Paul O'Grady talking on This Morning, his funeral procession

Paul O’Grady’s ex-wife on reason she didn’t attend funeral as she breaks silence on his death

They were married for almost 30 years

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The ex-wife of Paul O’Grady previously revealed why she didn’t go to the star’s funeral.

As the country said goodbye to the national treasure, who passed away on March 28 2023, one person was absent. Teresa Fernandes, who secretly married For the Love of Dogs host Paul in a registry office in 1977, said it would have been too far to travel.

Paul O'Grady's coffin
Paul O’Grady’s funeral wasn’t attended by his ex-wife (Credit: Splash News)

Paul O’Grady ex-wife

In an interview with MailOnline, Teresa, 73, joked about how she “forgot” to divorce the beloved star.

She joked: “We probably enjoyed one of the longest marriages in showbiz! Paul was a very special, close friend of mine, but we didn’t really love each other.

We just drifted apart at around the time he started to get famous I didn’t go to the funeral because it’s too far for me to travel.

“I was lesbian and he was gay, so the marriage would never have worked. But we had a great time as friend. And even though it was almost 50 years ago, I have great memories.”

Paul O'Grady holding an award
Paul’s death shocked the nation (Credit: Splash News)

Teresa added: “Of course I was sad when I heard Paul had died, he was always a good friend but I hadn’t seen him since the early 1980s. We just drifted apart at around the time he started to get famous I didn’t go to the funeral because it’s too far for me to travel.”

The Portuguese national splits her time between London and Lisbon. Paul previously revealed it was a “marriage of convenience”.

Paul O’Grady and Teresa’s marriage

The couple married after Lily Savage star Paul met the barmaid in a gay bar, to avoid Teresa being deported. Paul previously told the Mirror: “Teresa, I call her the lesbian Portuguese barmaid, was lovely. She looked like David Cassidy.

“We worked in a club in Westbourne Grove, London, when I was 22. She was from a very strict Catholic family and was always being hassled by them: ‘Why aren’t you getting married?’ So I said: ‘Come on then, we’ll get married’, and we did. We were married for 28 years.”

It wasn’t until Paul started to think of his future that he remembered about the whimsical wedding.

He said: “I had no idea we were still married until my manager Brendan said: ‘If anything happened to you, everything would go to your wife’. It’s like a real-life Corrie storyline.”

Read more: All the music played at Paul O’Grady’s funeral and the deeply personal reasons each piece was chosen

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Amelia Ward
Freelance Writer

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