Season 1
Cilla Black & Daniel O’Donnell
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Contributors - Season 1

Cilla Black & Daniel O’Donnell

This episode of Living the Dream brings together the…legendary Liverpudlian actress, presenter and 60’s singing sensation, Cilla Black with Daniel O’Donnell, the Irish singing phenomenon, television presenter and philanthropist.


Cilla Black – famously started her singing career in Liverpool whilst working as a cloakroom assistant at the Cavern Club, where her impromptu performances impressed the likes of the Beatles and many others. Subsequently she signed with Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein and released many chart-topping and award-winning songs such as ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’ and ‘You’re My World.’

After a successful recording career and a brief time as a comedy actress, she became the best paid female presenter in British television history, hosting two of the most popular and long-running evening entertainment shows of the 1980s and 1990s – ‘Blind Date’ and ‘Surprise, Surprise.’


Daniel O’Donnell – was born and brought up in the village of Kincasslagh, in the Rosses region of County Donegal. Originally performing in his sister Margot’s band but not getting enough opportunities to perform solos, Daniel decided to record his own single in 1983. This brought him to public attention and launched a highly successful career. Daniel started to sell concerts out in England on a regular basis and by the mid-1990s O’Donnell had become a household name across Ireland and the UK.

In 2002, he was awarded an Honorary MBE for his services to the music industry. Daniel has had twenty UK Top 40 albums as well as fifteen Top 40 singles and has sold 10 million records to date. During filming of Living the Dream Daniel expresses his delight at first performing on Cilla’s ‘Surprise, Surprise’ show and they are soon deeply ensconced in an amazingly intimate and revealing conversation.


Watch out for Cilla and Daniel talking during the show about:

  • How Cilla’s first audition with Brian Epstein fell flat due to the Beatles playing in the wrong key for the demands of her voice.
  • How Daniel describes in detail how he paid for the recording and printing of 1000 copies of his very first record, and personally hawked them around most of Ireland to gather recognition and momentum.
  • How Cilla’s one and only experience with smoking cannabis made for a very ‘naughty’ and ‘foul mouthed’ Little Red Riding Hood during her rehearsals.