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Cilla Black dies in Spanish holiday home

Published 02/08/2015

Cilla Black posing for the media with her OBE she received form the Queen during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London in 1997. John Stillwell/PA Wire.
Cilla Black posing for the media with her OBE she received form the Queen during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London in 1997. John Stillwell/PA Wire.
Bands 'Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas' and 'Gerry and the Pacemakers', holding up the singer Cilla Black, March 23, 1964. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Express/Getty Images)
From left to right: George Alexander; Pete Swettenham, Geoffrey Swettenham and John Perry, the four members of the "Grapefruit" pop group are seen seated at a table at the launch of their record "Dear Delilah, in the Mayfair Suite at Hanover Grand Hotel in London in 1968, with with Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, folk singer Donovan; Beatles' Ringo Starr and John Lennon; Cilla Black and Paul McCartney in the background. (AP Photo/Robert Dear, File)
British pop singer Cilla Balck smiles with her fiance Bobby Willis, in Mayfair, London in 1969. (AP Photo, File)
Cilla Black, in 1963, who has died at her home in the south of Spain, according to reports. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. PA Wire.
Prince Harry meets Cilla Black before playing in the inaugural Setebale Polo Cup at the Apes Hill polo club on January 31, 2010 in Apes Hill, Barbados. (Photo by Arthur Edwards/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Some of the pop stars who attended the New Musical Express 1964-1965 Annual Pollwinners All star concert at the Wembley Empire Pool, London. Among them are Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, The Bachelors, the Rolling Stones, the Searchers, the Animals, Tom Jones, Marianne Faithfull, the Seekers, Donovan, Wayne Fontana, Twinkle, Herman's Hermits, Jimmy Saville, The Echoes, Kathy McGowan, the Mike Leander Show Band, and the Ivy League. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Cilla Black attends the Christmas Celebration at Hampton Court Palace hosted by Sir Cliff Richard (R), the annual fundraising dinner in aid of the Cliff Richard Tennis Foundation which introduces children to the sport, held on December 8, 2005 in Surrey, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Cilla Black (Priscilla White) rehearses a song with Paul McCartney in a recording studio. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
Cilla Black (left) and comedienne Faith Brown are entertained by comedian Mike Yarwood at the unveiling of a plaque in honour of Bill Cotton in London. Neil Munns/PA Wire.
Cilla Black with her Top ITV Personality Award presented at the 1997 British Comedy Awards. Rebecca Naden/PA Wire.
Cilla Black and manager Bobby Willis after their wedding at St Marylebone Register Office in London in 1969. PA Wire.
Cilla Black and her manager and husband Bobby Willis and 10 day old baby on Robert John Willis as they leave the avenue clinic in St Johns Wood, London in 1970. PA Wire.
Shirley Bassey and Cilla Black arrive for the world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom Of The Opera at Odeon Leicester Square, central London in 2004. Andy Butterton/PA Wire.
Cilla Black, pictured in 1964, who has died at her home in the south of Spain, according to reports. PA Wire.
Cilla Black with her 10 day old baby son Robert John Willis as they leave Avenue Clinic in St John's Wood, London in 1970. PA Wire.
Michael Parkinson and Cilla Black arrive for the Bob Monkhouse BAFTA Tribute at BBC Television Centre in west London in 2004. Yui Mok/PA Wire.
Cilla Black and Cliff Richard at BBC Television office in Shepherd's Bush, London, as they helped to count votes for Britain's song for Europe in 1968. PA Wire.
Cilla Black with Cherie Booth, Chancellor of John Moore's University in Liverpool in 2000, after she attended the presention of Cilla's honorary fellowship at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. Phil Noble/PA Wire.
Cilla Black, son Robert Willis and his new wife Fiona after their wedding at St Mary The Virgin Church in Denham, Buckinghamshire in 2001. Matthew Fearn/PA Wire.
Paul O'Grady and Cilla Black arrive for Attitude Magazine's 10th Birthday Party at the Atlantic Bar & Grill in central London in 2004, to celebrate 10 years for the gay style magazine. Myung Jung Kim/PA Wire.
Tommy Cooper and Frankie Vaughn helping Cilla Black to celebrate her birthday in 1964. PA Wire.
Cilla Black at London Airport where she was leaving for New York to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1965. PA Wire.
Cilla Black after she received a special award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting, at the Television and Radio Industries Club (Tric) Awards in London in 2000. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.
Cilla Black arriving at the O2 Silver Clef Awards 2010, held at the London Hilton Hotel.
Cilla Black arriving at ITV's 50th Anniversary Dinner at the Guildhall, central London in 2005. Ian West/PA Wire.
Cilla Black and John Madejski arriving at YOTA's sponsored launch of Mikhailovsky's Swan Lake, at the English National Opera, St Martin's Lane, London in 2010.
