The Paul O'Grady Show

For the 2010 show, see Paul O'Grady Live.
The Paul O'Grady Show
Also known as 'The New Paul O'Grady Show (2006–07)
Genre Entertainment
Presented by Paul O'Grady
Voices of
Peter Dickson (2004–09, 2017–)
Theme music composer McFly (2013–15, 2017–)
Opening theme "The Paul O'Grady Show"
Ending theme "The Paul O'Grady Show"
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 15
(7 on ITV and 8 on Channel 4)
No. of episodes 769
Executive producer(s) Brendan Murphy (2004)
Sue Andrew (2004–06)
Paul O'Grady (2005–09, 201315, 2017-)
Robert Gray (2006–09)
David Hall (2013)
Location(s) The London Studios (2004–05,
2007, 201315, 2017–)
BBC Television Centre (2006–07)
Running time 60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) Granada Television (ITV: 2004–05)
Olga TV (Channel 4: 2006–09;
ITV: 201315, 2017–)
Original network ITV (2004–05, 201315, 2017–)
Channel 4 (2006–09)
Picture format 576i 16:9 (SDTV)
1080i 16:9 (HDTV)
(2013–15, 2017–)
Audio format Stereo (2004–09)
Dolby Digital 5.1 (2013–15)
Original release

  • ITV:
    11 October 2004 (2004-10-11) – 23 December 2005 (2005-12-23)
  • Channel 4:
    27 March 2006 (2006-03-27) – 18 December 2009 (2009-12-18)
  • ITV Revival:
    11 November 2013 (2013-11-11) – 29 May 2015 (2015-05-29)
    March 2017 (2017-03) – Present (Present)

Related shows The 5 O'Clock Show
Paul O'Grady Live
External links

The Paul O'Grady Show is a British comedy chat show presented by comedian Paul O'Grady, first shown on 11 October 2004. The programme is a teatime chat show consisting of a mixture of celebrity guests, comic stunts, musical performances, and occasionally viewer competitions.

The format was originally devised by Granada Television and was broadcast on ITV until December 2005, before moving to Channel 4 in 2006, where the show was produced by Olga TV. The show originally ended in 2009 when O'Grady announced a move back to ITV, adapting his format to prime-time for Friday nights at 9pm, hosting Paul O'Grady Live from 2010. However the show underperformed in the ratings, averaging just over 3 million viewers,[1] and ended after two series in 2011 amongst reports O'Grady was "keen to move on".[2]

Three years later, the original teatime format returned to ITV on 11 November 2013, airing at its traditional time of weekdays at 5pm. It concluded its twelfth run on 13 December 2013. It returned for a thirteenth series on 28 April 2014,[3] which ended on 30 May 2014. The programme has averaged 2 million viewers in its 5pm slot.[4] A third revived series began airing on 20 April 2015 on ITV, which ended on 29 May 2015. A new series will air in March 2017.


The show runs on weekdays, Monday to Friday, for one hour from 5:00 pm. Each episode follows O'Grady being introduced, walking to his desk with one of his pet dogs; originally Buster, a Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise cross, until his death shortly before the show originally ended in 2009, and Olga, a Cairn Terrier who has regularly appeared since the series returned in 2013. O'Grady reads out viewers' letters, sometimes with disgust at the things viewers have sent (which included vibrating soap, a viewer's dead goldfish wrapped in tissue and children's letters asking if Paul wears a wig or dentures).

The remainder of the programme consists of interviews with two or more celebrity guests. Children were also featured in segments of the show such as reviewing toys, games and films, or demonstrating skills (such as speed cup stacking). The show is broadcast live from The London Studios.[5]


2004–05: ITV

ITV previously had trouble filling the 5-6pm slot with a popular programme, with two daytime soap operas failing to achieve significant ratings in the slot. Night and Day launched in 2001 but moved from its teatime slot in 2002 after falling ratings. Similarly the revived version of Crossroads occupied the slot from March 2001, however it too saw a decline in ratings particularly after major cast and production changes towards the end. Both soaps were axed in mid-2003, over a year before The Paul O'Grady Show was first broadcast, and the new show was seen as the saviour of this teatime slot.

