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Legendary TV presenter and singing star Cilla Black dies aged 72

2015-08-02 14:25:31

Surprise Surprise and Blind Date star Cilla Black has died aged 72, it was announced today.

Cilla, who also had two number one singles at the start of a showbiz career stretching over 50 years, died in Spain.

A Spanish police spokeswoman confirmed today that Cilla had died at her Spanish home at her home in Estepona on the Costa del Sol.

She said: “I can confirm the death of British national Priscilla White, aged 72.”

“We are still awaiting autopsy results but everything at this stage is pointing towards her death being the result of natural causes.”

Cilla Black

Cilla Black

Police sources said they thought the death had occurred overnight and they believed Cilla, who suffered from hearing problems and arthritis, had jetted to Spain a few days ago with one of her three sons.

Cilla, who often flew to Spain in the summer months, also had homes in London, Buckinghamsire and Barbados.

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.

Last year she spoke to the Mirror about growing older, saying: “Seventy-five is a good age to go.

“If things are starting to drop off – like the hearing – and I’ve got twinges in the morning, I do think that.”

Cilla BlackThe Villa belonging to Cilla Black near Marbella

Cilla BlackCilla Black arriving for the 2014 Arqiva British Academy Television Awards

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.

She leaves three sons, Robert, Ben and Jack, as well as two grandchildren.

The iconic British star, who was famous for her music career as well as her Surprise Surprise show, passed away this weekend although details remain unknown at this time.

Highly regarded for as a pioneer for women in media, Black went on to host more than 500 editions of her programmes and was the first woman to have her own prime-time chat show on BBC One.

Andrew Newman, the chairman of Bafta's television committee, previously said: "From hosting her own show for the BBC in '68 to defining ITV entertainment throughout the '80s and '90s, Cilla has been an extremely popular and hugely influential entertainer throughout her long career in television ."

Speaking in May last year, showbiz legend Cilla Black said she is ‘over the moon’ to be receiving an outstanding contribution prize at the Bafta Television Awards .

"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."

Cilla BlackCilla Black and her husband and personal manager Bobby Willis

Cilla’s rise to stardom was recently told in an award-winning three-part drama starring Sheridan Smith.

Of watching the show, Cilla, she said: “It’s a strange experience seeing other people recreating your life… I was a bit worried when I heard that Sheridan was playing me because I’d only ever seen her as Mrs Biggs.”

Cilla Black

She added: “I needn’t have worried because Sheridan is absolutely terrific.”

Cilla married her manager Bobby in 1963 and was desperate to be a star.

“Bobby was offered his own recording contract,” she had said. “But I made him say no. There was only room for one ego in our relationship."


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