Remembering Cilla

The girl next door

Friend and comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, described the news of her dealth as “staggering”.The 75-year-old said: “She was the total rags-to-riches story. Totally. She was Liverpool’s Cinderella, and she did go to the ball. What a career. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful career. She reached the heights, she epitomised the word star. She was the girl next door that everybody loved and would have loved as a daughter, a daughter-in-law.”

Forever a loving wife

Cilla was married for 30 years to her manager Bobby Willis until he died in 1999 of lung cancer, aged just 57, leaving her bereft. Although she had many male friends for company she never found love again.

Close to Cliff

Cilla had many showbiz pals but was particularly close to singer Cliff Richard. Speaking about her death Cliff said: "Her passing away is a particular shock because despite the aches and pains we all suffer, she was always so upbeat. I remember when her 60th birthday was approaching and someone asked her how old she would be next birthday. She said: 'I'll be sexty!"

Blind Date

Cilla will always be remembered by a generation as the queen of matchmaking! She brought thousands of couples together in the hugely popular ITV show Blind Date.

Surprise, Surprise

Cilla showed the nation her heart-warming nature in the extremely popular (and still running) show Surprise Surprise. She helped many families reunite after years apart, it was hard to watch the show without shedding a tear.

Family first

Throughout her life Cilla has been supported by her three loving sons, (L to R) Ben Willis, Robert Willis and Jack Willis. Cilla's eldest son Robert took over from his father when he passed away and has been her manager ever since.

Catwalk queen!

In 2008 Cilla showed the world her fun side and fantastic pins when she took to the catwalk for a charity fundraiser.

Cilla Black


A star is born

The Liverpudlian star was born Priscilla Maria Veronica White on May 27 1943. She was championed by The Beatles and enjoyed eleven top ten hits including chart-toppers Anyone Who Had a Heart and You're My World.

Redefining a generation

Cilla was one of the first young females to host her own TV show in 1968. Last May she was awarded an outstanding contribution prize at the Bafta Television Awards for her services to television. Speaking at the awards she said; "I am thrilled to be honoured with this award - I am totally delighted,” she said. “I've been very fortunate to have a long and full career in television and this means the world to me."