A statue of Cilla Black has been unveiled at her hometown in Liverpool. The life-size sculpture, which was commissioned by her three sons Robert, Ben and Jack, has been placed outside the iconic Cavern Club as the venue celebrates its 60th anniversary.
The club, which has been credited with launching the career of The Beatles, was where the late star worked as a cloakroom girl before she found fame. Cilla died aged 72 in August 2015 after a fall at her holiday villa in Spain.
Speaking at the launch on Monday, Cilla's eldest son Robert Willis revealed his mother would have been "delighted" with the memorial. "She would've burst out laughing and have been thrilled and delighted," he confessed. "She would have loved being young… she was very youthful, in her attitude and in the way she lived her life and she would have loved being captured at a time when she was young and everything was happening for her."
A statue of Cilla Black has been unveiled in Liverpool
"It brings a smile because they’ve caught the joy," he noted. "We were asked by the Mayor if we wanted to do something, some sort of memorial, and he suggested a statue and we thought that would be very fitting for her. Also, [we thought] if we commissioned it and donated it to the City, it would be a small gesture of gratitude to the wonderful people of this great city and how they responded after our mother died."
The statue has been donated to the city in memory of their mother. Robert added: "It's based on a sixties design, the dress is chequered and it enabled us to put little stories like photos and lyrics hidden in there for people to check out. I'm just incredibly relieved that it turned out as well as it did. We are so happy with it and I hope people enjoy it."
Cilla died aged 72 in August 2015 after a fall at her holiday villa in Spain
Cilla began her career as a singer in 1963, with her singles Anyone Who Had a Heart and You're My World becoming huge hits. In the nineties, the mother-of-three became well-known for turning her singing career into presenting, fronting entertainment shows Blind Date and Surprise Surprise.