Paul O'Grady's eleventh and final series of For the Love of Dogs premieres at 8.30pm on ITV tonight.

Shot on location at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home just before his untimely death at the age of 67 last month, the opening instalment will feature the late comedian melting over a beautiful Newfoundland in dire need of leg surgery.

He'll also encounter a Labrador cross who happens to be obsessed with water and keeps flooding her kennel, and a petrified Bichon Frisé that was originally discovered wandering around a forest all on its own.

For Paul's millions of fans across the country, it'll be an emotional 30 minutes.

Back in 2012 when For the Love of Dogs aired its first series, Paul spoke of his fondness for the project, admitting: "Hand on heart. This has been one of the nicest jobs I've ever had.

"Battersea is a magical place. People think it's all doom and gloom but it's not, it's such a happy place. I've had a ball. It's such an enriching place to work. I'm coming back. They can't get rid of me.

"Once I became really involved, I'd go home and worry about the dogs. I'd be ringing friends saying, 'I've found a lovely dog for you'. The aim of the game for me became to re-home these dogs. I'd like to see this place empty. All go off to nice homes. Hopefully, after watching the programmes, that what's going to happen."

His last-ever interview about the show was similarly compassionate earlier this year, as he went on to share: "It's always such a joy to be back at Battersea. It really is my second home and I'm part of the furniture now.

"There are some smashing dogs in the new series, they really are lovely. But some sad stories as well. And of course there is a dog that I fall in love with too. There always is!"

Paul's husband of six years Andre Portasio announced the TV star's tragic passing in a statement last month.

"It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening," it began.

"We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss. He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.

"I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years."


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