Cilla Black Legend and Icon Gone at 72

Cilla Black dead at 72
Cilla Black, the legend and entertainment icon has died. The singer and television host died in Spain at the age of 72. Cilla’s agent confirmed the news of her death to the BBC. Spanish police have also verified that Black, real name Pricilla White, died of apparently natural causes in Estepona on the Costa del Sol.

Paul O’Grady who was Cilla’s best friend has talked of the mischief that he and Black got up to whenever they were together. Grady, who started his career as Lily Savage, met Cilla on Michael “Parky” Parkinson’s talk show and as he told the Daily Record, the two just “clicked.”

In 2014 ITV produced a mini series on the life and career of Cilla and she was played by Lincolnshire actress Sheridan Smith. When Smith heard about Cilla she immediately expressed her condolences to the family and her dismay at the news.

Cilla Black worked with some of the biggest names in the music business and carved out a career as a singer before becoming a fixture on English television. She presented Surprise Surprise! a popular program that ran for 15 seasons. The show first aired in 1984 and Cilla had presented 137 episodes by the time the show ended in 2001. She also presented the contestant dating show Blind Date which ran from 1985 to 2003. Ms. Black always held out hope that one of the couples who dated on the show would get married so she could go to the wedding. In 1993, one couple finally tied the knot and Cilla did indeed attend.

As well as hosting and presenting these two long running programs on British television, Cilla appeared on many other programs like game shows, variety programs and her own television show Cilla that ran from 1968 to 1976. Between 2004 and 2009 she appeared on her old pal Paul O’Grady’s show no less than six times and guest hosted one episode. She was also a regular fixture on Loose Women, doing 17 episodes in all.

Cilla was awarded the OBE in 1997 and was the holder of many industry awards. She was more than just a legendary performer and an English television icon, Cilla Black was an institution. She was adored by millions and as news of her death became known, her many professional friends rushed to pay tribute to a dear friend and talented entertainer.

Ms. Black was well known for her “down to earth” sensibility and being game for a laugh. O’Grady loves to tell of holding his best friend by her ankles as they entered a window to her home after she had locked herself out. Paul tells the story and adds that she was shouting “Surprise, Surprise” as people walked past.

It is fitting that on YouTube one can find a clip of an unbelievably young Cilla singing Anyone Who had a Heart live. It is also fitting that listening to her sing the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song that became a number one hit for the young Scouse entertainer still gives one goosebumps. That marvelous voice will be missed as will the marvelous personality that was Cilla Black, gone at 72, 2 August 2015. RIP Chuck.

Gracepoint Season One Finale…Seriously? (Review)

Gracepoint Season One Finale…Seriously? (Review)

It has been a long time coming, longer than it took for the series that Gracepoint was based upon, but at last the finale has aired and the “real” killer (Suspect everyone? Come on Fox, seriously?) For those who saw the original seaside murder mystery, Broadchurch, either when it aired in the United Kingdom on ITV or later on BBC America, this slightly homogenized and pasteurized American version never really felt as good or as devastating as the shorter series starring, David Tennant, Olivia Colman and Jodie Whittaker. The former Dr. Who played the same role in both shows.

‘Gracepoint’ More is Not Better

‘Gracepoint’ More is Not Better

English mysteries are an exceptional form of entertainment, that Gracepoint is a remake of what has been termed an outstanding seaside murder whodunit, is a compliment to the original, but someone should have told Fox that more is not better. Anyone who has seen the superior ITV (which stands for Independent Television) production either on English terrestrial channels or on the “American made” BBC America network, which presumably shows the best of British telly regardless of who makes it across the pond, knows that by this time in the original show, the killer was caught.

Gracepoint AKA Broadchurch American Style Continues

Gracepoint AKA Broadchurch American Style Continues

Gracepoint, aka Broadchurch American style continues its frame by frame replication of the original ITV drama with David Tennant as the lead detective with issues in both. Some things are different, despite the fact that overall the show is the same. Tennant’s “problem” in the British version is handled by pills, in the U.S. show he has a hypodermic needle which he shakily stabs into his thigh. While this may look more dramatic, or more realistic from an American point of view, it also makes it seem that Emmett Carver could suffer from diabetes rather than a mental issue, which the other show hints at with a bit more finesse.

Gracepoint or Broadchurch: A British Mystery by Any Name

Gracepoint or Broadchurch: A British Mystery by Any Name

Gracepoint began on FOX Thursday after quite a good bit of buildup and it turns out to be a British mystery, literally as it is a frame by frame re-shooting of Broadchurch, the 2013 ITV award-winning television show in England; while the locale of the story has changed, by any name the series is essentially the ITV drama sans tea and scones. There are some things that have not been altered in this move across the “big pond.” The former Doctor Who actor David Tennant plays the exact same character but with a significant name change, Hardy in the ITV drama and Carver in the FOX version.