Funeral service for Cilla Black will be held in her home city

CILLA BLACK’S funeral will be held next week, it has been confirmed.
Cilla BlackCilla Black
Cilla Black

The television presenter and former pop star will be laid to rest at St Mary’s Church in Woolton, in her home city of Liverpool, on Thursday August 20.

The Right Reverend Thomas Williams will conduct the service, which he said is due to be held at 1pm.

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Black died of a stroke after falling and hitting her head at her Spanish villa on August 1, aged 72.

Her body has already been flown back to the UK in advance of the funeral, her publicist confirmed.

The star made a posthumous comeback to the UK music charts last week with her compilation album The Very Best Of.

The greatest hits collection, first released in 1983 and then most recently re-released in 2013, landed its highest ever chart position in 14th spot as fans paid tribute.

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It was Black’s highest charting album since Sher-oo in 1968, according to the Official Charts Company.

Her former Number One single Anyone Who Had A Heart, first released in 1964, also returned to the charts in 41st place, marking its highest chart position in 51 years.

Her husband, Bobby Willis, died in 1999.

In a joint statement her three sons Robert, Ben and Jack said: “We are devastated by the sad loss of our mother, but have been deeply touched by all the kind messages of support from her friends, fans, the public and media.

“We would like to thank everyone, especially the people of Liverpool. The tributes and condolences have really helped us through these difficult times.”

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Tributes poured in for the singer led by friends such as Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Paul McCartney and Christopher Biggins.

She rose to fame in the 1960s as an associate of The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein.

Born Priscilla Maria Veronica White in Liverpool, she became the first woman to have her own prime-time chat show on BBC1.

Sir Cliff Richard said: “Her passing away is a particular shock because despite the aches and pains we all suffer, she was always so upbeat.”

Sir Paul McCartney paid tribute to her from Los Angeles, saying: “She was a lovely girl who infected everyone with her great spirit.”