Cilla Black funeral: Sir Cliff Richard to sing tribute at Liverpool service

The singer and entertainer will be laid to rest on Thursday

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The Independent Online

Sir Cliff Richard and Paul O’Grady will lead tributes to Cilla Black today as one of Britain’s most treasured entertainers is laid to rest in Liverpool.

Black’s funeral will be held at St Mary's Church in the suburb of Woolton, where she received a wedding blessing on marrying her late husband and manager Bobby Willis in 1969.

Born Priscilla Maria Veronica White, Black grew up in the tough dockland district of Scotland Road, an area ravaged by wartime bombing, before rising to fame during the sixties with her number one hit, ‘Anyone who Had a Heart’. She went on to host the popular television shows Blind Date and Surprise Surprise

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Members of the crowd as they wait for the start of funeral for Cilla Black at St Mary's Church in Woolton, Liverpool.

Sir Cliff, a close friend of Black’s, will open the service with his song 'Faithful One'. Christopher Biggins will give a reading during the service and Paul O'Grady, who described Black as like a sister to him, will give a final eulogy. 

 

Two of her three sons will read poems at the service, which will be presided over by the Right Reverend Thomas Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool.

O’Grady has revealed Black wanted to be remembered as a singer and 'Anyone Who Had A Heart' will be played during the service. Her The Very Best of Collection could be set to hit the top of the charts on Friday after the Official Charts Company confirmed it is provisionally sitting at number two. 

Her body will then be laid to rest at a private ceremony in Allerton Cemetery alongside her parents.

The Beatles’ ‘The Long And Winding Road’ will close proceedings. 

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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