Cilla Black dead: Tributes pour in for much-loved Blind Date presenter and entertainer

The 72-year-old was found dead in her Spanish home

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The Independent Online

Tributes have poured in for Cilla Black, as the nation comes to terms with the loss of the beloved British entertainer.

Her publicist, Nick Fiveash, confirmed her death with “deep sorrow” and said details would be announced following the coroner’s report. “Her family have asked for their privacy to be respected at this time,” he said.

The former pop star and television presenter, who enjoyed a 50-year career in showbusiness, lived in Estepona on the Costa del Sol. She was 72. Black, who had arthritis and hearing problems, reportedly died overnight after flying to Spain with her son, Robert.

Sir Bruce Forsyth, 87, was one of hundreds of TV personalities to pay tribute. “She was just a kid… 72 is no age to leave us all,” said the veteran star.

Lord Grade, former executive chairman of ITV, said a once-nervous Black soon gained a natural confidence in front of the cameras and went on to become an “enduring family favourite… One of the all-time greats in showbiz.”

Black's close friend and fellow entertainer Paul O'Grady told the Liverpool Echo: “We’ve been friends for nearly 20 years. She’s like my sister.

“Apart from her hearing she was alright. I thought she was well. I kept telling her she’d outlive us all. She’s such a strong lady."

Black, a TV legend, is seen widely as a member of British entertainment royalty, and unsurprisingly stars of stage and screen have been responding with sadness to the news:

Earlier, a spokeswoman for the Spanish Police told The Telegraph in a statement: "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."