Sir Cliff Richard: 60 Years…

Mon­day / ITV

TV Times - - My Tv Times Week - Caren Clark

Sir Cliff Richard is one of the most suc­cess­ful Bri­tish singers of all time and, as he cel­e­brates 60 years in show­biz, we chat to him and look back on his his­tory with TV Times…

NEW DOC­U­MEN­TARY Sir Cliff Richard: 60 Years in Pri­vate and in Pub­lic Mon­day / ITV / 9PM

Sir Cliff Richard is rid­ing high once more. Af­ter a dif­fi­cult few years, which have seen him face al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault and win his pri­vacy case against the BBC fol­low­ing its cov­er­age of the po­lice raid on his home, the singer is putting his trou­bles be­hind him as he cel­e­brates 60 years in show­biz.

Back in Au­gust 1958, the then 17-year-old star reached No.2 in the charts with his debut sin­gle, Move It. Since then, the Peter Pan of Pop has had chart hits in six con­sec­u­tive decades, rep­re­sented the UK twice at Euro­vi­sion and even be­came a top box-of­fice star in the 1960s with films in­clud­ing The Young Ones and Sum­mer Hol­i­day.

Now, a one-off ITV doc­u­men­tary Sir Cliff Richard: 60 Years in Pri­vate and in Pub­lic fol­lows the singer over six months as he marks this mile­stone with a new al­bum, Rise Up, and pre­pares to go on tour.

As celebrity friends, in­clud­ing Dame Joan Collins, Sir Barry Gibb, Glo­ria Hun­ni­ford, Brian May and Olivia New­ton-john, share their mem­o­ries, the film also sees Sir Cliff look back at key mo­ments of his ca­reer, talk about his faith and re­flect on his re­cent chal­lenges.

Here, in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with TV Times,

Sir Cliff, 78, tells us more…

Af­ter a tough few years, how does it feel to be able to move on and do what you are best at again?

I will never for­get the trauma of those years, but they are now well and truly in my past. My lat­est tour has been a great start to re­cov­er­ing from a very stress­ful time of my life. My fam­ily, friends and fans have shown me love and sup­port and win­ning my court case against the BBC makes me feel vin­di­cated. I’m back!

As you look back at the last 60 years, what do you think has been the key to your suc­cess and longevity?

I’ve had the most won­der­ful songs writ­ten for me and there’s no doubt that the writ­ers play a ma­jor part in my suc­cess. Con­stantly meeting up with fans plays a part in achiev­ing longevity, too, and of course, live shows are the best way to keep in touch with them so I’ve al­ways en­joyed the rap­port and the ex­cite­ment of that.

Which stars have you par­tic­u­larly en­joyed work­ing with over the years and what made them spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ences?

El­ton John’s record com­pany, Rocket Records, se­cured me my first top-10 hit in the US with Devil Woman. He was easy to work with and al­ways sup­port­ive. Olivia New­ton-john was al­ways great to sing with, too. We sang to­gether of­ten, both on stage and on record. She joined me on a duet on my new al­bum. The song Every­body’s Some­one came to life with her voice on it.

What would you say have been your ca­reer-defin­ing mo­ments? My first No.1 song, Liv­ing Doll, and my knight­hood, but also still hav­ing sell-out con­certs af­ter 60 years. Who would have thought that could hap­pen? Not me!

I will never for­get the trauma of those years, but they are now well and truly in my past

Liv­ing leg­end: Sir Cliff per­forms for his fans

Friends for­ever: olivia and Cliff

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