Jane McDonald opens the British Soap Awards 2023
British Soap Awards viewers were left in tears on Tuesday night (June 6) as the ceremony paid tribute to the late TV presenter and all-round entertainer, Paul O’Grady.
Host Jane McDonald paused the star-studded bash halfway through to introduce a remembrance segment, which included the For The Love Of Dogs star, who passed away unexpectedly in March, aged 67.
With audience members including the casts of EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks looking on, a montage was played of several soap and showbiz stars who have died in the last 12 months.
And after seeing the face of O’Grady, who presented the Awards himself in 2004 and 2005, countless fans couldn’t hide their emotions on social media.
One wrote on Twitter: “Seeing Paul O’Grady again still brings a lump to my throat. Dear me. He was one of a kind.”
Another commented: “Every time I see an awards show, showing Paul O’Grady – I instantly cry and still can’t believe he’s gone.”
A third added: “Hands up if you shed a tear when they paid tribute to Paul O’Grady.”
A fourth declared: “I still cry everytime I’m reminded Paul O’Grady isn’t with us anymore. The best.”
And a fifth said: “Paul O’Grady… Still so sad I can’t believe he’s gone!”
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McDonald was called in as host at short notice to replace Phillip Schofield, who was axed following his admission about having an affair with a younger colleague.
She was met with a huge round of applause from the audience and she thanked them for welcoming her to such a prestigious event.
The awards were held at the weekend with Coronation Street bagging the most wins on the night.
They took home six accolades including Best Single Episode, Scene of the Year and Best Newcomer.
EastEnders took home four awards, meanwhile, with Emmerdale’s Mark Charnock winning an Outstanding Achievement Award.
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