Cilla Black's eldest son has revealed exciting details about his mother's final wish - her dream of wanting to turn her life story into a musical. Appearing on Thursday's This Morning, Robert Willis announced how there will be open auditions held around the country to find a star to play Cilla. "It's very exciting and becoming very real," he explained, before adding: "We are holding a series of open auditions around the whole country to find our Cilla - she's out there, so we’ve got to find her. She's got to be able to act and obviously sing."
It's coming up to two years since the iconic TV star died aged 72 after a fall at her holiday villa in Spain. Speaking about the development of the musical, Robert explained: "Before she [his mother] saw the script [of the ITV drama version] she was a little bit nervous about it because it's her life story and it's about her relationship with my dad. But once she read the script she felt a lot better, and once she saw it, she got it and was thrilled." He continued: "We, together with Jeff Pope [the writer] were talking about [a potential musical] whilst we were doing the edit, and Sheridan [Smith - who played Cilla] did all the songs live, so we felt that it could transition."
Cilla Black's son Robert has revealed details of new musical on the late icon
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. Earlier this year, a statue of Cilla was 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 celebrated 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
"She would have loved it and it would have meant a lot to her," commented Robert, later adding: "We started this journey with her, and because everything changed obviously after she died, and we had to make the decision whether we went ahead with this or do we not do it… but I think for a number of reasons, partly because the script is so good, partly because she wanted it to happen, and I guess for me - maybe it's selfish - but I miss her you know? And this kind of connects me to her. And we all want to do it for her."