ITV commissioned The Paul O'Grady Show in October 2004 following O'Grady's appearance as a guest presenter for the (somewhat similar formatted) lunch-time entertainment show Today with Des and Mel. ITV management were so impressed by his initial standing in — a last minute replacement for regular host Des O'Connor — that he was brought back several more times, and subsequently O'Grady was given his own show (O'Grady also became good friends with co-presenter Melanie Sykes, who has since stood in for him on O'Grady's own show on occasion).

Guess the Tune (known as The Organ Game on the Channel 4 edition), a phone-in-competition where O'Grady plays tunes on his organ and the contestant has to guess them correctly to win up to £2,000, became a popular feature of the programme. The tune that O'Grady played leading into the game was a truncated version of "Sing As We Go", by Gracie Fields. Also a stalwart of the show was O'Grady's Shih Tzu/Bichon Frise cross[6] dog, Buster, who appeared for a full five minutes at the start of each programme since the ITV incarnation of the show.

2006–09: Channel 4

On 10 January 2006, in an unexpected announcement, O'Grady said that he had decided to leave ITV for Channel 4, following a dispute between O'Grady and Granada Television (who made The Paul O'Grady Show for ITV) after Granada 'forgot' to renew O'Grady's ITV contract.[7] O'Grady was believed to have left ITV not only due to his contract renewal issues nor his salary, but rather he wanted more creative control over the show (Granada had promptly refused when the show was under their production). His own television production company, Olga TV (named after one of his pet dogs), subsequently took over production of the programme.

The programme began its run on Channel 4 in March 2006, in the same 5:00–6:00 pm early evening slot, alternating in this slot every three months or so with Richard & Judy. In response, initially ITV decided to air repeats of the original show in the same slot. This was partially the reason why, for its first few series on the new channel, Channel 4 billed the programme as The New Paul O'Grady Show.

During its time on both ITV from 2004–05 and Channel 4, The Paul O'Grady Show was broadcast live on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, but Thursday's and Friday's episode were pre-recorded on the Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, respectively, at 12:30 pm.[8]

2010–11: ITV prime time

Main article: Paul O'Grady Live

2013–2015: ITV revival

After four years off-air, the show returned on 11 November 2013, in the same teatime slot from 5–6pm, on its original channel ITV.[9] with a new theme tune written and performed by McFly. Games including Guess the Tune, also known as "The Organ Game", also returned. It is a phone-in-competition where O'Grady plays tunes on his organ and the contestant has to guess them correctly, it is played live on Wednesdays show. O'Grady announced that the show would return for another series, beginning on 28 April 2014. A third and final revived series began airing on 20 April 2015.[10]

Similarly to the Channel 4 show, The Paul O'Grady Show is broadcast live on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 5:00pm; Thursday's and Friday's episode are pre-recorded on the Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, respectively, at 12:30pm.

Series overview

ITV (2004–05)

The series began broadcasting on ITV on 11 October 2004. The show ran several different features, including a competition to decide the country's best meat and potato pie, with the efforts of the Denby Dale Pie Company voted as the winner. Series two aired from 14 March 2005 to 27 May 2005 and the final original ITV series ended on 23 December that same year. Repeats of the original ITV series were shown for some time in direct competition with new episodes on Channel 4 after O'Grady left Granada.

Channel 4 (2006–09)

The first Channel 4 series of The New Paul O'Grady Show began airing on 27 March 2006 and ran until 16 June 2006 (repeats of the show were broadcast on More4 the following lunchtime). The new show was recorded at the BBC Television Centre instead of the original home, The London Studios, due to an apparent dispute with ITV. The second series was planned to start on 4 September 2006, but was pushed back to 25 September due to O'Grady suffering a second heart attack. The second series ran until 26 January 2007.

