Cilla Black has opened up about her poor health and revealed that she struggles with arthritis and hearing loss. The 71-year-old was making the difficult confession as she picked up an award in London, celebrating her 50 years in the entertainment industry.
The TV presenter said that she was "falling apart" and felt that she was no longer able to work, despite receiving plenty of offers following the broadcast of Cilla – a three-part drama based on her early career.
"I am falling apart," said Cilla. "My hand is falling apart. I can't shake hands. I had arthritis and I had an operation for it. I had it done because I was in pain. I am not in pain at the moment. But it looks a bit deformed on the wrist."
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Cilla Black was honoured for her 50 years of work in the entertainment industry
"That has been fixed but it is going to take some time to heal," she added. "I fell in the park earlier this year as well and hurt my hand."
Cilla also shed light on her hearing loss and blamed the gravity of her situation on the Cavern Club – the nightclub birth place of The Beatles in Liverpool, where she would occasionally perform and work as a coat check girl.
"You see on Britain's Got Talent and X Factor they all wear ear plugs," said Cilla. "But I could not hear myself when I wore them. So that is where the strong voice came from. Now I am totally deaf because of the Cavern days."
Cilla Black rose to fame as a singer with her hits including Anyone Who Had a Heart
Cilla, who began her career as a singer and shot to success with hits Anyone Who Had a Heart and You're My World, was presented with the first ever Royal Television Society Legends Award on Friday.
The Blind Date show host was given the honour at the Houses of Parliament, at the society's Christmas lunch.
The award recognises Cilla's 50 years in the television business, at first with the BBC and then ITV, where she became one of the most popular and, reputedly, the most highly paid entertainer on British television.