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Paul O'Grady's dog Buster dies

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

The pet, 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.

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.

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. x"