Surprise Surprise and Blind Date star Cilla Black has died aged 72, it was announced today.
Showbiz legend Cilla, who also had two number one singles at the start of a career stretching over 50 years, died in Spain.
A Spanish police spokeswoman confirmed today that Cilla had died at her Spanish home in Estepona on the Costa del Sol.
She said: “I can confirm the death of British national Priscilla White, aged 72.”
“We are still awaiting autopsy results but everything at this stage is pointing towards her death being the result of natural causes.”
Police sources said they thought the death had occurred overnight and they believed Cilla, who suffered from hearing problems and arthritis, had jetted to Spain a few days ago with one of her three sons. Cilla, who often flew to Spain in the summer months, also had homes in London, Buckinghamshire and Barbados.
The Liverpudlian star was born Priscilla Maria Veronica White on May 27 1943. She was championed by The Beatles and enjoyed eleven top ten hits including chart-toppers Anyone Who Had a Heart and You're My World.
Last year she spoke to the Mirror about growing older, saying: “Seventy-five is a good age to go.
“If things are starting to drop off – like the hearing – and I’ve got twinges in the morning, I do think that.”
Cilla was married for 30 years to her manager Bobby Willis until he died in 1999 of lung cancer, aged just 57, leaving her bereft.
She leaves three sons, Robert, Ben and Jack, as well as two grandchildren.
Highly regarded for as a pioneer for women in media, Cilla hosted more than 500 editions of her TV programmes and was the first woman to have her own prime-time chat show on BBC One.
She will be dearly missed.