Work kept Winton away from Cilla’s funeral

London, Aug 23 (IANS) Television presenter Dale Winton, who was singer Cilla Black’s best friend, missed the latter’s funeral because of work commitments.

Winton was tied down by BBC filming commitments in Scotland.

“Dale was incredibly upset not to be able to attend… I know his thoughts are still very much with the family and he plans to attend any memorial should there be one,” quoted Winton’s spokesperson as saying.

Winton’s absence came shortly after he told a news channel that he was too upset to talk on camera about the “Blind Date” presenter’s untimely passing and said he had lost a true, trusted and loyal friend.

“Cilla was a dear and close friend. Above all she was the most loyal person a friend could have. She was wonderful to be around, and caring, kind and happy. She was also a brilliant wife and mother. She was a true ‘star’ and a genuine national icon. My thoughts and best wishes are with her beloved boys and family,” he said.

The 60-year-old was absent at St Mary’s Church for the funeral, which was the venue where Black married songwriter Bobby Willis in 1969.

Christopher Biggins, Jimmy Tarbuck and Paul O’Grady and Cliff Richard were all in attendance at the funeral of the singer who died this month.

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