Piers Morgan’s Life Stories with Sir Cliff

Piers Morgan can’t wait to chat to Sir Cliff RichardPiers Morgan can’t wait to chat to Sir Cliff Richard
Piers Morgan can’t wait to chat to Sir Cliff Richard
Sunday: Piers Morgan’s Life Stories; (ITV, 9pm)

He was arguably Britain’s first true rock ‘n’ roll star and he’s also proved to be the most enduring.

So, no wonder UK television bosses want to prolong Cliff Richard’s 80th birthday celebrations.

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The Bachelor Boy reached the milestone on October 14 and two days later, BBC4 celebrated by devoting an evening of programmes to him.

And now its ITV’s turn to pay tribute as he appears on an edition of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories.

The TV channels may be stretching out Cliff’s birthday because it’s taken his fans a good week or so to wrap their heads around the idea of him being 80. After all, he’s long been famous for his apparent agelessness, although the man himself sees that as more of a burden than a compliment.

In an interview with Richard Arnold, published in Woman’s Own to mark his birthday, he said: “One of the hardest things to live up to has been the Peter Pan of Pop.”

He says he’s under no illusions about his age.

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He added: “When I wake up and look in the mirror, I see myself as I really am. When I look back – and they often throw up pictures when I was 18 or 20 – I think my best pictures were taken between 30 and 50, but I realise as you get older you should try to look good, not to look young.”

But while he may claim that he doesn’t have the secret of eternal youth, perhaps some young musicians will be tuning in to see if they can pick up any tips about how to have a career that spans over 60 years. Cliff scored his first hit, Move It, in 1958, and the first of his 14 UK number ones with Living Doll, the following year. His most recent chart-topper was Millennium Prayer in 1999, but he had a top 10 album in 2018 with Rise Up and was set to tour this year to celebrate his birthday, until the pandemic struck.

Here, he talks about how he went from an impoverished childhood to become one of the biggest-selling singles artists in the world.

He also opens up about how the tragically early death of his father led him to publicly convert to Christianity, which he admits could have damaged his career. Cliff reportedly once described himself as the “most radical rock-and-roll singer Britain has ever seen”, precisely because at a time when his peers were embracing drugs and hedonism, he had a more clean-cut image.

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Despite his huge success and devoted fans, the last 60 years have not been without their ups and downs, and he will be talking candidly about his life in the public eye.

It should make for fascinating viewing – and Piers Morgan can’t wait to chat to him. He says: “Sir Cliff is one of Britain’s greatest ever pop stars and I’m absolutely thrilled he has finally agreed to do Life Stories. What a career, what a life!”

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