Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Cilla Black to be remembered in ITV Christmas special

There's likely to be a lorra lorra laughs and a few tears as celebrity friends share their memories of the late presenter Cilla Black in a special ITV show to be screened on Christmas Day.

Paul O'Grady, Sir Cliff Richard, and Ringo Starr are among those who will pay tribute to the much-loved singer and presenter, who died at age 72 following a fall at her villa in Spain on August 1.

Black is remembered by many as the face of Blind Date TV show Credit: PA

The television special will include rare archive and interview footage of Black, who rose to fame as a singer alongside the Beatles before embarking on a second career as a presenter.

A star-spangled cast of contributors will include her friends Christopher Biggins, Elaine Paige and Lynda la Plante.

Trusted confidantes including her family, costume designer, hairdresser and photographer will also share their memories from behind the scenes with the showbiz legend.

Black first rose to fame as a pop singer in the sixties Credit: PA

Liverpool-native Black first rose to fame as a singer in the 1960s, with hits including Anyone Who Had A Heart and You're My World.

She frequently appeared at the city's famed Cavern Club alongside fellow young talent The Beatles.

Cilla Black (c) with The Beatles (back) and other bands at a rehearsal in 1963. C Credit: PA

Black later moved on to television presenting, where she is perhaps best known as the hostess of the long-running television show Blind Date, which endeared her to a new generation of fans.

She also fronted Surprise! Surprise! and became first woman to have her own primetime chat show on BBC One, which was called simply Cilla and ran for eight years.

Black poses with her OBE in 1997 Credit: PA

She was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her achievements in the entertainment industry in 1997.

Hundreds of people packed the streets to pay tribute at her funeral in Liverpool this summer.

O'Grady said he Credit: PA

Reading the eulogy at her funeral, O'Grady said: "I am just so grateful that she allowed me into her whirlwind of a life."

"Cilla, I would just like to say, 'thanks for all the fun, thanks for all the laughs -ta-ra girl, I will see you on life's highway'."

Sir Cliff Richard described Black as "the greatest TV presenter of all time"and praised "all the fabulous things about her".

The upcoming tribute programme follows ITV's 2013 biopic, The One & Only Cilla Black, starring Sheridan Smith.

More than seven million people tuned in for the show, which chronicled Black's rise to fame.

The special tribute programme, Our Cilla, airs on Christmas Day at 10.45pm on ITV.