Paul O’Grady has been posthumously named Peta’s person of the year.

The TV and radio presenter died in March, aged 67. He spent most of his career advocating for animal welfare.

He was a leading figure in numerous animal rights campaigns, and joined Peta in the 1990s to raise awareness about testing on animals.

He also supported campaigns to ban fur in Britain, joined calls to ban foie gras and raised awareness of the treatment of orcas in marine parks.

“Paul O’Grady once said that ‘it is our duty to treat animals with respect’, and he lived by his own principles every day by being a tireless animal advocate,” Elisa Allen, Peta vice president of programmes said.

“Peta urges everyone to follow his example and honour his memory by speaking up whenever they see an animal in need.”

O’Grady’s widower Andre Portasio will be presented with the award.

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In his later life, O’Grady became well-known for presenting award-winning documentary series For The Love Of Dogs, which gave an insight into the work of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

It ran for 11 series, and at the 2023 National Television Awards, the star posthumously won the factual entertainment award for the show.

In 2018, O’Grady was given a special recognition award for the impact For The Love Of Dogs had on helping find homes for rescue animals nationwide.

O’Grady at the 2018 NTAs

The shelter announced in October that its veterinary hospital would be named after O’Grady, who was an ambassador of the charity for 11 years.

His contribution to animal welfare was also recognised with an RSPCA animal hero award.

In a statement, Peta thanked O’Grady for his “lifelong determination to make the world a kinder place for animals”.

“He never wavered in his commitment to protecting the most vulnerable among us. We will always treasure his legacy of compassion,” it added.

Past winners of the annual award include actor Joaquin Phoenix, Pamela Anderson, F1 driver Sir Lewis Hamilton, Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey and the late Sir Roger Moore.

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