moon," Paul, 62, told the Mirror. "It was such a shame that she wasn't there."

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Paul O'Grady has married former English National Ballet star Andre Portasio

Asked if he thought Cilla would have provided any entertainment on the day, Paul replied: "She wouldn't have sung. She would never sing in public. If anyone said, 'Cilla, give us a song', she'd say, 'I can't, my voice is bad, but Paul will.'"

STORY: Blind Date viewers praise Paul O'Grady as he fills in Cilla Black's shoes

The star, who has been dating 37-year-old Andre since 2006, also admitted that he hadn't considered marriage until his friend Julian suggested it. "Julian put the seed in my head. He said, 'I've got married. You should'. And he's right, then you protect your partner. If anything happens to me, he is protected. It makes sense," Paul explained.

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Paul pictured with his late best friend Cilla Black

"Married life is the same as before. We have known each other so long. Nothing has changed, really. And it's nice. I like saying I'm married – better than saying I'm a divorcee, which I was before. You feel more committed. You have made a vow, you have to stick to it. But we still fight like cat and dog!"

Paul previously married gay friend Teresa Fernandes in 1977 in a marriage of convenience, which was 'dissolved' in 2005.

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