Reputedly discovered by John Lennon, the 24-year-old Cilla Black was already a successful pop singer by the time of this 1967 interview with Bernard Braden. She had recently completed work on her first major acting role, in Peter Hall's psychedelic drug comedy Work is a Four Letter Word, released in June 1968. In a friendly interview, Braden references Black's "Gracie Fields image" and seems to sense that she has an enduring talent, with potential to expand into other areas of entertainment.
Black was already pursuing several career paths, and mentions her recent tenure in the stage play Way Out in London, alongside Frankie Howerd. The interview explores her ambitions for the future, as balladeer and character actress. Her canny self-confidence is apparent throughout, but she never seems arrogant. Hall's odd film, though, met with mixed reviews, and her screen acting career proved short-lived. Black had continued success as a singer, and increasingly became known as a television presenter. This interview is one of more than 300 filmed for Braden's ultimately unbroadcast TV series, Now and Then. Several other examples are also available on BFI Player.