Drag star Rory O’Neill tells of devastation at finding beloved dog of 16 years dead in bed
Rory, aka Panti Bliss, who is one of the favourites to win Dancing With The Stars, admits the death of 16-year-old Penny was a “huge shock”
Panti Bliss, aka Rory O’Neill, has told of his devastation at finding his faithful dog Penny dead in her bed after he returned home from work.
Drag star Rory (54), who is one of the favourites to win Dancing With The Stars, admits the death of 16-year-old Penny was a “huge shock”.
Rory was so besotted with his Jack Russell terrier he even named his second bar Penny Lane in honour of her, and he was regularly pictured with the lovable pooch out and about in his other pub Pantibar.
But he was left in turmoil last November when he returned home from a show in Dublin’s Abbey Theatre to find Penny dead.
“She hadn’t been sick. Obviously she was very old, 16, but she hadn’t been sick or anything and I came home from doing the show in the Abbey one night and she was dead in her bed,” he tells the Sunday World.
“It was a good way for her to go. That’s how I’d like to go myself, quietly, asleep in my own bed.
“She had been with me for 16 years. When she was younger she spent a lot of time in the bar and she was just a constant presence for 16 years and then for her to suddenly not be there was quite a shock. She was like my child to me.”
Despite being hugely upset, Rory had to put on a brave face and continue his show.
“Weirdly, the next night I had to go and do the show in the Abbey again and the show is full of stupid jokes and nonsense and all of that, it’s just a weird thing to do then. With all of these things the show must go on,” he reflects.
The same can said of his Dancing with the Stars journey, as last Sunday Rory ended up in the dance-off before Shane Byrne got eliminated.
“It is what it is. It all happened very fast, so you don’t have any time to think about it at the time,” he says.
“This week is by far the hardest, because we have two different dances to learn. Myself and Denys are doing an American Smooth, and then this week is also when they divide the remaining couples into two different teams and we have to choreograph and learn a big team dance, and that is taking just as long as our regular rehearsals, so suddenly it’s twice the workload.”
Dancing With The Stars is on RTÉ One tonight at 6.30pm.
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