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From the moment he met his starlet, he wanted to nurture the ‘Judy Garland’ qualities he believed she possessed, having high aspirations of creating a British icon.Epstein’s faith in Cilla combined with her talent convinced George Martin, renowned producer of The Beatles, that she was worthy of signing to Parlophone Records.Cilla also served coffee at another clubbers’ haven, The Zodiac, where she met her husband-to-be, Bobby Willis.Whilst perfectly placed amongst the up-and-coming stars of the day, Cilla talked her way onto the stage where she’d wow audiences with her singing.
It had already proved to be a massive hit for Dionne Warwick.
This song of Italian origin earned Cilla the title as Britain’s 2nd girl in UK chart history to have two successive No. Furthermore, this single broke Cilla into the tough US market and gained her long-lasting popularity throughout Europe and Australasia. 1 in the charts with “You’re My World”, it made me the second British girl to ever have two successive No. I heard the good news just days before my 21st birthday. This was at a time when a singer would need to sell in excess of 100,000 copies a day to get a single into the UK ‘Top 20’ chart. Prior to his death, Epstein had engineered Cilla’s transition into TV with her own variety series, ‘Cilla’ (BBC TV) which ran until 1976.
This marked a new phase in Cilla’s career in which she became a top rated TV host & entertainer with her husband Bobby as her Manager.
She quickly became a local celebrity and performed alongside many legendary acts that were fundamental in establishing the “Mersey Sound”, such as The Beatles and Gerry & the Pacemakers.
Due to a twist of fate, Priscilla White almost overnight received a new name, when the music paper the ‘Mersey Beat’ misprinted her surname as Black.
It was a blind date in Barbados and I have a date for the BAFTAs and it’s another blind date, organised by Cilla. I was her boss on Blind Date.” The 28 year-old, about to go to New York for a new job with the advertisers Ogilvy & Mather, has just become engaged to Geraldine Van Der Mast, a marketing executive working in London. Lady Olga — who is president of the Algerian British Business Council — tells me they are to be married in September in a French chateau.