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Cilla Black to receive special award at BAFTAs

Cilla Black in pantomime in 2010. Photo: Barry Rivett.
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Cilla Black will receive a special award at this year’s BAFTAs, in recognition of her “outstanding contribution to television” over more than 50 years.

The prize will be given to Black at the BAFTA TV Awards on May 18, at a ceremony held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Previous recipients of the award include Simon Cowell and Jeremy Paxman.

Andrew Newman, chair of  BAFTA’s television committee, described Black as a “true icon in the television and entertainment industry”.

He added that she had been a “hugely influential entertainer throughout her long career”.

“Last year she celebrated her half-century in showbusiness and we are thrilled that she will receive this year’s special awards,” he said.

Black, who began her career as a singer, made her TV debut in 1968 with Cilla, becoming the first woman to host her own chat show on BBC1.

Since then she has presented shows such as Surprise Surprise and Blind Date.

Graham Norton will host the awards on May 18, with BBC1 screening them at 8pm on the same night.

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