ITV have just released to press a selection of quotes (below) from some of the contributor’s to their Christmas Day tribute ‘Our Cilla’ which airs @ 10.45pm on ITV1.
The unmissable hour-long show features some of Cilla’s closest showbiz pals, dearest friends and colleagues who joined Cilla in her journey through life – from Liverpool girl to international pop star to the queen of Saturday night TV. Alongside the candid, humorous and surprising insights of the people who knew her best are rare interview and archive footage of our Cilla.
Cilla’s son, Robert Willis on his Mum’s death:
“During the last two years she began to suffer fairly standard things that people as they get older would suffer. Her hearing had started to go, so she had to start wearing hearing aids. Typical of my mum, she wouldn’t wear them. The thing that really affected her physically was her arthritis….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. 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 son, Ben Willis on his mum’s notorious nights out:
“It was quite a funny role-reversal in terms of parent and child.”
Paul O’Grady on Cilla’s hair:
“The colour she used to use was called ‘Ginger Twist’. She called me up in a blind panic – they’d discontinued Ginger Twist. Everywhere in the world I went I’d go in and ask for it. They’d look at me with my white hair and I’d say ‘No, it’s not for me, it’s for me friend’.
Jimmy Tarbuck, friend for 55 years:
“She left us too early, much too early. I mean it was like a state funeral, it was six deep on the pavements. Liverpool did her proud that day, as she’d done Liverpool proud.”
Ringo Starr, friend for 57 years:
“She was a really good friend, you could always call on her. 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 or graces.”
Joan Collins on Cilla’s life after Bobby:
“She was looking for a boyfriend. 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.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber:
“She had two voices. She has this very nice, quiet, soprano-ie head voice, which she could turn into a really strong, gutsy chest voice. She was capable of mixing the two, really very cleverly.”
“She was the biggest selling girl throughout the 1960s, and that’s including Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Pet[ula] Clark, Sandi Shaw.”