BY Bridget Orr | August 3 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Mourning for Cilla Black

Tributes flood in for the Catholic family entertainer who died at her Spanish home

Stars of stage and screen have paid tributes to the life of Catholic entertainer Cilla Black following her death on Saturday night at the age of 72.

The UK household name was staying in her holiday home in the Costa Del Sol with her eldest son at the time of her death. Although she is believed to have died from natural causes, a post mortem is taking place.

It is thought likely that the Liverpool legend’s funeral will take place in the Most Holy Name Catholic Church close to her home in Denham, Buckinghamshire, but details have yet to be confirmed.

Following the announcement of her death on Sunday afternoon, she was remembered by Sir Paul McCartney who said: “It was a privilege to know and love her.” Paul McCartney co-wrote her first single with his Beatles writing partner John Lennon.

Actress Sheridan Smith, who played Cilla in ITV’s 2014 drama of her life, described her as ‘the most remarkable woman, a true legend.’

Ms Black, who was born Priscilla Maria Veronica White in 1943, was brought up in a small terrace in Liverpool along with her parents and three brothers.

Before signing with Beatles manager Brian Epstein in 1963, Cilla attended secretarial college and worked in the city’s Zodiac coffee lounge and as a cloakroom attendant at the famed Cavern Club.

While working in  the Zodiac she fell in love with Bobby Willis who, although a Protestant, would eventually become her husband in 1969 despite the sectarian divide in their hometown Liverpool.

After her second single Anyone who had a heart became the biggest-selling single by a female artist in the history of British music, the singer went on to have 20 consecutive hits.

Her success extended to television, fronting an eponymous BBC One variety show generating over 22 million viewers in 1968 and hosted successful ITV shows Blind Date and Surprise Surprise from the 1980s until 2003.

The entertainer’s life was also marked by tragedy. Cilla’s only daughter Ellen died immediately after her premature birth in 1975 and she lost ‘soulmate’ Bobby to lung cancer in 1999.

Cilla Black is survived by her three sons and two grandchildren.

Leave a Reply

latest news

Loving reception for everyone as archbishop welcomes newlyweds

October 20th, 2017 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia urged newlyweds to ‘welcome children as a...

Academia a hotbed of anti-Catholic feeling, says leading education expert

October 20th, 2017 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

A leading global expert on Catholic education has said British...

Pope prays as Italian priest kidnapped in Nigeria

October 17th, 2017 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Pope Francis has offered his prayers after an Italian Catholic...

Tory MSP slams pro-indy politicians over claims Christians shouldn’t vote for right-wing parties

October 13th, 2017 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Pro-independence politicians have parked furore after saying it was impossible...

Social media

Latest edition


exclusively in the paper

  • The uneasy balancing act for the Church in Catalonia
  • The life of a new preist
  • 35 new Saints for the Church
  • Scottish Vincentians make it to Rome

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO