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  1. ITV Report

TV personality and singer Cilla Black dies aged 72

Cilla Black arriving at the 2014 Arqiva British Academy Television Awards at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. Credit: : Matt Crossick/EMPICS Entertainment

Blind Date and Surprise Surprise star Cilla Black has died at her home in Marbella, according to reports. She was 72.

The Daily Telegraph report that Spanish police have confirmed the death.

“We are still awaiting autopsy results but everything at this stage is pointing towards her death being the result of natural causes.”, the newspaper quotes a police spokesperson as saying.

The iconic singer and television personality, whose showbiz career spanned 50 years, often spent the summer months in Spain, also had homes in London, Buckinghamshire and Barbados.

Cilla Black, the presenter's stage name, was born Priscilla Maria Veronica White on May 27, 1943.

Cilla Black with the Special Award, alongside presenter Paul O'Grady, at the 2014 Arqiva British Academy Television Awards. Credit: PA

She broke into show business in 1963 with two number one singles: Anyone Who Had a Heart and You're My World.

She was initially managed by Brian Epstein, who also managed The Beatles, after being introduced to him by Ringo Starr.

This launched her on an extraordinary pop career, with 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's pop career persisted until the end of the 1960s, by which time she was an internationally-acclaimed star, having notably successfully broken into the notoriously difficult United States market.

Cilla started her hugely popular presenting career in 1984 with Surprise Surprise, but she was arguably better known for her 18-year stint as host of ITV's Blind Date from 1985 to 2003.

Cilla's Blind Date show was a staple of Saturday TV during its run. Credit: PA

Cilla was awarded an OBE in 1997. In 2005, her autobiography What's It All About? became a best-seller. She has been the recipient of many TV honours and awards.

She met her husband Bobby Willis at the age of 17. He died of cancer in 1999.

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

Her son Robert, who was also her manager, was in Spain with her when she died, according to The Evening Standard.

Celebrities have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to Cilla, including Phillip Schofield, who called her an "entertainment icon".

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