Cilla Black’s iconic life and career celebrated in new Channel 5 documentary

Cilla Black is the focus of a new Channel 5 documentary

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Following months of seemingly endless royal documentaries, Channel 5 switched to a different kind of national treasure.

The only mystery was why they chose Sunday to show Our Cilla: The One And Only. As far as I can make out, it wasn’t a significant anniversary in the life or career of Cilla Black.

We must therefore assume it was commissioned to mark the 15 years that have passed since Cilla revealed in a BBC2 documentary that her favourite snack was half an orange with an Oxo cube sprinkled over it.

Anyway, I say national treasure because this 90-minute film was very much a hagiography.

Our Cilla: The One And Only is a new documentary that reflects upon the life and legacy of Cilla Black
(Image: Getty Images)

There was no room for any of the wicked whispers you might stumble across during a quick internet search. The way she treated airline cabin crews, journalists, and fans who pestered her when she was off-duty often crops up – as does criticism of her for betraying her working class roots by supporting the Conservative Party.

Beyond fond memories of her being wonderfully curt and rightfully dismissive whenever I encountered her, I can’t really speak for the way Cilla treated the little folk.

However, given what’s happened in recent elections, it could be argued that she was simply ahead of her time on the Tory thing.

Television star Cilla Black died in 2015

I’m not suggesting Channel 5 should have spent the entire evening serving up tittle-tattle on Cilla, but I wouldn’t have minded some of the more salacious stuff. It would certainly have given us a more rounded picture of Saint Priscilla of Scottie Road.

Unfortunately, the “if you can’t say anything nice…” brigade appears to have a firm grip on TV these days.

Just this week, Graham Norton announced he was going to stop poking fun at celebrities on his chat show.

Which is a shame, because that was always the funniest bit.

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As for Cilla, you cannot tell me that a woman who spent her later years with the likes of Biggins, O’Grady and Winton was averse to gossiping about her fellow showbiz stars.

Of course, she should be celebrated for her timeless pop songs and her trailblazing TV career.

On this occasion though, I might raise a glass in honour of the one fabulous slice of diva behaviour this documentary did reveal to us.

Channel 5 are airing a new 90-minute television special about Cilla Black
(Image: PA)

That back in the 1980s, Cilla demanded a toilet be installed in her dressing room at ITV so she didn’t have to walk down the corridor for a wee.

Sadly, there was no word about whether anyone scrawled “Step inside, luv” on said toilet door.

But I really hope that someone did.

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