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Cilla Black 'in absolute agony' from arthritis'

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Cilla Black 'in absolute agony' from arthritis'

Cilla Black continued working in showbiz despite considerable pain from arthritis.

The 72-year-old singer-turned-TV presenter died from a stroke after falling and hitting her head at her Spanish villa just over a week ago but her close friend Sam Leach, 79, revealed that she had battled severe arthritis for years and had been in terrible pain even while working.

Speaking about filming 'The One And Only Cilla Black' two years ago to mark 50 years of showbiz for Cilla, he told the Daily Express: "During 'The One And Only Cilla Black' she appeared live. She was in absolute agony but you wouldn't have thought so - she was so brave.

"She was in real pain and deaf but she was a professional and wonderful woman and even sang on the programme. She has been in pain for years."

Cilla's good friend Barbara Windsor also revealed that Cilla had been complaining of minor ailments recently.

However, Barbara, 77, said despite her aches, Cilla was still as glamorous as ever.

She said: "I've seen her in the last few weeks looking immaculate - as always - but the last time I saw her I said, 'How's it going?' so she said, 'I don't feel too good, I've got a few aches and that. I said 'Darling haven't we all, haven't we all? We've got to face this haven't we?' but she laughed it off, you know, she said 'Oh but I don't like having the hearing aids and things like that' and I said, 'Well it's old age creeping in darling but look at us.'"