As one of the country's best-loved entertainers of the 20th century, Cilla Black was frequently seen on television screens and in the media from her early music career up until her death in 2015. However, for the first time, home video and audio footage provided by her family is being televised in Cilla: The Lost Tapes. The documentary will show an intimate look into the singer's life behind the fame and fortune that arose from her singing career in the 60s and as a TV favourite.
WATCH: Cilla Black's son discusses The Lost Tapes
The show includes appearances from Cilla's Surprise Surprise successor Holly Willoughby, and close friends and fellow entertainment industry heavyweights such as Paul O'Grady and Sir Cliff Richard as they comment on the footage and life of the singer. Before the programme airs, here's all you need to know about the music and TV star.
Cilla Black's bio and early career
Cilla was born Priscilla White on 27 May 1943. Growing up in the rock and roll era of music in 60s Liverpool, it's unsurprising that she was in close connection and working with The Beatles. John Lennon even introduced Cilla to Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who signed her in the early 60s and then subsequently introduced her to 'fifth member of the Beatles' George Martin. Cilla then released her first single three weeks later. Her second single, a Dionne Warwick cover, rose to number one in 1964 and spent three weeks at the top of the charts.
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Cilla's close friend Paul O'Grady appears in the documentary
Following her early success in music, Cilla's career went from strength and strength. In the late 60s and 70s, the star fronted her own BBC show Cilla, and she was even considered to take over from Bruce Forsyth on The Generation Game, but she declined to focus on her music career. By the mid-80s, Cilla was doing more TV presenting, including Blind Date, which ran until 2003 and Surprise Surprise, perhaps her most well-known show, which ran until 2001.
Cilla Black's later career and net worth
Cilla continued to work in music and television throughout the 90s and 2000s, appearing on shows such as The Paul O'Grady Show, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and The Friday Night Project. To celebrate 50 years in showbiz, ITV aired a one-off entertainment special in 2013. The show was called The One and Only Cilla Black and was hosted by fellow TV presenter and close friend, Paul O'Grady, and featured special performances and tributes to the star. In 2014, Cilla was given the Special Award at the British Academy Television Awards.
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Cilla Black had an incredibly successful career
After an incredible career in music, television and more, it's no wonder that Cilla's net worth reflects her success. According to Celebrity Net Worth, it was revealed after her death that Cilla was worth circa £15 million ($20 million), and had an estate approximately worth £4 million ($5 million).
Cilla Black's husband and children
Cilla was married to her manager, Bobby Willis, from 1969 until his death in 1999. Together they had three sons, Robert, Ben and Jack. They also had a daughter, called Ellen, who was born prematurely and after lung complications, sadly passed away just two hours old. After Bobby's death in 1999, she described him as 'the love of her life' and the singer never remarried.
Cilla with her late husband and manager Bobby Willis
Cilla Black's death
In August 2015, it was reported that Cilla had passed away at her holiday home in Spain. An autopsy subsequently revealed that she had died from a stroke after suffering a fall at home. After her death, many of those in the showbiz and entertainment industry including Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard and Paul O'Grady expressed their sadness. The day after her funeral, Cilla's compilation album of her most popular tracks went straight to number one in the charts.
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