Belfast Telegraph

Cilla Black's final hours revealed

Cilla Black was enjoying champagne just before she passed away, reveals her son Robert Willis.

Cilla Black was drinking champagne and watching Jeremy Kyle just hours before she died.

The TV legend sadly passed away in August (15) at her Spanish villa in Marbella, and her surprise death shocked fans around the world. Many thought 72-year-old Cilla was well up until her death, but after her passing it soon became clear the star’s health had been suffering. Her oldest son Robert Willis, 45, from her marriage to Bobby Willis, has spoken about that last morning they spent together.

“During the last two years she began to suffer fairly standard things that people as they get older would suffer,” he said in a new documentary about the late star’s life. "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. (The day she died) 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.”

The day was like any other, and Robert had no idea that when he popped out it would be the last time he saw his mother alive.

"We hung out and at about one o’clock, I said I was going to do a shop,” he recalled. “I said goodbye and that was the last time I saw her.”

She died that afternoon after falling over because she had suffered a stroke. She was buried three weeks later at Allerton Cemetery in her home city of Liverpool, to a hero's send-off.

As well as Robert, a whole host of Cilla’s famous friends have spoken as part of the special programme, which airs on Christmas Day (25Dec15) on ITV. Joan Collins, Jimmy Tarbuck, Ringo Starr and Andrew Lloyd Webber have all shared memories, as has her close pal Paul O'Grady.

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