perfroming at the Cliffs Pavillion, Southend. July 1980
Maria Veronica White was born on the 27th May 1943. She was brought
up in a two-up two-down on Scotland Road by her Father, a docker
and Mother, who ran a market stall .
attended St Anthony's Junior & Secondary Schools before leaving
at the age of 14 to begin a typing course at Anfield Commercial
College. By the age of 20, she had progressed from student to full
time Dictaphone typist, but Cilla had greater ambitions.
her lunch hour, she was a hat girl at the Cavern, whilst at night
she served coffee at The Zodiac (Duke Street). It was here that
she met her husband to be Bobby Willis. Performances at the Cavern
made Cilla a well known star in her own home town, performing alongside
acts like The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Rory Storm and
proves that she's a star here to stay - from 1967 - 1988
was soon brought to the attention of Brian Epstein, introduced by
John Lennon, who was keen to get her an audition. Cilla was very
nervous and failed to impress even with the Beatles as her back-up.
But luckily a second spotting at the Blue Angel Club secured her
of the Loved was Cilla’s first UK single released in September 1963.
But this was soon overshadowed by her next two ballads You’re My
World and Anyone Who Had a Heart which in 1964 hit the #1 spot.
Cilla went on to release 14 albums, two greatest hit packages and
37 singles, not bad for a girl from such humble beginnings.
1969, Cilla wed her manager and partner Bobby and ended the year
with a top 20 release If I Thought You’d Ever Change Your Mind,
although her album fared less well. Although the seventies were
not highly successful for Cilla musically, she began to establish
herself as a television personality, capable of both variety and
move towards television was put on hold during the eighties, when
Cilla returned to the stage with pantos galore and promotional tours
aplenty. This was all to change. In May 1984, the first episode
of Surprise Surprise, a show making people’s dream come true was
broadcast, catapulting Cilla into a prime time slot and winning
a hoard of devoted followers.
was closely followed by Blind Date, a match making show originally
perceived as too sexy for a British audience, became Cilla’s longest
running programme and is still regularly watched by 7 million viewers.
In 1998 Cilla launched yet another prime time programme Cilla’s
Moment of Truth. And after her personal tragedy, loosing her husband
Bobby to lung and liver cancer in 1999, Cilla has bounced back giving
a glittering performance at The Royal Variety Performance in 2001.
approaching her 40th year in show business, Cilla continues to go
from strength to strength and hopefully will still be providing
us with a Lorra Lorra Laughs for years to come.