Priscilla White (Sheridan Smith, Black Work) is a typist from working-class Liverpool who dreams of stardom; Bobby Willis is the chancer who ignores the city’s Protestant-Catholic divide to pursue her; Brian Epstein is the young genius who will later guide The Beatles to superstardom. Cilla tells the true story of how the lives of these three intertwine to propel Cilla to the top of the charts and beyond… but at a cost.
Cilla, Thursday, beginning at 8 p.m. on PBS 6.
Young typist, Priscilla White, sings with local Liverpool bands as the Merseybeat music scene explodes in the early 1960’s. She falls for Bobby Willis, but in her desperation to become a star she elbows him aside. Then, a failed audition leaves her frustrated and distraught.
After being reunited with Bobby, Cilla’s confidence returns and she is once again dazzling crowds with her amazing voice. Brian gives her a second chance but the first record she cuts fails in the charts. Against Bobby’s judgement Brian convinces her to gamble on a ballad- a change that could alter her life forever.
Cilla’s success with Anyone Who Had a Heart’ is soon followed by a second number-one hit. However, a failed attempt to break into the American market, her tumultuous relationship with Bobby, and the unravelling of Brian’s private life threaten to derail her success.