ITV's brilliant biopic Cilla concluded triumphantly last night in 1968, with Cilla Black (Sheridan Smith) launching her TV career with her signature tune, Step Inside Love, penned by Paul McCartney...
The three part drama, written by Jeff Pope has been a brilliant production that has seen Cilla return to the top 40 music chart, with her 1964 hit Anyone Who Had A Heart making a surprise comeback and Cilla's first chart position in 40 years. Of course, the interest that has saw such a renaissance stems from Sheridan Smith's own vocal performance of the hit - which, for my money, was far better than Cilla's own.
Let's face it, Cilla Black as portrayed by the wonderfully talented Smith was far prettier, sexier, warmer, funnier and a better singer. Whatever your thoughts on the rather Marmite Black, Jeff Pope's beautifully tender and funny biopic made her immensely likeable - though her ego getting in the way of a prospective solo singing career for her then boyfriend and road manager, soon to be hubby and manager, Bobby Willis (played brilliantly by Aneurin Barnard) showed a ruthless side to Black that even non fans may not have contemplated.
This has been a great series with another stunning performance to add to Sheridan Smith's CV. I thoroughly enjoyed the authentic 60s setting and the accurate reflection of Liverpudlian life, though it was amusing to see venues such as The Adelphi Hotel pretending to be at one time Blackpool and New York!
It was a lorra lorra fun! (sorry, couldn't resist!)