Cilla Black, voted the Top British Singer (female); Cliff Richard, voted Mr. Valentine and Best Dressed Star (male) - he was also runner up to Tom Jones in the Top British Singer (male section); and Lulu, voted Top Female Singer (World), Miss Valentine and the Best Dressed Star (female), during the Disc and Music Echo Fourth Annual Readers' Poll Awards - Cafe Royal, London in 1970.
Lionel Blair and Cilla Black arriving for the Help the Aged Living Legend Awards, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire in 2006. Hugo Philpott/PA Wire.
Cilla Black and Bruce Forsyth record a sketch for a Christmas show at ABC-TV's studios in Teddington in 1965.
Cilla Black during the 2008 Fashion for Relief show during London Fashion Week at the BFC Tent, Natural History Museum, London.
Cilla Black leaves the St. Mary the Virgin Church in Denham, Buckinghamshire, with her son Ben (second right) following the funeral of her husband Bobby Willis in 1999 after a battle with liver and lung cancer, aged 57. Cilla Black has died at her home in the south of Spain, according to reports. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday August 2, 2015. See PA story DEATH Black. Photo credit should read: Toby Melville/PA Wire
Brian Epstein (behind) with artists, Cilla Black, Tommy Quickly (right and Billy J Kramer appearing in his show at the Palace Theatre, Manchester in 1964. PA Wire.
Cilla Black and Jimmy Tarbuck during the inaugural International Scouse Day in 2000 at the Sugar Reef Restaurant in London. Toby Melville/PA Wire.
Cilla Black and her husband Bobby attending the Royal Television society awards ceremony at The Grosvener in London in 1997. Cilla Black has died at her home in the south of Spain, according to reports. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday August 2, 2015. See PA story DEATH Black. Photo credit should read: Neil Munns/PA Wire
Rehearsals at Alpha studios, Birmingham, for ABC's 'Thank Your Lucky Stars' programme with Brian Matthew, Cilla Black (centre), The Beatles (back), Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Searchers in 1963. PA Wire.
Cilla Black, Petula Clark and Sandie Shaw at the Dorchester Holel, London for the Variety Club of great Britain in Tribute To the Record Industry in 1965. PA Wire.
Elizabeth Hurley (right) with Cilla Black during the The Sportingbet Winter Festival, Hennessy Gold Cup Day at Newbury Racecourse in 2012. Phil Cole/PA Wire.
Prince of Wales talking to actress Wendy Richard (left) andCilla Black (centre), while attending a reception to mark the 50th Anniversary of BBC Radio 4's "The Archers" at St, James Palace, in London in 2001. Cilla Black has died at her home in the south of Spain, according to reports. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday August 2, 2015. See PA story DEATH Black. Photo credit should read: Michael Stephens/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II meeting TV presenter Cilla Black (left) in 2005. Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire.
Prince Harry meets Cilla Black before he plays in the inaugural Setebale Polo Cup at the Apes Hill polo club in Barbados in 2010. Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire.
Gerry and the Pacemakers are welcomed back by Cilla Black and Billy J Kramer (both on right) when they arrived in London from their American tour in 1964. PA Wire.
Cilla Black shares a joke with the Duke of York (left) and banker David Barchetti at Knowsley Hall on Merseyside at the start of the NSPCC winter ball in 2002. Phil Noble/PA Wire.
Cilla Black, host of TV show Blind Date, during a photocall at the New Connaught Rooms, London in 2002, where auditions were held to find hopefuls for the new series, which will be shown on ITV. Myung Jung Kim/PA Wire.
Cilla Black and her son Robert Willis arrive at the FCO building in central London in 2014 for a reception for Britain's creative industries. Philip Toscano/PA Wire.
Cilla Black with the Special Award, at the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2014 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. Ian West/PA Wire.
Pop singer Cilla black carries her son, Robert John Willis from the aircraft at Heathrow Airport after flying back from Nice in 1971. PA Wire.
(Left to right) Joe Loss, Lionel Blair, Cilla Black, and Billy J Kramer demonstrate a new dance routine to accompany Joe Loss's new track Let's Kick in 1964. PA Wire.
Comic duo Dudley Moore (right) and Peter Cook are joined in a sketch by singer Cilla Black in 1966. PA Wire.
(Left to right) Cilla Black, Harry Secombe and Dame Vera Lynn at the Variety Club of Great Britain luncheon thanking the British Record industry for its contribution to the club's work for children's charities in 1971. PA Wire.
Cilla Black during the launch of her dating show 'Blind Date', on the balcony of the Dorchester Hotel in London in 2001. Yui Mok/PA Wire.
Cilla Black, Sir Cliff Richard and Colin Firth in the Royal Box on Centre Court during day eleven of the Wimbledon Championships at the 2014 All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. John Walton/PA Wire.
Cilla Black and Christopher Biggins arriving at Claridges Hotel in London for the wedding of actress Joan Collins to Percy Gibson in 2002. Andy Butterton/PA Wire.

