Cilla Black: The lady who gave viewers a 'lorra lorra laughs'

Cilla Black has died in Spain aged 72, according to reports Credit: PA

Cilla Black has died at her home in the south of Spain, aged 72, according to reports.

Black, who was a successful singer in the 1960s, later went on to become one of the most highly paid and successful light entertainment performers in the history of British television.

Early in her career, she often sang with The Beatles and was the first female artist to be signed by their manager Brian Epstein, after being introduced to him by John Lennon, who persuaded him to audition her.

Cilla Black (c) with The Beatles (back) and other bands at a rehearsal in 1963. Credit: PA Wire
Cilla Black (l) Petula Clark (c) and Sandie Shaw (r) were successful singers in the 1960s. Credit: PA Wire

Black's first number one was Anyone Who Had A Heart, which stayed at the top spot for three weeks in February 1963.

It went on to become the biggest-selling single by a female artist in the history of British popular music at the time.

Black went on score 20 consecutive Top 40 hits on the British single and EP charts, including 11 British Top Ten singles and two consecutive Number One singles in 1964.

Cilla Black, who was voted singer of the year in 1970, poses with Cliff Richard and Lulu. Credit: PA

Her hits included You're My World, Alfie, the theme song from the Michael Caine film of that name, and Step Inside Love.

Cilla branched into acting with 1964's Ferry Across the Mersey, which featured Gerry & The Pacemakers.

Gerry and the Pacemakers are welcomed back to London by Cilla Black after an American tour. Credit: PA Wire

She later made the switch to television and had her own variety show 'Cilla' between 1968 and 1976 on the BBC, which regularly attracted audiences of 22 million.

Cilla Black and Bruce Forsyth record a sketch for a Christmas show Credit: PA Wire

Black later went on to present programmes like Blind Date and Surprise Surprise in the 1980s and 90s.

Blind Date returned to our screens on 16 October 2013, for a one off special. Where producers brought back three of the show's most memorable contestants who were still single, to celebrate Cilla's 50-year career in the entertainment industry.

Cilla during auditions to find hopefuls for a new series of Blind Date in 2002. Credit: Myung Jung Kim/PA Archive/PA Images

Cilla was the recipient of many honors and awards over the years,Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral named an honorary fellowship after her.

She attended the presentation of the Honorary fellowship named after her. Credit: Phil Noble/PA Archive/PA Images

She won a BAFTA in 2014 and was awarded an OBE in 1997.

Cilla Black poses with a special award at the Baftas in 2014 Credit: PA Wire
Cilla Black poses with her OBE at Buckingham Palace Credit: PA Wire

Bobby Willis, Cilla's husband and manager, to whom she was married for over 30 years, died in the late 1990s.

She is survived by three sons, one of whom, Robert, succeeded his father as her manager.