Entertainer To Be Honoured At The Arqiva British Academy Television Awards, Sunday 18 May
London, 9 May 2014: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced that Cilla Black, the television entertainer, actress and singer, will be presented with the Special Award at the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards on Sunday 18 May at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London.
The Special Award will be given to Cilla Black in recognition of an outstanding contribution to television entertainment of over 50 years. Previous recipients include Clare Balding, Simon Cowell, Jon Snow, Murray Walker, Jeremy Paxman and Kate Adie.
Andrew Newman, Chairman of BAFTA’s Television Committee, said: “Cilla Black is a true icon in the television and entertainment industry. 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 at the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards on Sunday 18 May.”
On hearing that she was to be presented with the Special Award, Cilla Black said: ""I am thrilled to be honoured with this Award… 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."
Having begun her career in the music industry as a successful singer, Cilla Black made her television debut in 1968 with Cilla, welcoming guests from Sir Tom Jones to Sir Cliff Richard, and in doing so became the first woman to hold her own primetime chat show on BBC One. Since then, Black has gone on to present some of the most popular and iconic evening entertainment shows in the UK, including Blind Date and Surprise Surprise, helping her become one of the most watched women in British television history. Regularly drawing audiences of around 18 million, Black has hosted more than 500 television shows and made around 400 guest appearances on others.
Celebrating 50 years in television in 2013, Black is considered a national treasure by the British public and is one of the few television personalities that can be recalled by their first name alone.
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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit www.bafta.org and www.bafta.org/guru.