Another hit was “Blind Date“, a match-making show where she would interview each candidate with the catchphrase “What’s your name and where do you come from?”
The tragic news of Cilla’s death was confirmed by a Spanish police spokesperson earlier today (02.08.15), who said: “I can confirm the death of British national Priscilla White, aged 72”. A cause of death was not disclosed, but police said she appeared to have died of natural causes.
Beatles stars Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have also paid tribute to Black.
She was introduced to music mogul Brian Epstein by Lennon, and was eventually signed by Parlophone Records in 1963, enjoying a huge hit with a cover of Burt Bacharach’s Anyone Who Had a Heart in February, 1964.
She moved into TV in 1967, commanding audiences of 22 million with her BBC variety show.
Last year, Black received honours from Bafta and the UK’s Royal Television Society in recognition of her distinguished career.
Black was married to Bobby Willis, who became her manager and who died in 1999.
He writes, “Cilla was one of my dearest friends… a force of nature, but honest, gritty and always, well, Cilla!…” She was already lifeless by the time he found her within the upstairs room of her villa near the Costa del Sol resort of Marbella.
She said: “Cilla was lovely and I have lots of fond memories of her”. I wanted her album.
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon described Black as “one of my childhood idols”.
She later helped Paul through the loss of his partner of 25 years, Brendan Murphy, in 2012.
Actress and author Collins was among the first to pay tribute online, writing, “I am so sad and shocked by news about my good friend Cilla. But when I was out with her, I would see people stopping and looking as they recognised who she was”. My mum and dad said no, my grandad said yes. I have now spent almost 40 years working as a journalist and Cilla was always a friend to the press.
Singer Sir Cliff Richard said he would “miss her dearly”, adding: “I will always think of her as outrageous, funny, incredibly gifted but above all full of heart”.
She quickly impressed the Beatles and others with her talent, when she gave impromptu performances at the Cavern.