Friday 07 Mar 2014
Veteran pop star Sir Cliff Richard discusses drink, drugs, relationships and his thoughts about fatherhood with Fern Britton, in Fern Britton Meets..., on BBC One, Sunday 19 December at 10.00am.
Speaking in the programme about his image during the early days on tour with The Shadows, Cliff says: "I was never sexual on stage. Sensual – yes. I like the word sensual because sensuality is an innate part of being human. That's a part of all of us."
Cliff says that he never truly lived the rock and roll lifestyle even when he first burst on the scene in the late 1950s – and there was no shortage of temptation.
"All sorts of things were thrown at all of us to be honest with you. It was really a ridiculous time. There was all this talk of this sexual freedom and everything was thrown at us. I tried to stay away from it and succeeded most of the time."
On drink and drugs, Cliff says: "I was really lucky I didn't like the smell of smoke so all those things backstage that I thought were herbal cigarettes – duh... were obviously not. There's no way I'd have got into smoking pot or anything like that because I didn't like smoking."
Asked by Fern if he ever got 'legless' on drink, he says: "I have [been legless] only two or three times and I didn't like the process of becoming drunk, I didn't go out to get drunk.
"One terrible case was coming back from Birmingham to London and EMI had sent a car for me. I said let's have some champagne. I got home. I managed to get out of the car but I didn't go to bed that night. I lay on my toilet floor so that I could be near the loo so that I could be sick. How people can do this often I've no idea. I hated the whole feeling of it and so now I try not to get like that."
The lack of leading ladies in Sir Cliff's life sparked a curiosity from the media but there were two women who were special.
"I dated someone from when I was doing a show in Blackpool. She ultimately married Adam Faith actually – Jackie Irving. I don't know whether we were in love or not but it felt like it...
"She had a great attitude. She'd have fitted in really well had it have been right for me. Of course it's well documented I dated Sue Barker for a couple of years and we had a very, very nice [time], I mean I hope she feels happy about what we had – a really good thing for us and again that wasn't for me either.
"The break-up was not any of these ladies' faults. It's always been my fault and I'm really sorry for that but I'm not sorry for having known them."
Cliff reflects on his life past, present and future. "In the end you know when I look back, where I am now in my life is because of where I've been up till this point. I like where I am , I like who I am, I like what I am, I like what I do.
"It's fantastic and I feel a freedom. I always think I'd have made a good dad because I've been a pretty good uncle, but now when I look back I don't think it was for me and I have no desire to be a dad.
"The Bible says you know love others as you love yourself and sometimes we forget how to love ourselves and maybe I've found that I love myself now and maybe that's the love they're talking about. But I love people as well and I'm surrounded by great friends."
Fern Britton Meets... Sir Cliff Richard is on BBC One on Sunday 19 December at 10.00am. Any quotes used from this release must fully credit the programme and transmission details.
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