Cilla’s last surprise

Aug 2015 Cilla’s last surprise

Cilla Black, whose impressive career spanned 50 years has died at her holiday home in Spain, aged 72.

Cilla had two No.1 singles at the start of her career. Cilla, who often flew to Spain in the summer months, also had homes in London, Buckinghamshire and Barbados. From Liverpool, the star was born Priscilla Maria Veronica White on May 27, 1943. She was championed by The Beatles and had 11 Top 10 hits, including chart-toppers Anyone Who Had a Heart and You’re My World.

Cilla was married for 30 years to her manager Bobby Willis. He died of lung cancer in 1999, aged just 57. They have three sons, Robert, Ben and Jack, and two grandchildren. Robert, who is also her agent, was holidaying with her in Spain.

Comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, a friend of Cilla for more than half a century, was reported to be“staggered.” He said: “She was the total rags-to-riches story. She was Liverpool’s Cinderella, and she did go to the ball. She reached the heights, she epitomised the word ‘star’. A lot of people don’t. They call them that, but she was a star. She was the girl next door that everybody loved and would have loved as a daughter, a daughter-in-law.”

Cilla hosted more than 500 editions of her TV programmes and was the first woman to have her own prime-time chat show on BBC One.