Saturday 1 October 2016

5 reasons why we all loved Cilla Black

Published 02/08/2015 | 16:35

File photo dated 31/3/1965 of Cilla Black at London Airport where she was leaving for New York to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show. Photo: PA Wire
File photo dated 31/3/1965 of Cilla Black at London Airport where she was leaving for New York to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show. Photo: PA Wire
File photo dated 5/8/1970 of Cilla Black and her manager and husband Bobby Willis and 10 day old baby on Robert John Willis as they leave the avenue clinic in St Johns Wood, London. Photo: PA Wire

The tragic news of Cilla Black’s death has left fans in Ireland and the UK reeling as they attempt to come to terms with the loss of a huge entertainer and icon who featured on our screens for over 50 years.

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Cilla was a fixture of Saturday night television in the 80s and 90s, with her friendly manner, relaxed presentation and memorable catchphrases cementing her position as one of the icons of television.

Independent.ie takes a look at why the presenter was so loved throughout the years:

1. She was a musical force to be reckoned with

Cilla Black arrives for the party to celebrate the civil ceremony of British pop star Elton John and David Furnish in Windsor, southern England in this December 21, 2005 file photo. Reuters/Toby Melville/Files
Cilla Black arrives for the party to celebrate the civil ceremony of British pop star Elton John and David Furnish in Windsor, southern England in this December 21, 2005 file photo. Reuters/Toby Melville/Files

Cilla Black shot to fame in the sixties with a string of chart hits. Her 1964 single 'Anyone who had a Heart' sat at the top of the British charts for three weeks and sold over 800,000 copies in the UK, eventually becoming the UK's biggest selling single by a female artist in the 1960s.

She followed this up with a number of top hits which secured her position as one of the most successful female recording artists of her generation.

She was a regular collaborator with The Beatles and recorded a number of songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

2. She was a ‘lorra lorra’ fun

Following a successful music career Cilla found herself becoming a television sensation in Ireland as well as the UK with Saturday night hit - Blind Date.

Anyone growing up in Ireland in the 90s will remember gathering around the television screen to watch the dating show (always after Gladiators) on which hopeful bachelors tried to convince a person to take them out.

File photo dated 28/5/1964 of Tommy Cooper and Frankie Vaughn helping Cilla Black to celebrate her birthday. Photo: PA Wire
File photo dated 28/5/1964 of Tommy Cooper and Frankie Vaughn helping Cilla Black to celebrate her birthday. Photo: PA Wire

The show was always funny and heartwarming, made all the more so by Cilla’s relaxed manner and friendly attitude and, of course, catchphrases: It was a lorra lorra fun! 

3. Surprise Surprise there’s more!

Cilla starred on, not just one, but two shows during her prime time on television. Running alongside Blind Date was ITV show Surprise Surprise, where unsuspecting members of the public got granted their wishes or got pranks played on them depending on how the show went.

It was a huge hit with fans once again thanks to the easy presentation style of Cilla, who made anyone feel at ease in the studio. That and, of course, her fantastic singing which opened every show.

4. She was 'the one and only'

In 2013 ITV celebrated Cilla’s life with the One & Only Cilla Black, a show looking back over the star's 50 years in show business. This was followed in 2014 by ‘Cilla’, a critically acclaimed TV miniseries about her life.

Both shows were immensely popular and captured the life of a down-to-earth Liverpudlian girl who never seems to let fame get to her head.

Both specials showed the enduring popularity of the TV megastar and cemented her position as one the most memorable presenters of our times.

5. She was always down-to-earth

While Cilla will be remembered for her music and television roles, what always seemed to draw fans to her was the fact that she didn’t act like she was famous.

Despite being one the biggest British stars of the 80s and 90s, Cilla’s unassuming, unintimidating attitude made her a joy to watch.

There has been an outpouring of support from fans and fellow celebrities since the news broke of her passing - everyone is calling her genuine, funny and friendly - as well as an icon and a giant of television.

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