Buster did not appear for the first two weeks due to a serious eye infection, so O'Grady's other pet dog Olga took his place instead. On 16 January 2007, viewers noticed that instead of the scheduled live show, a repeat show was aired instead. This was due to O'Grady pulling out of the show at the last minute due to illness, later discovered as a sickness bug.[11] O'Grady returned live the next day.

The third series on Channel 4 aired from 2 April 2007 to 15 June 2007. The show returned for the seventh series (the fourth on Channel 4) on 17 September 2007, running until December of that year. The New from the show title was dropped from this series and the show went back to its original ITV title. The show's opening titles were retinted red, and subsequently the set backdrop was made red. The programme returned to The London Studios from BBC Television Centre.

Following news of premium rate phone in scandals, The Organ Game was suspended (as it relied on people calling in to enter the game). On the first episode of the new series (broadcast on 17 September 2007), Paul went over to play The Organ Game near the end of the show to find it tied up and him unable to use it. He invited viewers to telephone or e-mail Channel 4 bosses to allow him to play the phone-in game. On 22 October 2007, O'Grady announced on his show that The Organ Game would be returning; however there were only four special organ games leading up to Christmas, primarily for people who deserve the cash prize being offered (the phone line entries which used to be on the show have remained suspended). On 19 November 2007, the first of the four special Organ Games aired.[12]

The fifth series on Channel 4 began on 17 March 2008. The new series ran throughout the spring until 16 June 2008, at which point Richard & Judy returned for its last series. The studio set was given a slight revamp with added studio lights on the floor and walls.

On Tuesday, 15 April 2008, Melanie Sykes hosted the show, although it was not announced that she would be hosting. Sykes informed the audience that O'Grady was ill with the flu, and as such was unable to present. Sykes hosted that week's shows before O'Grady returned on Monday 21 April. However, O'Grady hadn't fully recovered, and Sykes had to be called in to do the following show on Tuesday. It was announced that Lorraine Kelly would host Wednesday's show, Brian Conley would host Thursday's show, and Shane Richie would host Friday's show. O'Grady finally returned on 28 April 2008.

The show returned on 22 September 2008 for a new series which ended on 19 December 2008. Brand new titles were introduced as well as a slight revamp to the set. Series 7 of the Channel 4 show began on Channel 4 on 23 February 2009[13] and concluded its run on 22 May 2009. Series 8 of the Channel 4 show began on 21 September 2009. The series concluded on 18 December 2009 and was the last to air on Channel 4. During this series, it was announced that the popular pet, Buster, had retired, and on 23 November it was announced that Buster had died aged fourteen on 19 November 2009. A spokesman for the comedian confirmed the news by telling The Daily Mirror that O'Grady was "absolutely gutted".

On Friday 18 December 2009, O'Grady presented his final show with an array of special guests; including Beverley Callard and William Roache, Honor Blackman, Natalie Cassidy, JLS, Scott Maslen, Joe McFadden, Linda Thorson, Melanie Sykes, Catherine Tate (appearing as Joannie "Nan" Taylor), Kate Thornton and The Teletubbies. Plus, other celebrities including Kim Cattrall, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonas Brothers, Alan Menken and Enrique Iglesias.

O'Grady's own daughter, her partner and his grandchildren made a special good luck VT to say goodbye to O'Grady. All of O'Grady's best bits were also shown, as was the viewers' favourite ever clip of the show.

ITV (2013–2015)

The twelfth series (fourth on ITV) began airing on 11 November 2013 on ITV. It featured a new theme tune by McFly and a new, but similar set with features from previous series. A thirteenth series (fifth on ITV) was broadcast from 28 April until 30 May 2014. A third and final revived series on ITV began airing on 20 April 2015.[14]


Stand-in hosts

While recovering from his heart attack, Channel 4 insisted O'Grady should take a week off from presenting the show. His first break occurred from 23 to 27 October 2006 and guest presenters hosted the programme for a day each. Since then, there have been three more scheduled guest-hosted weeks and in total there have been 27 different celebrity guest hosts.

