TV veteran Cilla Black has blamed Liverpool's Cavern Club for damaging her hearing.

The entertainer worked at the music venue as a coat check girl in the 1960s so she could see bands such as The Beatles.

But Black, 71, has been forced to have a hearing aid surgically implanted because of the damage to her ears.

She told The Mail on Sunday: "I blame the Cavern. All those years in a place with no proper acoustics, I think it may have done some damage.

"It's no fun getting older. I might be wearing beautiful diamond earrings but they can't take away the pain of losing my hearing.

"I think it's been a gradual thing... I didn't actually realise how bad it had got until I was with a friend in Barbados and I said to her, "Why are you whispering?" She said to me, "Cilla I am not whispering, it is you who has a hearing problem."

"It's rock'n'roll that has done my hearing in. I went to the Cool Britannia party at 10 Downing Street and a well-known rocker came up to me and said something and I said, "I can't hear you." He replied, "I can't hear either." He pointed out his hearing aid and told me to get one."

The former singer revealed she finds it difficult to look back on her life and has been unable to bring herself to watch an ITV drama series which explores her rise to fame in the 1960s. The three-part series Cilla stars Sheridan Smith and is co-produced by Black's son, Robert.

"I've had the films for three weeks now but I haven't been able to watch it even though my son is the co-producer," she said.

"It's hard to watch your life unfold, and sad. Life changes. I haven't been in touch with Ringo (Starr) and he turned 74 the other day, or Paul (McCartney).

"I wanted to see a new screening of the old Beatles film Hard Day's Night, and I wanted to go with Patti Boyd, but she was in New York and I didn't want to go on my own."

Black was an associate of The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein in the early 1960s and scored two number ones in 1964 - Anyone Who Had A Heart and You're My World - as well as enjoying many other hits, before going on to concentrate on TV.

She has hosted more than 500 editions of her programmes and was the first woman to have her own prime-time chat show on BBC1.


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