One Cilla

The One and Only Cilla Black was a television special shown on Wednesday 16th October 2013 at 9.00pm to mark fifty years in showbusiness of the singer and presenter. It was hosted by her good friend Paul O'Grady.

Cilla Black had for several decades been a vocal proponent of Coronation Street and declared that she had strong memories of watching the original transmission of Episode 1 (9th December 1960). She had further stated that it had always been an ambition of hers to be on the programme and this special provided the next best thing: a sketch running to almost two-and-a-half minutes in which she went into the Rovers and encountered two residents.


Rita Tanner and Norris Cole are having a drink in the Rovers when they spot someone who seems familiar waiting to be served at the bar. Norris is sure that it's Daphne Ramsbottom from Balaclava Terrace but Rita reminds him that she emigrated to New Zealand. They engage her in conversation and Rita is sure that she remembers her from her days as an exotic dancer in the 1960s. She places her as someone she recalls from the Zodiac Coffee Lounge in Liverpool. Norris does at last recognise her and, diverting the lady to help herself to a drink from the unmanned bar, uses the opportunity to tell Rita that it's Cilla Black. Rita tells the lady that she can't therefore be the girl she recalls who was called Cilla White, who she says had potential as a singer as well. The three raise a glass to both Cilla's, though Norris spoils the moment by saying that he's always preferred Lulu himself.



  • The sketch was written by Simon Crowther and directed by David Kester.
  • Cilla Black is the singer's stage name. She was born Priscilla White and did indeed waitress at the Zodiac Coffee Lounge in Duke Street, Liverpool circa 1961.