Inside Cilla Black’s jet set Spanish lifestyle: Upmarket dining, sipping champagne with Cliff Richard and singing the night away

Every August for decades TV legend Cilla Black would pack up her bags and head to Marbella for an extended holiday.

Over the years the 72-year-old, who was found dead over the weekend, became a friend to many who lived in the Estepona area.

Following the news of her tragic death, those who were fortunate enough to get to know the Blind Date star have come forward to share memories of her – offering us an insight into her glamorous life in Spain.

Dining at the Villa Tiberio

When in Spain Cilla liked to relax with her showbiz pals at upmarket Marbella eaterie – Villa Tiberio.

According to the owner Sandro Morelli, 74, the star would always dine there when she was on the Costa del Sol and was due to attend a British friend’s birthday party at the restaurant later this week.

He said: “She comes here every year for the birthday party of a British friend called Michael who also used to invite Cliff Richard.

“Cliff Richard was a good friend of hers and she’d sometimes come in with Max Clifford as well.

Andy Stenning / Daily MirrorSandro Morelli of Villa Tiberio with picture of Cilla with Cliff Richard and Max Clifford and other friends
Sandro Morelli of Villa Tiberio with picture of Cilla with Cliff Richard and Max Clifford and other friends

“She was a lovely person, one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I’m in shock, I really am.

“A friend of mine called me from London to tell me and I just couldn’t believe it. She was so young.

“She was due to come here this week for Michael’s birthday party and I was really looking forward to seeing her.

“I’m going to fuck###g miss her .

“I first met her in London when I ran a restaurant there with my brother. I’ve been here now for 26 years and she’s come to my restaurant most years.

“She came in here last summer and looked fine last time I saw her, happy and healthy and appearing to be really enjoying life. It really is a terrible loss.”

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Singing on nights out

Cilla’s breaks in Spain were a great chance for her to let her hair down and one way she did this was by singing while out with friends.

Tony Dalli, a former singer who used to own a famous nearby restaurant named after him, recalled how Cilla used to sing with him during nights out with friends.

He said: “She would often come in two or three nights a week when she was here in Spain.

“She’d usually be with a couple of female friends.

“She was such a happy person, she’d light up the room with her smile.

“My son Marco phoned me while I was driving to break the terrible news to me.

“The shock nearly killed me.

“I’d known Cilla for years. She died young at 72. It’s so sad.”

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