11 things you may not know about the amazing Cilla Black

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Sunday 02 August 2015 13:00

Singer, TV presenter and national treasure Cilla Black has died in Spain aged 72.

1. Cilla Black was not her real name

She's actually called Priscilla Maria Veronica White, but the Merseybeat newsletter managed to call her "Cilla Black" - and the name stuck, according to Wales Online.

2. She sang the title track for the 1966 film Alfie

When the film was released in the US Cher recorded the title track.

3. She thought of herself as more of a singer than a TV presenter

In an interview with the Express in 2014, she said:

Singing. On my gravestone I want, 'Here lies the singer' not, 'Here lies the TV presenter'.

4. She said the most embarrassing moment of her career was when a man proposed on Surprise Surprise - and his girlfriend said no.

"We’d organised a celebratory dinner, so it was a bit embarrassing."

5. She was friends with the Beatles

She even used to do Ringo Starr's mother's hair and John Lennon wrote her debut single 'Love of The Loved'.

6. She lived next door to Mary Berry

Although she said of her own baking prowess "I’ve been round there for lunch, but it hasn’t rubbed off on me. My idea of baking is buying a ready-make cake mix and throwing in an egg. Mary won’t be impressed.”

7. She turned down Strictly Come Dancing - more than once

She said that no "oldie" had won and she did not like entering things she couldn't win.

8. She asked her late husband Bobby to turn down a record contract

Cilla told the Daily Record last year that Bobby could sing and wrote the B-side to her debut single. But when he was offered a recording contract "I knew it couldn't work". "There was only room for one ego in our relationship – and this ego had landed," she said. "So he had to choose. I felt terrible about it, but...."

9. She always wanted to crack America.

But when she tried, she got homesick.

10. When she fronted-up Blind Date she was the highest-paid female presenter on TV

11. She once rowed with the Guardian over an X-rated front page

In 2003 the cover of their G2 supplement , designed by artist Gillian Wearing, read "F--K CILLA BLACK". "It's funny because Cilla Black is the last person you would say f--k to. You wouldn't imagine saying f--k and Cilla Black in the same sentence." Black described it as a "cheap publicity stunt".

More: Cilla Black dead: Singer and TV presenter dies at Spanish home aged 72, reports say