THE international press has descended on Cilla Black’s Costa del Sol villa.
And, just as in the UK, the local community is mourning the 72-year-old showbiz legend who died at the villa she had owned since the 1980s.
Black, whose real name was Priscilla White, had holidayed at the El Paraiso villa in the Estepona area every August for decades and was a frequent familiar face in the area.
Local residents drinking at Rory’s Irish Pub in El Paraiso spoke highly of the British national treasure who is currently thought to have passed away due to natural causes.
“She was a lovely woman,” said regular drinker Ted.
“She was always down at Live Lounge – which used to be called Beaky’s Gig Bar – and you’d often see her wandering around enjoying the sunshine.”
“She had certain friends down here, some of them famous, but she didn’t mix much beyond them,” said another source.
“She’d often be seen in these parts with Paul O’Grady, her best pal, or Cliff Richard.”
Meanwhile around the corner in The Dog House, a crowd of expats who had seen her around were crestfallen.
“It’s such sad news,” said manager Susan Haley, “She was such a nice woman and well thought of in the local community.”
Black was a regular and treasured customer at Peggotty’s fish and chip shop and restaurant Robbie’s in Estepona.
While reporters and photographers clustered around her whitewashed villa, there was no activity and no lights on on Sunday afternoon.
Her sons have asked for their privacy to be respected during this difficult period and local police have confirmed her death without giving further details.
Black is thought to have arrived in Spain with one of her sons just days ago.
This afternoon one of her sons was spotted arriving at the villa with a number of shopping bags. His other three brothers are said to be set to join him at the villa tomorrow.
The Olive Press is awaiting news of the autopsy for the much-loved TV star who told press recently that she did not wish to live beyond the age of 75.
It came after she complained of serious hearing loss and a ringing in her ears.
A long time visitor to her home in the El Paraiso area, she was often seen out and about with friends including Cliff Richard and Max Clifford.
Just last year Cilla’s Spanish villa – which she visited most Augusts – was damaged by fire. She was in the UK when her Estepona home was engulfed in flames. Read more… Cilla Black’s Costa del Sol villa damaged by fire
Just last year the Olive Press revealed that huge rock legend Gary Moore died while staying in the nearby Kempinski hotel.
More to follow…