Sunday 22 April 2018

Sir Cliff Richard still worries about ticket sales, ahead of 75th birthday tour

Sir Cliff Richard will perform on his 75th birthday in October
Sir Cliff Richard will perform on his 75th birthday in October

Sir Cliff Richard has admitted he still worries about selling tickets to his shows, as he prepares for his 75th birthday tour.

Speaking to BBC Radio 2's Paul O'Grady, Sir Cliff, who is due to tour the country next month, said he "still wonders if anybody's going to show up" to his gigs.

He said: "When you start your career you have no concept about longevity, for me you don't know what's going to happen, so how it's gone on I've no idea.

"I'm just really grateful that it has gone on and if people want to see me, I like performing so it's no great hassle for me to come out on tour. I like it."

The interview was aired almost exactly a year after the BBC broadcast a police raid at Sir Cliff's Berkshire penthouse.

The BBC was heavily criticised for filming the search in August last year, in relation to the alleged sexual assault of a boy under 16 in the 1980s.

Sir Cliff said the claims against him were ''absurd and untrue'' and he had ''never, in my life, assaulted anyone''. He was interviewed under caution, but has never been arrested or charged.

An independent report into the BBC's actions found that the broadcaster had caused the singer "unnecessary distress".

The 74-year-old has already played 32 sold-out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, where he will perform again on his birthday in October.

He told O'Grady that he has "invited a whole bunch of people", including showbiz friends, to the gig despite usually trying not to work on his birthday.

"I'm just going to work on my birthday and normally I try not to do a concert actually on my birthday but this time I thought what the heck, you know, I'm 75 and so I'll do my birthday night there.

"I've never tried to hide my age anyway and this year, apart from telling everybody I'm 75, you know I've got an album coming out and it's called 75 At 75 because they're putting 75 tracks on this record package."

He added: "I have to sing certain songs, there are some songs I've sung right through from the early 60s, I have to do The Young Ones, I have to do Summer Holiday, I have to do Living Doll, of course I have to do Devil Woman, We Don't Talk Anymore and those sort of things.

"And every now and then, I'm going to stick one new song in that I've recorded for my next album that probably won't come out until next year and that's the volume two of my rock and roll songbook series, I hope it's going to be, and on that album I've done some classic rock and roll, I've done three Chuck Berry songs, a Little Richard song, Jerry Lewis, Phil Everly."

Sir Cliff also spoke about his shock after the death of Cilla Black.

He said: "Everybody I've talked to seems to be absolutely gobsmacked. And I still can't get my head around the fact that Cilla's not with us. Well I think she'll always be with us, but you know what I mean.

"There are just some people, and Cilla's certainly one of them, where you thought she's just going to be around here all the time."

In May, Cilla revealed in an interview that Sir Cliff had decided to put his apartment on the market in the wake of the police raid.

The pair were good friends, and Sir Cliff allegedly told Cilla that he would never go back to the apartment.

His 75th Birthday Tour starts in Killarney, Ireland, on September 26.

Press Association

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