Acclaimed writer Jeff Pope has penned Cilla, a three-part drama for ITV, starring Sheridan Smith as the famous Liverpudlian songbird.
‘Cilla’ tells of her rocky rise to fame and will capture the essence of 1960s Liverpool, the atmosphere of promise and excitement as the Merseybeat music scene was on the verge of exploding in a blaze of tight-fitting skirts, stiletto heels, and beehives.
We see the young Priscilla White, (her real name), touring Liverpool in Bobby’s Crawford’s biscuits van as she moved from the Cavern to the Zodiac Club, to the Blue Angel Club and the Iron Door Club, chasing a dream. But it was a meeting with shy young entrepreneur Brian Epstein, struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality at a time when to be gay was illegal in Britain, which was to change her life.
Sheridan Smith is delighted to be taking on the role of the young Cilla: “I am thrilled to be playing Cilla, as she is a British icon. In the 60s, as a young girl from Liverpool, she had numerous number ones and sang with The Beatles, her life story is fascinating,” said Sheridan.
“I’m so excited and can’t wait to start filming. Golden Globe nominated Jeff Pope has written it and Paul Whittington, who directed Mrs Biggs is directing. Add to that Kwadjo Dajan producing and Lesley Brennan doing the make up and I am working with an absolute dream team. So thrilled to be back at ITV for such an exciting project and to hopefully show a younger audience what a star Cilla has always been and for the older generation they can re-live those swinging 60s! What an era! I can’t wait to get up to Liverpool (my favourite city) and start filming. I’m really honoured and just hope I do her story justice,” she added.
Filming of Cilla begins in Liverpool next month and will take in some of the city’s most famous landmarks including the world famous Cavern Club.