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Cilla Black: BAFTA Special Award Recipient

19 August 2014
Cilla BlackBAFTA/ Jamie Simonds

In recognition of her career in television spanning six decades, Cilla Black received the Special Award at the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards in 2014.

Cilla Black received the BAFTA Special Award on Sunday 18 May 2014 to celebrate her outstanding contribution to the television industry, following in the footsteps of previous recipients Clare Balding, Simon Cowell, Jon Snow, Murray Walker and Jeremy Paxman.

Presented by Paul O'Grady, Cilla Black accepted the Special Award before a standing ovation at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Chatting backstage afterwards with Jenni Falconer, Cilla Black revealed "I have never felt so much love from an audience." 

Having started her career as a successful singer in the music industry, Cilla Black made her television debut in 1968 with Cilla and became the first woman to hold her own primetime chat show on BBC One. 

   “Cilla Black is a true icon in the television and entertainment industry."

- Andrew Newman, Chairman of BAFTA’s Television Committee

Since then, Cilla 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.

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.

   "I've been very fortunate to have a long and full career in television and this means the world to me."

- Cilla Black

read the full press release here.