Thursday 27 April 2017

Cilla Black's son found star's body after smashing his way into her bedroom

Spanish sources reveal the star's doting son Bobby became concerned after she failed to rise after her siesta

The legendary singer, broadcaster and entertainer Cilla Black, who died suddenly yesterday at her holiday home in Spain at the age of 72.
The legendary singer, broadcaster and entertainer Cilla Black, who died suddenly yesterday at her holiday home in Spain at the age of 72.
Cilla Black died at her home in the south of Spain

Anita Singh

Cilla Black's doting son Bobby discovered the star's body after smashing his way into her bedroom when she failed to rise from an afternoon siesta.

The legendary singer and TV presenter's eldest child broke open her door when he went to see if she was okay late Saturday afternoon and got no response.

Cilla receives her OBE in 1997
Cilla receives her OBE in 1997
File photo dated 4/5/2004 of Paul O'Grady and Cilla Black arrive for Attitude Magazine's 10th Birthday Party at the Atlantic Bar & Grill in central London, to celebrate 10 years for the gay style magazine. Photo: Myung Jung Kim/PA Wire

Spanish sources said Cilla's son found her lying on her back on a sun terrace adjoining her bedroom.

She was already dead by the time he found her in the upstairs room of her villa near the Costa del Sol resort of Marbella.

The TV star at a photoshoot for ‘Blind Date’ in 2001
The TV star at a photoshoot for ‘Blind Date’ in 2001
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

Paramedics arrived at the property in a quiet cul-de-sac around 6pm on Saturday but could do nothing to save her.

Her body was removed around 1.30am on Sunday after police, a forensic expert and the judge in charge of a routine investigation into Cilla's death visited the scene.

Traffic jams in the area caused by a nearby David Guetta concert are understood to have delayed the arrival of some of the officials called to the detached property - called Casa Roll - and led to the agonising wait before Cilla's body was taken away.

The body was driven directly to the Forensic Medicine Institute in Malaga where a post-mortem is expected to take place later today.

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
File photo dated 13/10/2005 of Cilla Black arriving at ITV's 50th Anniversary Dinner at the Guildhall, central London. Photo: Ian West/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
Cilla Black with her late husband Bobby
File photo dated 12/2/1964 of Cilla Black who has died at her home in the south of Spain, according to reports. Photo: PA Wire

Spanish police confirmed on Sunday they were awaiting autopsy results but said everything was pointing towards Cilla's death being the result of natural causes.

But sources close to the investigation said this morning medical examiners will look closely at marks on her right arm and elbow which they believe may be linked to a fall potentially caused by a sudden temperature change.

File photo dated 27/11/2007 of Cilla Black attends the private view of the new 'Modern Muses' photography exhibition by Bryan Adams at The Hospital, Endell Street in London. Photo: Carmen Valino/PA Wire
File photo dated 27/11/2007 of Cilla Black attends the private view of the new 'Modern Muses' photography exhibition by Bryan Adams at The Hospital, Endell Street in London. Photo: Carmen Valino/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

A source close to the inquiry said: "Cilla's son found her lying face upwards in a solarium-style sun terrace next to her bedroom.

"There's no conclusive autopsy results yet but the main theory right now is that she had a dizzy turn after going from an air-conditioned room into the midday heat and losing her balance.

"The marks she's got are consistent with a fall where she's put up an arm as a defence mechanism.

"What's need to be determined now is why she fell and whether it was indeed to do with the sudden change in temperature and the effect that had on her - which seems the most likely scenario at the moment - or whether something else triggered the collapse.

20-year-old Cilla in 1963
20-year-old Cilla in 1963
File photo dated 6/12/2004 of Shirley Bassey and Cilla Black arrive for the world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom Of The Opera at Odeon Leicester Square, central London. Photo: Andy Butterton/PA Wire

"Midday temperatures on Saturday in the area were in the high eighties and we know Cilla wasn't in the best of health.

"More tests may be necessary after the autopsy to get to the bottom of whats really happened.

"There's no evidence to link Cilla's death to any criminal act but police and courts generally like to keep an open mind on things."

The possibility she fell because she was confronted on the terrace by a would-be burglar has also been looked at and not yet excluded although it is not being seen as a probable scenario.

Investigators believe Cilla died at some point between 1.30pm on Saturday when she went upstairs for her afternoon nap - and 3.30pm.

Her eldest son is understood to have jetted to Spain the day before the tragedy.

Spanish authorities have not confirmed whether Cilla, who suffered crippling arthritis and hearing problems, arrived before or with Bobby.

He is now staying at a different property in the area.

Younger siblings Ben, 41, and Jack, 34, are staying at the house where their mother died after flying to Spain when they heard the terrible news of her death.

Ben said on Sunday as he returned from a shopping trip to a local supermarket that the family did not want to comment at this stage.

Cilla, born Priscilla Maria Veronica White in 1943 in Liverpool, told last year how she would like to die at 75 before she became too frail to enjoy life.

She said: "Seventy-five is a good age to go. I know it's only four years away but I take each day as I find it."

Speaking of how she watched her mother Priscilla endure a slow and painful death from bone disease osteoporosis in 1996, she said: "It wasn't a good experience. My biggest fear is going like that when I can't control my body."

A fan today laid flowers outside Cilla's home.

The message on the bouquet said: "RIP Cilla Black. With love from all your British fans in Spain."

Read more here:

Telegraph.co.uk

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