"It was a privilege to know Cilla"
DANIEL O'Donnell has
said it was a "privilege" to know the late Cilla
Black both professionally as a singer and privately
as a friend.
The Donegal entertainer (53) said he and his wife
Majella (55) were deeply saddened at the Liverpool
legend's sudden passing at the age of 72 earlier
"I first met Cilla many years ago when I appeared on
her TV show 'Surprise Surprise' and through the
years I got to know her and her husband Bobby on a
"In latter years, I had the privilege of getting to
know her a little better, meeting her in more
private surroundings with our good friend Cliff
Richard and she was always a joy to meet," he said.
"Both Majella and I always enjoyed her company and
she added so much to the gatherings that we were
part of. We will certainly miss her in the future,”
Surprise, Surprise: Daniel and
Majella meet up with Cilla in happier times.
Daniel, who attended Ms
Black's funeral with Majella last week, said she
received a fitting send-off in her native city.
"She had a lovely funeral service and a wonderful
send-off from the people of Liverpool," Daniel told
fans yesterday via his official website.
"This was nothing less than she deserved because, as
the papers said, she was their 'Cinderella' and
never forgot where she came from.
"I was absolutely delighted to see her album go to
Number 1 in the UK charts, somehow a fitting tribute
to the star that she was.
"I thought that the nicest quote that was said was
'To be born a lady is an accident; to die one is an
He extended his sympathies to Cilla's sons Ben,
Robert and Jack and her extended family.
Meanwhile, the Kincasslagh favourite, who is on an
18-month sabbatical from touring, admitted he is
"terrified" after signing up for the forthcoming
series of BBC hit show 'Strictly Come Dancing'.
"I suppose I could say I am excited and terrified
all at the same time. I know I will enjoy the
opportunity of learning to dance Ballroom and Latin
dances properly and I hope that I stay long enough
to perfect at least some of them," he said.
"Who knows I might be there till Christmas and I
might even get to lift the glitter ball trophy.
Well, I have to think positively! he quipped.