Cilla Black has said she would be happy to die by the age of 75 before ill-health ruins her quality of life – but ruled out suicide.
The entertainer, who presented long-running TV series Surprise, Surprise and Blind Date, said she did not want to “linger” or be a burden on her family.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror on the eve of her 71st birthday, the Liverpudlian reaffirmed her desire to die before health problems affected her.
“Seventy-five is a good age to go, I still think that way,” she said. “I don’t want to linger. I don’t want to be a burden on anybody. I know 75 is only four years away but I take each day as I find it.”
The former singer, who rose to prominence in the 1960s, said she had started to suffer from hearing difficulties in one ear and had started to feel stiff in the mornings.
And she said witnessing her mother suffer from a crippling bone disease in her final years has also affected her opinions on her mortality. But Cilla said she had no desire to end her life prematurely.
She told the Mirror: “I agree with (Swiss assisted dying clinic) Dignitas, but I couldn’t be the one to administer the poison that kills me… I’m too much of a coward.”
Cilla was an associate of The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein in the early 1960s and she scored two number ones in 1964 – Anyone Who Had A Heart and You’re My World – as well as enjoying many other hits, before going on to concentrate on TV.
She has hosted more than 500 editions of her programmes and was the first woman to have her own prime-time chat show on BBC One.
Cilla is to be honoured at Sunday’s Bafta TV Awards in recognition of her contribution to entertainment over her 50-year career.