Richard Madeley claims This Morning bosses didn’t want Lily Savage to return on show

During the special, Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley made an appearance to speak about his first encounter with Lily Savage. The 67-year-old claimed bosses weren’t initially impressed with Paul O’Grady’s debut.

He said: “When we first used Lily savage on the programme, we got calls from our head office in Manchester. They said, ‘We can’t have her on again, she pushed it too far she’s over the top’.”

While Richard spoke, viewers saw an old lip of Paul in his alter ego drag sipping a drink before throwing his glass into the river. The ITV host revealed that once they got the call from their bosses, they explained how wrong they were.

He continued: “Lily became a mainstay of This Morning. Lily Savage knew exactly how far she could go. Exactly how far to push the envelope.”

Richard highlighted that back then, people didn’t tend to see many spoof working-class women on TV. The 67-year-old added: “You didn’t really see any real working-class women.

“The thing about Lily, Lily was the perfect fusion of the two.

“Alright, the character’s similar but still a representation of the working class Northern reality, in particular Liverpudlian scouse reality.”

Elsewhere in the documentary, viewers got to see some of Paul’s closest friends speak about the late star’s rise to fame.

Sir Ian McKellen detailed his friendship with the comedian as he said: “I first met him as Lily, not Paul, it was in Edinburgh and we were both doing publicity for our shows.

“Paul was already there dressed as Lily. We were friends thereafter…When he was talking away, I thought – was it Paul talking or was it Lily? I couldn’t tell the difference.”

However, in the documentary the late star touched on ending his career as Lily Savage as viewers learnt Paul told his manager he’d had enough and wanted to change.

ITV viewers saw the comedian appear on This Morning for the first time as himself as Richard revealed he was anxious.

He said: “I remember he was quite nervous about it as well, coming on as himself. I remember a few phone calls like ‘Look it’s going to be ok’ because he was worried I think.”

As old footage of the comedian was shown on-screen with his voice narrating the special, viewers were left highly emotional.

@TRACEYBRO commented: “A year since Paul died…..how quickly that’s gone. Much missed by us, the public. Must have left a big hole in the lives of his family and friends. “

@blue_laur11 added: “We will never ever get another Lily Savage or Paul o Grady again he was one of a kind [sic] taken from us far far too soon.”

@SuffolkMoomin tweeted: “How wonderful to be reminded of the wit kindness & compassion of #PaulOGrady & of course the role model that was #LilySavage.”

With @Sam_5516 saying: “Paul O’Grady dying was such a loss, I can’t state that enough.”

The Life and Death of Lily Savage is available to watch on ITVX.

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