Legendary pop singer Sir Cliff Richard has revealed that he has shared his life with a former Roman Catholic priest for the last seven years.
Sir Cliff, 67, is one of the UK’s best-known Christians, has been the victim of persistent rumours and innuendo about his sexuality.
In his autobiography My Life, My Way, published yesterday, the singer said he met Father John McElynn in 2001.
“He hadn’t any thought at the beginning of giving up the priesthood, but when it became clear he was thinking of the possibility, I suggested he might help me with some charitable projects,” he wrote.
“That was seven years ago and our arrangement has worked out really well. John now spends most of his time looking after my properties.”
Sir Cliff said the former priest shares his home and has become a companion, and complained that he is dogged by questions about his sexual orientation.
“‘I am sick to death of the media’s speculation about it. What business is it of anyone else’s what any of us are as individuals? I don’t think my fans would care either way.”
He has previously spoken of his support for civil partnerships.
Sir Cliff began his career in the 1950s and has scored UK number ones in every decade since.
His notoriously loyal fanbase has ensured his popularity well into his sixties – My Life, My Way is expected to be a bestseller.
Journalist Penny Junor helped him write the book, in which “Cliff is going to talk freely and frankly about what it is like to be Cliff.”