SIR CLIFF RICHARD: 60 YEARS IN PUBLIC AND IN PRIVATE (2018)
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This new one-off documentary for ITV features exclusive access to music legend Sir Cliff Richard following one of the toughest periods in his career as he celebrates 60 years in show business.
Featuring interviews with Sir Barry Gibb, Olivia Newton-John, Hank Marvin, Jimmy Osmond, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Brian May and Dame Joan Collins, this programme reflects on Cliff’s six decades at the top of the charts.
Filmed over a six-month period at his home in Portugal, at Abbey Road Studios and at Wimbledon, as he prepares to launch his 104th album, leaving the events of the last few years behind him, Sir Cliff talks candidly about his career highs and lows and his record-breaking longevity.
In his first in-depth TV documentary interview in years, Cliff talks about the dark days that followed the BBC televised raid on his home in 2014, his battle to clear his name and the people whose support have got him through tough times.
In the programme, he throws open the doors of his winery in Portugal to 1,400 fans, for whom he performs an acoustic concert and poses for individual photos.
He’s wary of how he’s perceived in the modern internet age, saying: “I spoke to my lawyers about it and I said, ‘What do I do about what people say about me on the internet?’ They said get used to it - you’re a celebrity. Well I didn’t become a celebrity, a singer to have people say all sorts of c*** about me publicly. And so it’s very unnerving.”
Janet Street Porter explains how much of an invasion the BBC reporting had been to the veteran singer: “I think Cliff Richard thought he had constructed a wall around his private life. It was like a physical attack on him.”
From his early years, Cliff’s good looks and musical talent had brought attention upon him. Joan Collins says: “He was clean cut - he was the boy next door and he had enormous charm.”
Yet Olivia Newton-John says it clearly didn’t harm his career as he went on to have a string of massive hits. She says: “Not having that image of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll obviously didn’t hinder, because he had that sexy image without all the stuff that goes with it.”
Now aged 78, Cliff is throwing himself fully back into the public arena with his new album, Rise Up, and a 60th anniversary tour. He says: “It has a significance because I am starting again, I haven’t been broken down and I have a new album.”
His friend Gloria Hunniford says: “I hope this will be a new fresh start for him and I hope will be able to put those four years out of his mind, deep down will he ever wipe it completely? I’m not so sure.”
And after six decades in the business, more than 140 hit records and well over 250 million records sold, few can compare to Sir Cliff’s staying power, Jimmy Osmond says: “Sixty years in show business is impossible for most people. Maybe they have two good years, but Cliff Richard, 60 years. Come on.” (46:03)