Cilla Black to Receive BAFTA Special Award
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.