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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 May, 2003, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Cilla to serenade Blair
Cilla Black
Cilla Black made her name as a pop star in the 1960s

Television presenter Cilla Black is to sing happy birthday to Prime Minister Tony Blair in a special tribute show on BBC Two.

Black will follow in the footsteps of film icon Marilyn Monroe, who famously sang to US President John F Kennedy in 1962, for Happy Birthday Mr Prime Minister on 4 May.

The programme was described as "light-hearted" by a BBC spokeswoman and aimed at easing Mr Blair's worries about turning 50 on 6 May.

The spokeswoman also said Black had not dressed up for the performance and that it included contributions from several other well-known people.

The programme will be hosted by former BBC and ITV political journalist John Sergeant.

Interviewees will include Neil Kinnock, Roy Hattersley, Peter Mandelson, Mo Mowlam and John Prescott.

Former US President Bill Clinton will also make an appearance and TV chef Gary Rhodes and wine expert Oz Clarke will be giving advice on creating the perfect birthday party.

Former pop star Black is well-known for her singing talents. In recent years she has become better known for fronting ITV's long-running hit Blind Date.

But last year she proved she had still had a taste for live performance when she wore a neon basque and stockings to sing at the Royal Variety Performance.

She sang You've Gotta Have a Gimmick, a song from the 1962 musical Gypsy in which an older stripper advises an aspiring one.

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