Paul O’Grady paid a hilarious and touching tribute to Cilla Black at her funeral (VIDEO)
Paul O’Grady has paid an emotional and comic tribute to his friend Cilla Black at the star’s funeral this afternoon.
O’Grady, who was one of Cilla’s close friends, made the eulogy at the funeral of the Surprise Surpise star, which took place at St Mary’s Church, Woolton, Liverpool.
He said: “I’ve been asked to speak about Cilla on numerous occasions but I never thought I’d be doing it now, at a time like this because I firmly believed that Cilla was indestructible, and I’d most definitely go first, the state of my heart – we discussed my funeral at length, and she had a major role in it that involved a mantilla and lilies so I’m going to have to rethink that aren’t I?”
“I’ve got fabulous Cilla stories ‘cos we had such a great time together – whenever we went on holiday together, or even if we just went for a simple meal – something always happened – usually to me.
“I first met her on Parkinson’s chat show, and we just clicked, we were soul mates. After Bobby died, I went round for dinner to the house, and sat up to 5 in the morning, and we decided to go and stay with Peter Brown in New York, which we did. I introduced her to the finer things of New York – like bars, burlesque shows and nightclubs with such a reputation that taxi drivers were always unsure whether to drop us off,” he said to laughter.
“If I had to sum Cilla up in one word it would be ‘laughter’, because that’s all we did. We got up to a lot of trouble but we laughed while we were doing it.”
Recalling a comical tale, O’Grady said Cilla had lost her keys and got wedged in a window in Barbados, saying: “When the neighbours came out she shouted, ‘Surprise surprise!’.”
In another story, O’Grady said he broke his nose, and that when Cilla tried to help she made it worse.
He said: “She couldn’t find any ice and she smacked a bag of frozen sprouts on my face and broke it even more!
Going on, O’Grady said they “looked like something out of Shameless,” joking that Cilla looked like she was taking cocaine because of having a running nose she kept sniffing and touching.
O’Grady then took to a more sombre mood, saying that a light had gone off in his life when Cilla died, and that it “hasn’t come back on again”.
Going on though, he said he was “proud” to have been best friends with Cilla, saying that he enjoyed spending two decades “hell-raising”, before apologising to the Bishop, realising that he is in a church.
He added: “I loved this lady dearly, she was one of my closest friends. I absolutely adored her.
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“She always used to say to me, ‘Don’t tell our Robert.’ She also said, ‘Don’t tell Pat and don’t tell Peter Brown.’
“She said after Bobby died that I taught her to laugh again and I never knew that until I read it in the papers.”
O’Grady last week paid an emotional tribute to Black, as he broke down in tears during a radio appearance at the weekend.
Watch the heart warming tribute below: