Actress, singer and TV presenter Cilla Black is to be honoured at this year’s Bafta TV Awards.
The 70-year-old, whose career has spanned half a century, will be presented with the Special Award at the ceremony on 18 May at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in recognition of her “outstanding contribution to television entertainment”.
“I am thrilled to be honoured with this Award,” said Black, upon hearing the news. “I am totally delighted. I’ve been very fortunate to have a long and full career in television and this means the world to me.”
“Cilla Black is a true icon in the television and entertainment industry,” added Andrew Newman, Chairman of Bafta’s Television Committee. “From hosting her own show for the BBC in ’68 to defining ITV entertainment throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Cilla has been an extremely popular and hugely influential entertainer throughout her long career in television.
“Last year she celebrated her half-century in show business and we are thrilled that she will receive this year’s Special Award.”
Black’s career in the music industry first began in 1963 with her hits Anyone Who Had a Heart and You’re My World both reaching the summit of the UK singles charts. She went on to become the first woman to hold her own primetime chat show on BBC1, welcoming the likes of Sir Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard before hopping across to ITV to present iconic entertainment series Blind Date and Surprise Surprise.
Black’s follows in the footsteps of Clare Balding, Simon Cowell, Jon Snow and Jeremy Paxman who have all previously been honoured by the Bafta Academy at their annual television awards.