Cliff Richard taking a break from performing but insists he’ll never retire

British singer Cliff Richard gestures as he leaves after speaking to members of the media near the Houses of Parliament in London on July 1, 2019. - Singer Cliff Richard, and radio host Paul Gambaccini, announced they will launch a petition in an attempt to change the law to give anonymity to those accused of sexual offences, until they are charged. Richard and Gambaccini were both falsely accused of historical sex offences. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Cliff Richard says he'll never retire. (Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

Sir Cliff Richard has said he's taking a break from performing - but it definitely doesn't mean his career is over for good as he will never retire.

The veteran performer, 81, said that he preferred to refer to his lack of work commitments as "stopping" rather than "retiring", a word he claimed is "not in my vocabulary".

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He told The Mirror that he liked having the option of changing his mind about work: "I don’t know if I ever want to retire. I don’t mind stopping.

"Stopping would mean that I could absolutely change my mind any time I wanted to, or phone my office and say, 'Can you get us a couple of nights at the Royal Albert Hall?'

Sir Cliff Richard takes to the stage as part of his 60th anniversary tour at the 3 Arena, Dublin.
The singer says he's taking a break. (PA media)

"So, retiring is not in my vocabulary, but stopping is good for me – I can work whenever I want to, if I want to."

Sir Cliff is in the unusual position of knowing that he could book out the Royal Albert Hall even after a career break as he is the only performer to have racked up a top five album in eight consecutive decades.

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He admitted that he had his "fingers crossed" that no other artist would be able to top the achievement in his lifetime.

Sir Cliff Richard on day eight of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
Cliff Richard has had top five albums in eight consecutive decades. (PA media)

The star also spoke about his love and admiration for showbiz pal Olivia Newton-John and her attitude to going through cancer treatment multiple times.

Sir Cliff said that she had a permanent positive attitude and described her as "one of the most stalwart people I have ever met", explaining that she described getting through her health troubles as "just getting rid of something I don’t want" rather than a battle.

The singer also recently announced the end to his topless calendars, writing in his book The Dreamer: “I suspect I have done my final topless photo.”

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