Blind Date presenter Cilla Black has died at the age of 72.

The legendary host died from natural causes at her home in Marbella, Spain.

A Spanish police spokesperson told The Daily Telegraph: "I can confirm the death of British national Priscilla White, aged 72."

"We are still awaiting autopsy results but everything at this stage is pointing towards her death being the result of natural causes."

In recent years, she has been vocal about suffering from arthritis and hearing problems and flew to her Spanish villa with her one of her sons last week.

Cilla is regarded as one of the most cherished presenters in British broadcasting history and was a successful singer with number one Anyone Who Had A Heart in 1964, which was one of the biggest hits of the decade.

As the much-loved entertainer approached her 71st birthday last year, she said that 75 might be an okay age to die.

She became one of the nation's favourite entertainers after transforming herself from a successful singer in the 1960s to the front woman on shows such as Blind Date and Surprise! Surprise!

An associate of The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein in the early 1960s, she scored two number ones in 1964 - Anyone Who Had A Heart and You're My World - as well as enjoying many other hits, before going on to concentrate on TV.

She went on to host more than 500 editions of her programmes and was the first woman to have her own prime-time chat show on BBC1.

She hosted Blind Date from 1985 to 2005 and was made an OBE in 1997.

The life of the entertainer was portrayed in an ITV biopic last year, which followed the story of the typist's rise to fame.

Cilla, which starred Sheridan Smith and pulled in more than seven million viewers, propelled the singer briefly back in to the music charts with Anyone Who Had A Heart.

Dame Joan Collins has led tributes to Cilla Black.

Collins expressed her sadness on Twitter: "I am so sad and shocked by news about my good friend Cilla. She was a resplendent and rare talent. RIP."

Fellow TV presenter and friend Paul O'Grady struggled to believe the news.

"Please tell me this isn't true? We've been friends for nearly 20 years. She's like my sister," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"Apart from her hearing she was all right. We had a week together in Barbados at the beginning of the year and I saw her on my birthday.

"I thought she was well. I can't believe it to tell you the truth."

Her colleague on Surprise Surprise, Bob Carolgees, first worked with Cilla over 40 years ago.

"This is shocking news, I first worked with Cilla in summer season nearly 40 years ago and went on to work with her for almost 10 years on Surprise Surprise along with summer season and pantomime," he said.

"She has been taken far too early but can now be with her beloved Bobby. Thoughts to all her family."

TV personality Carol Vorderman said she was "deeply shocked" to learn of Black's death.

"I hope you are now at peace lovely lady. Thank you for the lunches and the laughs x," she tweeted.

Surprise, Surprise presenter Holly Willoughby posted a photo of her and Black together on the show, writing: "This photo is even more special to me now...."

Before that she wrote a touching message saying: "So so sad to hear the news that we have lost one of my heroes, Cilla you were one incredible lady! Sending all my love to her family. X."

Gabby Logan called her the "complete entertainer/host in an era when everyone watched TV. She was a trail blazer. RIP Cilla."

Loose Women's Carol McGiffin also paid tribute on social media, writing: "Feel privileged to have worked with her, she was hilarious and she really knew how to live. She will be missed."

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