Cilla Black talks about her new show which features her own not very swinging sixties

Iconic TV host and singer, Cilla Black, has told What’s On TV that during the sixties, the swinging aspect kinda passed her by…

Cilla gave the interview about what she did with the decade ahead of her new show, Cilla’s Unswung Sixties, which airs on Yesterday on Monday, March 19 at 9pm.

Cilla – who of course formerly hosted Blind Date, which is set to be revived and revamped with Holly Willoughby at the helm – first explained why she chose to make the documentary.

She said, “Well, these days I kind of cherry pick what I want to do, and when this came up I thought: ‘Surely we were all part of the Swinging Sixties. What on earth is the Unswung Sixties?’

“Then I saw all the footage the programme was using and I thought: ‘I’ve really got to do this.’ I had great fun hosting…

“We even filmed at a Sixties house, which was Oxford way, not far from my house. It was amazing and fabulous, a much bigger house than I used to live in back in the Sixties.

“But it was a terrific Sixties style, and they’d even put in all the decor and the couches.”

And of how Cilla will discuss the fashion of the era, she said, “Well, I was going through the script and I saw this thing about girdles and I phoned my make-up artist who is roughly the same age as me and I said: ‘Wendy, do you remember girdles? I remember suspender belts and stockings, but I don’t remember girdles!’

“She replied, ‘Well you didn’t have to wear one, did you?’ And I got the same reply came when I phoned my school friend from Liverpool.

“I wore suspender belts, but never a girdle.”

Of the hideous trend for crimplene at the time, Cilla remarked, “Well, the nearest thing to that that I got was an underskirt but that was probably very late 1950s.

“You put it under your skirt, like Olivia Newton-John in Grease. But I was never the nylon type.

“There were a few things when I saw some clips, I thought: ‘I can’t remember wearing that?’ Dry nylon was popular but that was mainly in men’s shirts – the drip-dry stuff.”

But of course, for Cilla, the sixties was all about the music, of which she said that the film would reveal some fascinating facts about the listening trends of the era.

She said, “There was room for everybody in the charts. Now they have different charts, don’t they?

“But I believe Tears for Souvenirs by Ken [Dodd] was the biggest-selling single in Britain ever. Amazing!

“You also had Englebert Humperdinck and Tom Jones being very successful.

“I don’t like today when many girl singers do all those raunchy videos. It’s not necessary.

“Now I think Lady Gaga is amazing, but she doesn’t have to wear meat. She has talent anyway. Just come out as yourself, and do it. You don’t need all those gimmicks.

“Maybe you needed them at the start to get noticed, but not any more. Drop the meat. It’s dead meat!”

Finally, when asked by WOTV what had been her career highlights, Cilla said, “It’s got to be my very first Royal Command performance in 1964.

“I can remember the whole routine, with both mine and [my late husband] Bobby’s families coming down on the train, first class.

“We’d arranged for the men to all to go to Moss Brothers, to hire dickie bows and everything.

“It was lovely for my mum and dad to see me perform in front of the Queen, because it was not long after that my father died. I sang You’re My World.”

Don’t miss Cilla’s Unswung Sixties on Yesterday on Monday, March 19 at 9pm.


Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.