Paul O'Grady ITV

Paul O’Grady has spoke for the first time in detail about the death of showbiz pal Cilla Black.

Paul, who hosts The Paul O’Grady Show, and For The Love of Dogs, for ITV, appeared on today’s Loose Women and spoke about the sudden death of television presenter and singer Cilla Black who died aged 72 in August this year.

‘I couldn’t believe it when I got the phone call, the press rang me up to tell me, and that’s always the worst way to find out…and even now I sort of think, ‘Oh, she’s either in Barbados or Spain. We used to go clubbing, we’d go on holiday together, spoke to her all the time, and even now I think, ‘I must ring Cilla and tell her that’.’

Paul revealed he didn’t know what he was going to say at the funeral of the Surprise Surprise and Blind Date presenter.

‘I sat there and I thought, ‘I don’t know what to say’, and I thought I’ll sort of suss the venue out, and of course I get in, so you’ve got the Bishop of Liverpool on the alter, full Requiem Mass, and I thought ‘I’m gonna swear, I am going to swear with nerves’…so I sat there and I had no idea what I was going to say.’

Of Cilla, who shot to fame in 1964 with two number one hits – Anyone Who Had A Heart and You’re My World, Paul remembered:

‘She was such good fun, she really was, and it’s like Jackie Collins as well, another close friend. I couldn’t believe it, I was in Borneo. …People have said to me, ‘Why don’t you write a book about you and Cilla?’…I’d ask the family first to see what they think.’

Cilla fan, Gareth Wells, from Newmarket, is currently running a campaign to get the popular personality back into the singles chart as 2015’s Christmas number one. Thousands have backed the idea which would see You’re My World purchased in the run up to Christmas Eve.

The One and Only Cilla Black ITV

ITV’s Loose Women, weekdays, 12.30pm on ITV,  UTV and STV

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