Cliff Richard and Cilla Black duet released, Black's son reveals

·Reporter
The singing stars were great friends. (PA Images)
The singing stars were great friends. (PA Images)

The late Cilla Black’s eldest son Robert Willis has revealed that a duet between his mother and Sir Cliff Richard has been released just in time for Christmas.

Recently recorded vocals of Richard’s have been set alongside Black’s 1962 recording of ‘You’re My World’ on the just released album ‘Cilla with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.’

Willis told the Daily Mirror that his late mother would be ‘thrilled’ that Sir Cliff Richard has been vindicated in the case against the BBC’s coverage of his home.

“It was terrible what he has been through. He has had a very turbulent time and, amazingly, he’s come out of it. Mum would have been del­­ighted to have duetted with him. She was incredibly loyal and protective of her friends.

“She loved Cliff and would have been really thrilled for him that he was vindicated on every front,” he said.

Richard said in a press statement that it was ‘a privilege’ to appear on her posthumous album.

Cilla Black with Cliff Richard in 1968. (PA Images)
Cilla Black with Cliff Richard in 1968. (PA Images)

“Cilla was a huge TV success. She and her personality, literally, filled our screens year after year. But I will always remember her as a fabulous singer; that is how her career started, and I am so glad that once again, with the release of this CD, we will be reminded of just how good a singer she was. To be asked to sing with her on You’re My World was a privilege,” Sir Richard said.

Willis revealed on Monday’s Loose Women that he has come to terms with her untimely death at aged 72, and that he is happy he can pay tribute through various ongoing projects.

“It is a huge amount of change to deal with…but it has been three years so you do kind of move on. You don’t forget that person and you take them with you in your heart.

“But I have been so fortunate to focus on some great projects such as the musical which has been a great way to channel that bereavement,” Willis said.

The Loose Women panel pointed out that many of today’s audience won’t know Black’s significant music legacy, but rather for her Blind Date hosting role.

Willis said he hoped more people would realise how much a music staple she was in the 60’s.

“She was in an industry dominated by men and she did it on her own terms and she was incredibly successful,” he said.

Robert Willis with late mother Cilla Black in 2014. (PA Images)
Robert Willis with late mother Cilla Black in 2014. (PA Images)

He added that he is grateful fans regularly send him unseen footage of Black via social media.

“I am very fortunate and through social media especially I can see great bits of archive from both of my parents.”

They also discussed how Robert took her late husband’s Bobby Willis management role after he passed in 1999.

“Didn’t have a choice. She was only 56 and too young to retire. All those plans went out the window. I was happy to do it. It was an obligation of sorts but I am glad I could help her keep it all together.

“She did everything that my dad probably wouldn’t have approved of,” he explained.

To which Loose Women panel member Denise Welch quipped:

“I had a few nights out with her that he certainly wouldn’t approve of!”

Was Cilla Black the same exuberant persona both on stage and off? Willis says there was no difference.

“There wasn’t that much difference between performing and her. It was just her! On and off the stage! She really was very much that person. It wasn’t like she was this other person off stage.”

He also revealed that he had chosen the humorous name for their Spanish house ‘Casa Roll’ at the age of five-years-old.


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