Sir Cliff Richard will pay his own musical tribute, performing his song Faithful One at the start of the service to celebrate her life and mourn the passing of one of Britain’s most enduring and best loved entertainers.
Sir Cliff Richard is among those who will lead the tributes to Cilla Black as her funeral takes place in her home town of Liverpool.
Sir Tom Jones arrives for the funeral of Cilla Black Some of her fans travelled to the Woolton area of the city on buses and sat waiting on camping chairs on grass verges.
“Cilla had a very strong personality and could connect with people”, he said.
After her coffin was brought into the church to the strains of Clair de Lune, guests and family members sang the hymn All Things Bright And handsome.
Tarbuck described Black as “Liverpool’s Cinderella” and the “First Lady of showbusiness”. Black’s funeral will begin at 1pm.
“We discussed my funeral a number of times and she had a major role in it which involved a mantilla and lilies”.
The night before Cilla’s send off, Christopher tweeted: “In Liverpool for a very special friend”.
She told The Gazette in 1971: “I love Blackpool”.
“When he died, life for her was never as sweet”.
Going on, O’Grady said they “looked like something out of Shameless”, joking that Cilla looked like she was taking cocaine because of having a running nose she kept sniffing and touching.
Stars Paul O’Grady, Jimmy Tarbuck and Christopher Biggins will give readings, while The Beatles hit The Long and Winding Road has been chosen as the recessional music to play at the end.
‘I have a faith, and therefore I don’t think anything happens by accident, ‘ he explained.
It was here, as a 25-year-old star of the swinging sixties, that she had a Catholic wedding blessing ceremony after marrying her much-loved Bobby Willis earlier in 1969.
He added: “I know all of our souls will be reunited together… She was so proud that she came from Scottie Road”.
She said: “A lot of tears and a lot of laughter spilled today”.
After the funeral, the entertainer’s body will be laid to rest at a private ceremony in Allerton Cemetery, where her parents are buried. “I remember we’d talk about age sometimes and I said to her, “Cilla, I’m three years older than you”, and she said, “I know Chuck and it’ll always be that way”. Cilla couldn’t find any ice so she came up the stairs with a bag of frozen sprouts and smashed it on my face – broke my nose even more, ‘ O’Grady laughingly recalled.