In April 2008, there were two unscheduled guest-hosted weeks. O'Grady hosted the Monday show during these two weeks, but was taken ill after contracting a flu virus for the remainder of the weeks. Melanie Sykes guest-hosted five of the eight remaining shows, having previously hosted the show three times. In total she has been stand-in host 7 times.

On 15 October 2009, O'Grady had to go to the dentist for some dental work, with Joe Pasquale standing in for him as host.

On 18 November 2013, O'Grady was taken ill with a suspected angina attack meaning he was unable to present the live show from that day.[15] He was replaced by singer and entertainer Michael Ball for that episode and presenter Stephen Mulhern the following day. Emma Willis hosted on 20 November, followed by Vernon Kay the next day, and finally Jo Brand guest hosted on 22 November.[16] On 25 November 2013, Paul returned and thanked the five stand-ins for filling in for him over the previous week. He paid particular thanks to Michael Ball, whom he told the audience found out he was to host with only 40 minutes' notice.


Episode Date Host
1 23 October 2006 Vernon Kay
2 24 October 2006 Cilla Black
3 25 October 2006 Lorraine Kelly
4 26 October 2006 Jesse Metcalfe
5 27 October 2006 Alan Titchmarsh
6 27 November 2006 Judith Chalmers
7 28 November 2006 Melanie Sykes
8 29 November 2006 Paddy McGuinness
9 30 November 2006 Lorraine Kelly
10 1 December 2006 Brian Conley


Episode Date Host
1 7 May 2007 Justin Lee Collins
2 8 May 2007 Melanie Sykes
3 9 May 2007 Vernon Kay
4 10 May 2007 Liza Tarbuck
5 11 May 2007 Lenny Henry
6 5 November 2007 Melanie Sykes
7 6 November 2007 Chris Moyles
8 7 November 2007 Lorraine Kelly
9 8 November 2007 Michael Bublé
10 9 November 2007 Ross Kemp


Episode Date Host(s)
1 15 April 2008 Melanie Sykes
2 16 April 2008
3 17 April 2008
4 18 April 2008
5 22 April 2008
6 23 April 2008
7 24 April 2008 Brian Conley
8 25 April 2008 Shane Richie
9 3 November 2008 Melanie Sykes and Des O'Connor
10 4 November 2008 Melanie Brown
11 5 November 2008 Joe Pasquale
12 6 November 2008 Ross Kemp
13 7 November 2008 Jackie Collins

Note: For the episode hosted by Jackie Collins, O'Grady himself was the guest along with Paris Hilton.


Episode Date Host[17]
1 6 April 2009 Dermot O'Leary
2 7 April 2009 Dawn French
3 8 April 2009 Melanie Sykes
4 9 April 2009 Joanna Page
5 10 April 2009 Joe Pasquale
6 13 April 2009 Alan Carr[18]
7 15 October 2009 Joe Pasquale
8 2 November 2009 Fern Britton
9 3 November 2009 Peter Andre
10 4 November 2009 Michael Bublé
11 5 November 2009 Jo Brand
12 6 November 2009 Johnny Vegas


Episode Date Host
1 18 November 2013 Michael Ball
2 19 November 2013 Stephen Mulhern
3 20 November 2013 Emma Willis
4 21 November 2013 Vernon Kay
5 22 November 2013 Jo Brand

The Paul O'Grady Players annual pantomime

Every year, the show had an annual Christmas pantomime. Roughly 15 guest stars appeared in the panto. There was always one narrator, who told the story throughout the panto. This had been Antony Cotton, Dawn French, Kate Thornton, Sandi Toksvig and Stephen Fry. The panto ran roughly for the whole show, with usually five minutes left at the end when O'Grady and the stars answered the questions that had been e-mailed in by the viewers. However, in the 2006 panto, Peter Pan, the panto only ran for roughly 40 minutes, ending around 5.40 pm. After this, O'Grady interviewed Dawn French, who was the narrator, as he would do on a normal show. There was then, as usual, the organ game and O'Grady and all the stars then answered e-mails sent in by the viewers. The panto was always on the last Wednesday before Christmas, meaning that it was always broadcast live.

