Cilla Black has revealed that being a mother is the highlight of her life, even trumping her latest BAFTA.

The 70-year-old presenter was honoured with the BAFTA Special award and got a standing ovation as she accepted it from her fellow scouser Paul O’Grady at the TV BAFTAs.

“Producing my children really,” she said when asked what her proudest moment is. “I always wanted six children, but then Bobby (Willis, late husband) didn’t agree. I’ve got three fabulous boys (Robert, Ben and Jack), and they’ve all really done me proud.”

The Blind Date presenter admitted she almost welled up on stage as she received her gong.

“I psyched myself up because I made a show of myself the other week on Loose Women when they mentioned Bobby, and I nearly went tonight when the whole of the audience stood up. It was amazing,” she said. “And I thought, ‘This is for me?’ I’ve been doing exactly what I wanted to do all my life. I’ve only ever been myself.”

Cilla also vowed to live longer, after she got scolded by Sir Bruce Forsyth for saying that 75 was ‘a good age to go’.

“I saw Brucie out there. He told me off. He said, ‘I heard you wanted to die at 75’ and I said I lied,” she said.

“I said that four years ago actually and I did lie, now that I’m nearing my 71st year.”

The TV star revealed she’s thrilled Sheridan Smith will portray her on the small screen in an ITV biopic.

“My life is flashing before me. It’s a great honour, as is getting the BAFTA, that somebody in your own lifetime plays you,” she said. “Sheridan Smith is a BAFTA-winning actress herself and I feel so honoured and so pleased. And Jeff Pope did the script for Philomena, so what more can you ask? Maybe I should die next year.”

And Cilla couldn’t resist taking a pop at younger celebrities who moan about being famous.

“I’ve lived by the book of being a star, not going out if you don’t wanna be seen. I can’t stand people when they say, ‘I want my privacy’ and they go to Mahiki and clubs,” she said, adding: “Stay at home then, why don’t you!”


Press Association