When Cilla Black was building her career in Liverpool as the UK’s most iconic songbird, she made a lot of friends along the way. During the 1960s she made quite a name for herself by performing alongside The Beatles in the legendary Cavern Club venue. Through the years, Cilla became very close with the band, particularly Ringo Starr.
In the 2020 documentary, Cilla: The Lost Tapes, further information about the star’s private life was revealed.
During this ITV doc, Cilla’s private getaways with the Fab Four member were detailed, including their skiing trips in Europe.
However, they seemed to be just friends at the time, quashing any romance rumours that might have cropped up.
That is until Ringo proposed to the singer – but she could not take the request seriously.
She said in the documentary: “He was like a best friend, even though he did ask me to marry him.”
Cilla went on to add with a laugh: “I guess he was desperate.”
She explained that she thought Ringo was feeling a lot of “pressure” from the other members of the band, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
She continued: “All of the other Beatles had girlfriends.”
Cilla recalled telling Ringo to “post the [wedding] bands in 48 hours and I’ll do it”.
She wasn’t worried about this, however, as she “just knew” his offer was not as sincere as it seemed.
Ringo either was joking or simply chickened out, and never sent Cilla the rings.
A few years later Ringo married his first wife, Maureen Tigrett, in 1965.
Cilla herself got married in 1969 to her manager Bobby Willis.
She wasn’t thrilled by the man at first, however.
As revealed in the documentary, Cilla said: “It certainly wasn’t love at first sight. I actually fancied the opposite.
“He was funny, incredibly funny and he was incredibly good looking.”
Cilla and Bobby had three sons together – Ben, Robert and Jack Willis.
Bobby tragically died in 1999 after suffering from lung and liver cancer, aged just 57-years-old.
Cilla died in 2015, aged 72-years-old, after suffering a stroke caused by a fall.
Author: Callum Crumlish
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