The pantos were:

Jo Brand is the only celebrity who appeared in the panto every year. O'Grady thanked Brand for her appearance in every annual panto on the show after the fifth and final panto on 14 December 2009.

The pantomime did not return in the 2013 revival.

Guest appearances

The Paul O'Grady Show appeared in a series 3 episode of The Catherine Tate Show, where Tate's character Joannie "Nan" Taylor made an appearance. Originally she acted very sweet, but later revealed her true colours. When O'Grady mentioned that they had replaced Joannie's old chair with a new one and placed it in her flat, she became enraged at them for intruding her flat. Nan started swearing and walked off the set, much to the disgust of O'Grady.[19]

The show made a brief appearance in the Doctor Who episode The Stolen Earth.[20]


Series Start date End date Episodes Channel Notes
1 11 October 2004 3 December 2004 40 ITV First Granada Television series and first series on ITV.
2 14 March 2005 27 May 2005 55
3 12 September 2005 23 December 2005 75 Final Granada Television series and final series on ITV until 2013.
4 27 March 2006 16 June 2006 60 Channel 4 First Olga TV series and first series on Channel 4.
5 25 September 2006 26 January 2007 79 Longest series to date.
6 2 April 2007 15 June 2007 55
7 17 September 2007 21 December 2007 70
8 17 March 2008 13 June 2008 60
9 22 September 2008 19 December 2008 65
10 23 February 2009 22 May 2009 65
11 21 September 2009 18 December 2009 65 Final series on Channel 4.
12 11 November 2013 13 December 2013 25 ITV First series on ITV since 2005.
13 28 April 2014 30 May 2014 25
14 20 April 2015 29 May 2015 30
15 March 2017 TBA 2017 TBA


See also


  1. Millar, Paul. "'Paul O'Grady Live' sheds more viewers". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  2. Wightman, Catriona (6 October 2011). "'Paul O'Grady Live' cancelled by ITV?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  3. "The Paul O'Grady Show". ITV Press Centre. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  5. The Paul O'Grady Show. Channel 4. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  6. "BUSTER". Retrieved 2 December 2001.
  7. Welsh, James (10 January 2006). "Paul O'Grady inks deal with Channel 4". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 10 January 2006.
  8. free tickets to your FAVOURITE television and radio shows!. Lost in TV (9 March 2005). Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  9. "'It was a nightmare': Paul O'Grady admits he was fed up with A-Lister baggage on his talk shows". Daily Mail. 10 May 2013.
  10. "The Paul O'Grady Show Episode 1". presscentre.
  11. "Paul unwell". TV Forum. 16 January 2007.
  12. "Community". Channel 4.
  13. The Paul O'Grady Show on Channel 4 at 5:00pm 23 February 2009 : uk tv on (23 February 2009). Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  15. "Paul O'Grady misses show after heart emergency". The Guardian. 19 November 2013.
  16. "The comedian, 58, who has had two full-blown heart attacks, said in a statement he feels "much better" and thanked fans and hospital staff "for their kindness"". Daily Mirror. 19 November 2013.
  17. "Page, French to host 'Paul O'Grady Show'". Digital Spy. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  18. "Paul The Other One". 16 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  19. I
  20. "BBC - Doctor Who - The Stolen Earth - Episode Guide".
  21. Nathan, Sara (15 May 2006). "BBC halts O'Grady's organ". The Sun. UK.
  22. "O'Grady show rapped for charity line charge". Digital Spy. 28 May 2006.

External links

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