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Cilla Black Death: Paul O’Grady opens up on his close bond Blind Date host

They really were the best of friends

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The death of Cilla Black back in 2015 shocked the nation, but she’s perhaps missed by no one more than TV presenter Paul O’Grady.

Paul and Cilla were firm friends and now he has reflected on his close bond with the late star in a recent podcast interview.

Paul, 65, spoke to Gaby Roslin about his departed pal.

He said Cilla was always a pleasure to work with, especially as she could always take a joke.

And he says she was just as unfiltered as he is.

paul o'grady and cilla black
Paul and Cilla Black were such good friends right up until her death in 2015 (Credit: Splash News)

What did Paul say about Cilla Black?

Paul told Gaby: “She was a hoot. She was great to work with. Because you could really say anything to her.

“She would say to me: ‘Go on don’t forget now, it’s me. Don’t treat me like bloody china. Go into one.’

She was a hoot. She was great to work with. Because you could really say anything to her.

“So she’d come on my show and I’d put a bin liner on the couch.”

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Paul added: “She came out with some horrific stories about me. It was a boxing match between us, but a friendly one.

“And it was one which the audience loved because it was getting an insight into a private life.”

cilla black
Cilla Black died suddenly in 2015 (Credit: SplashNews)

How did Cilla Black die?

Paul and Cilla were pals for decades and they even holidayed around the world together.

The Blind Date host and hit singer passed away in 2015. She suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage after falling at her Spanish home.

Elsewhere on the podcast, Paul opened up about his friendship with another late star – Jackie Collins.

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The bestselling author passed away 2015 aged 77 from breast cancer.

Paul said: “I only ever went to LA to visit Jackie… She was fabulous.

“She was such a good friend. When Murphy was ill she would call me nearly every night.”

Brandon Murphy was Paul’s manager and lover, who died in 2005 of an inoperable brain tumour.

Paul O'Grady on cilla black
Paul has nothing but kind things to say about Cilla (Credit: Splash News)

Jackie Collins ‘such a lovely woman’

He went on to say he had no idea Jackie was ill before she died, as she kept her battle private.

Paul said: “I was so sad. She was such a lovely woman.”

But as the podcast came to a close, he said he tries to live by wise words from his Aunt Annie when it comes to lost friends.

He explained: “My Auntie Annie was always a wise one. She used to say: ‘Remember the past but don’t live in it.’

“It’s so true.”

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