Paul O'Grady's cancer-stricken dog Buster is put down at the age of 14

TV host Paul O'Grady is mourning the death of his faithful sidekick, Buster.

The dog, who was 14-and-a-half years old, had been a regular on O'Grady's Channel 4 show, perching on the desk throughout the programme.

Buster had been ill with cancer and was put to sleep yesterday.

Paul O'Grady with his dog Buster, who has died aged 14-and-a-half

Faithful friend: Paul O'Grady with his dog Buster, who has died aged 14-and-a-half

A spokeswoman said: 'Paul is absolutely devastated. It all happened suddenly. Buster had been suffering and in a lot of pain.

'Putting him down was the kind thing to do.'

Buster, who had been honoured with the title of  'best dog in TV' by TV Times, retired from the show last week.

The animal has long been a source of comfort for 54-year-old O'Grady, particularly after his partner Brendan Murphy died of cancer in 2005 and his own ill health the following year.


'Best dog in TV': The canine was a regular on O'Grady's show

He said in 2006: 'Buster hasn’t left my side since my heart attack. He’s everything to me.'

O'Grady is expected to pay tribute to his pet on Monday's programme.

The shih tzu-bichon frise-cross had featured on a number of TV shows, appearing first on The Big Breakfast Show and later Lily Live.

A message on the Twitter feed created for another of O'Grady's dogs, Olga - who was affectionately known as Buster's sister - said late last night: 'Hate to tell you this folks but Buster died tonight.

'A magnificent little dog who had one hell of a life. I'm beside myself.'

O'Grady had pre-recorded his Radio 2 programme, to be broadcast on Sunday, before the death of his pet.

The station said it would point out to listeners that the show pre-dates Buster's death.

A spokeswoman said: 'An announcement prior to Sunday's show will state that this week's programme was pre-recorded before the sad death of Buster, Paul's much-loved dog.'

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