Cilla Black laid to rest at star-studded funeral in Liverpool

Published Thursday, Aug 20 2015, 15:21 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Cilla Black has been laid to rest at a funeral in her home city of Liverpool.

Friends, family and fans remembered the iconic singer and television presenter at a ceremony held in St Mary's Church in Woolton at 1pm on Thursday, 20 August.

Cilla Black's funeral

© WENN / Steve Searle

Thousands lined the streets.

It was a star-studded affair as Cilla's famous friends turned out in force to pay their respects and share their memories of the woman often called a daughter of Liverpool.

Her close friend Sir Cliff Richard opened the ceremony with a poignant performance of 'Faithful One' and addressed he congregation. He described the late star as one of the greatest TV presenters of all time and admitted he struggled to speak about her in the past tense.

"It just seems outrageous. There are certain people that you believe will always be there. Of course, she has been taken from us, but I think that the way to get past all this is to think positive and all the things that were fabulous about her."

Readings came from Jimmy Tarbuck, who read the Prayers of the Faithful, and Christopher Biggins, who delivered a passage from the Book of Wisdom.

Cilla Black's funeral: Paul O Grady

© Rex Features / MCPIX

Paul O'Grady.

Cilla Black's funeral: Andrew Lloyd Webber

© Rex Features / MCPIX

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Cilla's close friend Paul O'Grady spoke affectionately and at times comically about their relationship in a closing address.

Other celebrities in attendance included Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tom Jones, Nigel Lythgoe, Carol Vorderman, Les Dennis and Lorraine Chase.

Cilla Black's funeral: Carol Vorderman and Les Dennis

© WENN / Steve Searle

Carol Vorderman and Les Dennis

Cilla Black's funeral: Tom Jones

© WENN / Steve Searle

Tom Jones.

Well wishers gather on the street with balloons spelling 'Cilla' on August 20, 2015 in Liverpool, England. Singer and TV host Cilla Black died on the 1st August at her home in Spain after a head injury caused by a fall.

© Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Thousands of fans lined the streets.

Cilla's sons Robert and Ben also gave readings and spoke about life with their mother and her achievements, with Ben saying his mother's "young at heart" personality had really clicked with her audience. "I think this was one of the reasons so many people loved her dearly. She loved being a star. She lived to entertain and make people happy. But she also valued her privacy greatly."

Floral tributes were sent from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, who were unable to attend. Thousands of fans lined the roads on the route to the church, with many throwing flowers on the funeral hearse as it went past. The ceremony was also televised for viewers at home.

Former Blind Date presenter Cilla died of a stroke after falling over at her Estepona, Spain home on 1 August at the age of 72.

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