Paul O’Grady was “so disappointed with the way he was treated” at the end of his time with BBC Radio 2, his long-standing producer and friend said as he paid tribute to the star.
Malcolm Prince worked with O’Grady at both BBC Radio 2 and later Boom Radio, an independent station aimed at Baby Boomers.
Comedian and presenter O’Grady, who rose to fame with his drag queen alter ego Lily Savage, died “unexpectedly but peacefully” last week at the age of 67, his husband, Andre Portasio, announced.
Prince told Radio Times: “When Radio 2 told us the show was coming to an end, he was so disappointed with the way he was treated… There was no hamper or leaving party, or any of that.
“He told me recently that Radio 2 wasn’t what it was when he joined.”
Prince also discussed his close personal relationship with O’Grady.
“I became his straight man; we would have on-air conversations and I even got my own microphone,” Prince said.
“Another presenter might not have wanted a producer to do that, but Paul knew I could be the butt of the joke and I could poke him to tell him other stories.
“I’ve worked with a lot of presenters, and he was among the most generous of them.”
Having seen him on the day he died, Prince added: “When I left, he gave me a hug and said, ‘I’ll talk to you tomorrow’.
“I said, ‘Go inside, I don’t want you watching me try to reverse the car down the drive’.
“We’d had two hours of fun, and two hours later he was gone.”
O’Grady left his Radio 2 Sunday afternoon slot in August last year after almost 14 years, following a schedule shake-up which saw him regularly swapping with comic Rob Beckett.
Boom Radio will repeat O’Grady’s final programme from Christmas on Easter Sunday at 2pm.
Read the full story in Radio Times, available now.