Cilla Black: Friends and family pay tribute in new TV show

Chloe Best

Cilla Black's nearest and dearest have shared some of their fondest memories of the entertainer almost five months after her tragic death. The 72-year-old passed away at her Spanish home in August after falling and suffering a stroke, and now her son Robert Willis has opened up about his mother's final hours for a one-off TV programme Our Cilla.

"I'd gone for a jog, gone for a swim and stuff. She was sitting around having a glass of champagne killing herself laughing at Jeremy Kyle – without the hearing aids obviously – so blaring out across Marbella," Robert said.

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Cilla Black's friends and family pay tribute in the new TV show Our Cilla

"We hung out and at about 1 o'clock I said I was going to do a shop. I said goodbye and that was the last time I saw her."

Cilla's eldest son also had high praise for his mother, saying: "She was an amazing mum, it was good fun to be with her."

The veteran singer and television presenter had lots of celebrity friends including The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who Cilla had known for 57 years and had previously described as a "fourth brother".

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Cilla's friend Joan Collins pays tribute in the ITV show

"She was a really good friend, you could always call on her," Ringo said. "We made each other laugh; we had the same sense of humour… She was one of the people. She didn't change her accent, didn't put on any airs and graces."

Meanwhile Joan Collins reminisced on how she had tried to help Cilla find love again after the death of her husband Bobby. "She was looking for a boyfriend," Joan said. "I'd say 'I think I might know someone', and she'd say 'no, I don't really want one – I can't forget Bobby. Sometimes I feel like I want one and sometimes I don't."

Cilla was laid to rest in her hometown of Liverpool on 20 August, with hundreds of fans lining the streets to say their final farewell to the star, something which her long-time friend Jimmy Tarbuck was pleased about.

"I mean it was like a state funeral, it was six deep on the pavements," he said. "Liverpool did her proud that day, as she'd done Liverpool proud."

See the full interview on Our Cilla, Christmas Day, 10.45pm. Read our Christmas TV Guide for the lowdown on the best shows to watch over the festive period.

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