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Sir Cliff Richard tells of grief at loss of his great friend Cilla

By Harriet Line

Sir Cliff Richard has admitted he still worries about selling tickets to his shows, as he prepares for his 75th birthday tour.

He also spoke about his shock after the death of Cilla Black.

The veteran performer said: “Everybody I’ve talked to seems to be absolutely gobsmacked. And I still can’t get my head around the fact that Cilla’s not with us. Well I think she’ll always be with us, but you know what I mean.

“There are just some people, and Cilla’s certainly one of them, where you thought she’s just going to be around here all the time.”

In May, Cilla revealed in an interview that Sir Cliff had decided to put his apartment on the market in the wake of a police raid.

The pair were good friends, and Sir Cliff allegedly told Cilla that he would never go back to the apartment.

Sir Cliff, who is due to tour the country next month, said he “still wonders if anybody’s going to show up” to his gigs.

He said: “When you start your career you have no concept about longevity, for me you don’t know what’s going to happen, so how it’s gone on I’ve no idea.

“I’m just really grateful that it has gone on and if people want to see me, I like performing so it’s no great hassle for me to come out on tour. I like it.”

The interview was aired almost exactly a year after the BBC broadcast a police raid at Sir Cliff’s Berkshire penthouse.

The BBC was heavily criticised for filming the search in August last year, in relation to the alleged sexual assault of a boy under 16 in the 1980s.

Sir Cliff said the claims against him were “absurd and untrue” and he had “never, in my life, assaulted anyone”. He was interviewed under caution, but has never been arrested or charged.

The 74-year-old has already played 32 sold-out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, where he will perform again on his birthday in October.

He said he has “invited a whole bunch of people”, including showbiz friends, despite usually trying not to work on his birthday.

“I’m just going to work on my birthday and normally I try not to do a concert actually on my birthday but this time I thought what the heck, you know, I’m 75 and so I’ll do my birthday night there.

“I’ve never tried to hide my age anyway and this year, apart from telling everybody I’m 75, you know I’ve got an album coming out and it’s called 75 At 75 because they’re putting 75 tracks on the package.”

He added: “I have to sing certain songs. There are some songs I’ve sung right through from the early ’60s — I have to do The Young Ones, I have to do Summer Holiday, I have to do Living Doll, of course I have to do Devil Woman, We Don’t Talk Anymore and those sort of things.”

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