Do you fancy a night in with Sir Cliff Richard?

Friday: Cliff Richard Night; (BBC Four, from 8pm)

Congratulations… and celebrations!

Sir Cliff Richard turned 80 on Wednesday (October 14), and to mark the milestone, BBC Four is dedicating a night of programming to the national treasure.

Having sold more than 250 million records worldwide, Cliff, who was born Harry Rodger Webb in India in 1940, is one of the most successful musicians ever.

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A fixture in the charts since the 1950s, he is the only artist to have had a UK No.1 single in five consecutive decades. And with an astonishing back catalogue under his belt – more than 130 of his singles, albums and EPs have reached the UK Top 20 – you could forgive the veteran singer for taking it easy as he enters his ninth decade.

However, Cliff just doesn’t have the heart to tell his millions of fans that he’s calling a day on his music career. His last release was 2018’s Rise Up, and now he is celebrating his 80th birthday by releasing Music… The Air That I Breathe, an album of new songs and duets.

The evergreen Wired for Sound pop star has written two tracks, Falling For You and PS Please, for his 46th studio album which is released on October 30.

He has also recorded duets with Bonnie Tyler, The Bellamy Brothers, Sheila Walsh, The Piano Guys and Albert Hammond, singing covers including The Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun and and The Bee Gees’ Too Much Heaven.

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“What’s even better than that [turning 80] is I have a new album!” he said when he announced the release at the end of last month.

“Music… The Air That I Breathe features not just me, but friends I admire who duetted with me on some of the tracks.

“I loved recording it and hope you will enjoy listening to it.”

It’s fair to say that Cliff has not always seen eye to eye with the BBC. In 2019, he received around £2million towards his legal costs after suing the broadcaster over its coverage of the police search of his Berkshire home in 2014. Nevertheless, that appears to be water under the bridge now, as the Beeb rightfully pays tribute to one of the country’s most-successful entertainers of all time.

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Tonight’s line-up begins with his most famous film, Summer Holiday, and continues with Sir Cliff Richard at the BBC, which features clips of the performer in action, all plucked from the broadcaster’s archive. Cliff, who decided to ‘Move it’ and relocate to the US last year, is feeling thankful as he becomes an octogenarian.

And celebrate the milestone further, the Young One, who has always prided himself in not conforming to the usual rock ’n’ roll shenanigans, was due to go on a late Summer Holiday and embark on his Great 80 Tour. Sadly those spectacular concerts have had to be pushed back. However, with an album of new music on the way, as well as an autobiography entitled The Dreamer, a 2021 calendar (his 42nd), and a (likely) Christmas single, the Bachelor Boy’s 80th should be one to remember.

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