Cilla Black funeral: Fans and stars mourn 'Liverpool's Cinderella'

Fans and mourners packed the streets to pay their respects Credit: PA

Video report by ITV News' Martin Geissler

Family, friends and fans of the much-loved entertainer Cilla Black have gathered to bid her goodbye at her funeral in Liverpool.

Fans and mourners packed the streets to pay their respects as a black hearse, bedecked with flowers, carried Black's coffin on its two-mile journey to St Mary's Church in Woolton for her funeral.

Sir Cliff Richard said he forgot "how much people loved her" as he came close to tears while performing Faithful One.

Black's friends Paul O'Grady, comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, Sir Tom Jones, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Christopher Biggins were also among the mourners.

Paul O'Grady, another of Black's good friends, told the congregation Black was 'a wonderful woman' Credit: PA
Jimmy Tarbuck speaks at the service. Credit: PA Wire

Paul O'Grady prompted tears and laughter from the congregation with stories of the pair's decades-long friendship, including the time he broke his nose in a jacuzzi while he and Black holidayed in Barbados together.

She accompanied him to hospital, he with a bag of sprouts pressed to his face and she with a denim skirt on and nursing a cold, rushing back and forth to the toilet after taking a water tablet.

"We looked like something out of Shameless," he said, to laughter.

He told the congregation: "It is so right that she has come home today, because she was a true daughter of London, I mean Liverpool - sorry Cilla - and Scottie Road was never far away..."

Tarbuck who knew Black since he was 15, said: "She was Liverpool's Cinderella, if you wrote that story, that's Cilla Black's life.

"Unfortunately she's left us too early, it's dreadful. If you met Cilla you liked her, that's nice to know, she was a delightful girl."

After her coffin was brought into the church to the strains of Clair de Lune, guests and family members sang the hymn All Things Bright And Beautiful.

Black's son Robert Willis described his mother as a "wonderful lady who had touched all our lives and brought joy and laughter" to those she knew".

"Her pure enthusiasm, self belief and wonderful sense of humour made being with her a joy and a pleasure," he said.

Her other son Ben said his mother was a "fiercely proud and determined" woman who "refused to compromise".

Black's coffin was carried from the church to the sound of The Beatles' The Long And Winding Road, another reminder of her links to her home town of Liverpool, her friends in the city and its famous musical alumni.

Her body was then driven away to be laid to rest at a private ceremony in Allerton Cemetery alongside her parents, a red scarf tied to one of the hearse's wing mirrors.

Black's coffin was carried from the church to the sound of The Beatles' The Long And Winding Road Credit: PA

Born Priscilla Maria Veronica White, she grew up with her parents and brothers above a barber's shop in the tough dockland district of Scotland ('Scottie') Road, the inner-city area ravaged by wartime bombing.

Black's career spanned six decades before her sudden death, aged 72, after a fall at her villa in Spain on August 1.

Though she first found fame as a singer in the 1960s, younger generations grew up with her as a staple of Saturday night TV, on her long-running popular shows Blind Date and Surprise, Surprise.

Throughout her career Black never lost touch with her roots as a 'Liverpool lass'.