But if there’s one consolation Robert takes from losing his mother so suddenly, it’s that she didn’t have to endure the often painful decline that comes with ill-health and old age.For, unknown to many of her fans, Cilla had suffered a series of painful operations before her death and lived in fear of dying in pain like her mother Priscilla Blythen, who suffered a slow, painful death.She had lots of showbusiness friends around the village and they would often pop in around the festive season.'But Christmas Day was very much just a family-only thing.
Every December she would decorate the house in Denham, Buckinghamshire, to within an inch of its life.
Among those who wrote in sympathy were Sir Paul Mc Cartney, Ringo Starr, Sheridan Smith, her lifelong friend Jimmy Tarbuck, and the then Prime Minister David Cameron.
Robert helped plan Cilla’s star-studded funeral in Liverpool – Cliff Richard sang and Paul O’Grady read the eulogy – and the unveiling of her statue outside The Cavern, the famous club where The Beatles were discovered and where Cilla was transformed from cloakroom assistant into an international star.
Few people do, but she felt it more than most.‘For example, most women, once they hit a certain age, find they can’t wear high heels. She hated the thought that she would have to wear flat shoes. She’d never had to diet, so she was suddenly having to do certain things just to maintain the way she lived. She was someone who lived life fully – the amount of shows she did was incredible – but she wasn’t used to compromise.‘She was in a great deal of pain after developing arthritis in her right hand, which meant she had to have a bone removed below her thumb and forefinger.‘It affected her ability to grip and although the operation would do the trick, she resented the nine months it would take to heal.
unknown to many of her fans, Cilla had suffered a series of painful operations before her death and lived in fear of dying in pain like her mother Priscilla Blythen, who suffered a slow, painful death.