Sir Cliff Richard pays tribute to Cilla Black
Sir Cliff Richard has paid tribute to the "outrageous" and "incredibly gifted" Cilla Black.
The 74-year-old star - who became friends with the 'Blind Date' host on her variety show 'Cilla' before she became his neighbour in Barbados - has spoken of his sadness at hearing she passed away yesterday (02.07.14) aged 72.
He said in a statement: "Some people will always be with us and Cilla is one of those people.
"I will always think of her as outrageous, funny, incredibly gifted but above all full of heart.
"She was a very special person, and I have lost a very wonderful friend, I will miss her dearly. God bless her."
The 'Devil Woman' singer revealed Cilla would often visit him at his holiday home in Portugal and he had planned to stay with her in Spain this week.
He added: "Her passing away is a particular shock because despite the aches and pains we all suffer, she was always so upbeat.
"Cilla was a dear and loyal friend and I will miss her terribly. I am deeply sorry for her family's loss. But the many happy memories will live on."
Meanwhile, Sheridan Smith - who played the 'Anyone Who Had a Heart' singer in an ITV drama about the early years of her career - has admitted she feels privileged to have been given the chance to get to know the showbiz legend.
The 34-year-old actress wrote on Twitter: "I'm absolutely devastated to hear the tragic news about Cilla. She was the most remarkable woman, a true legend. She was so kind and helpful to me, it was a privilege to play her. My condolences go out to her family and all who loved her. She will be truly missed. X (sic)"