I have decided to wait until the final episode of ITV’s Cilla before I unleash my opinion but this biopic series is up there with my favs. I can’t tell you that I was around in the 1960s and that Oscar winning Mrs Biggs star, Sheridan Smith plays a convincing portrayal of the Blind Date scouse princess that I know Cilla Black to be, because I didn’t know her, not really. I only really remember her black sparkly blazer and high pitched “What’s your name and where do you come from?” so I do feel inadequate to judge. But I do know that it has served its purpose for an easy and entertaining family watch, reminding Cilla fans of her girl next door stage presence in the typical 60s and the newer generation of the songs they probably have heard at their Granddad’s 60th disco but didn’t know until now.
If anything, Smith has brought Black back to the twenty-tens – with Cilla’s number one hit, “Anyone Who Had A Heart” – (which has been in my head since the last episode) returning to the charts this week at number 47. I am hopeful that after tonight’s awaited finale, we’ll see Cilla enter the top 40, although I do have to say, that Sheridan’s live covers in the series are flawlessly brilliant, making us question if Cilla Black could ever have been that good.
Nonetheless, we have seen Cilla’s rise to fame in the best way – modest and light-hearted. There have been several moments in the three part series that has seen our heart’s break for Cilla as she breaks down in nerves performing for Brian Epstein or on an opposite scale find ourselves smiling to the TV whilst we watch the bumpy love-story between Cil’ and Bobby Wilis, played by Aneurin Barnard, unfold.
Writer, Jeff Pope makes sure he flatters the early life-story of the pop-turned-tv star but the final episode brings out the careerist in Black, something I didn’t know she had in her. The final episode is the best of the bunch providing us with a mixture of emotions as the story darkens with the story of Brian Epstein, Bobby finds a back bone and Cilla Black’s story ends perfectly, much alike her singing career (Sorry, Cil’) – you’re still a diamond.