Cilla becomes biggest ITV drama launch since Broadchurch

The first episode drew 6.7 million viewers

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The Independent Culture

Almost seven million people tuned in to watch the first instalment of Cilla, a three-part drama about the Liverpudlian songstress.

An audience of 6.7 million viewed the ITV biopic, which stars Sheridan Smith as “Anyone Who Has a Heart” singer Cilla Black - making it the biggest drama launch since last year’s murder mystery Broadchurch.

That figure accounted for a 29.7 per cent share of the audience between 9pm and 10pm on Monday night. Broadchurch opened to 7.43 million viewers.

The broadcaster confirmed the news on Twitter:

Written by Jeff Pope, the mini-series also stars Aneurin Barnard as Cilla’s husband Bobby and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein.

Cilla achieved chart success in the Sixties with number one singles “Anyone Who Has a Heart” and “You’re My World”.

The programme depicts the excitement surrounding the Merseybeat music scene as a yet-unknown Cilla rubs shoulders with the young Beatles.

Smith was widely praised for her performance and has already been tipped for a Bafta.

And she was clearly thrilled by the response, tweeting:

Cilla returns to ITV on Monday at 9pm.

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