RICKY Gervais has revealed he has turned down a major presenting role once taken on by Paul O’Grady.
The star, who tragically died earlier this year aged 67, hosted 11 series of For the Love of Dogs on ITV1.
The heartwarming show goes behind the scenes at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in south London and follows the lives of its staff and animals.
Before Paul’s death he filmed the most recent series, which was split into two parts and is now airing in honor of the Lily Savage character.
As The Sun first revealed, ITV bosses are reshaping the format and are now scrambling to find a new face to run the show.
Actor and comedian Ricky, 62, was asked by executives to become the new presenter but admitted he “politely” said no.
The After Life star said: “I’m afraid I’ve already politely declined. But it’s nice to be asked.”
Ricky responded on social media to The Sun’s exclusive story on Sunday that he, Amanda Holden and Martin Clunes were being considered as Paul’s successors.
A source told us: “It’s a heartwarming series which has raised the profile of the charity and ITV plans to continue making it in Paul’s memory.”
It was later confirmed that O’Grady’s death was due to cardiac arrhythmia, having suffered from heart problems in the past.
His husband Andre Portasio told a recent memorial service for Paul how he died while smoking a joint at his home in Kent.
In the last season of For the Love of Dogs, Paul told viewers: “Life is full of unknown twists and turns. That’s why it’s always best to expect the unexpected.”