Cilla Black’s body has been flown back to Britain, her publicist confirmed. The TV legend died suddenly of a stroke after falling and hitting her head at her Spanish villa last weekend.
The Blind Date superstar was sunbathing at her villa on the Costa del Sol, when she lost her balance, fell, and hit her head, which knocked her unconscious.
A post-mortem examination revealed that she subsequently died of a stroke, a statement from her publicist said earlier this week. She would not have suffered, it added.
Her funeral may take place next week and the service is expected to held in Denham, Buckinghamshire, the village where Cilla lived when she was in the UK.
Born Priscilla Maria Veronica White in Liverpool, she became one of the nation’s favourite entertainers after transforming herself from a successful singer in the 1960s to the front woman on classic TV shows like Blind Date and Surprise Surprise.
She started as a singer and 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.
Cilla went on to host more than 500 editions of her programmes and was the first woman to have her own prime-time chat show on BBC1.
In 2014, Cilla was awarded a BAFTA Special Award, in recognition of an outstanding contribution to television entertainment during her career.
Cilla Black, son Robert Willis and his wife Fiona ( Matthew Fearn/PA)
In a joint statement earlier this week, her three sons Robert, Ben and Jack said: ”We are devastated by the sad loss of our mother, but have been deeply touched by all the kind messages of support from her friends, fans, the public and media.
”We would like to thank everyone, especially the people of Liverpool. The tributes and condolences have really helped us through these difficult times.”