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Last Updated: Friday, 3 December, 2004, 15:05 GMT
Women honour Cilla Black's career
Cilla Black
Black was honoured for her career's 'longevity and diversity'
Television star Cilla Black has received a lifetime achievement award to mark her 40-year career.

The 61-year-old celebrity, who began her career as a singer, was honoured at the Women In Film and Television (WFTV) awards in London.

"The longevity and diversity of Cilla's career is what makes her so unique," said WFTV chief executive Jane Cussons.

Presenter Judy Finnigan and Royle Family creator Caroline Aherne were also honoured at the Friday event.

'British icon'

The annual awards, held at London's Park Lane Hilton hotel, recognise the achievements of women both behind and in front of the camera.

Finnigan, half of husband and wife presenting duo Richard and Judy, received the ITV Television Award while Aherne was given the Creative Originality prize.

Cilla Black
Black's 19 UK hits included Anyone Who Had a Heart and Alfie
Cussons said she was "delighted" to present Black with the lifetime achievement award.

"From her early days as a singing sensation to becoming the undisputed First Lady of television, Cilla has remained a true British icon," she said.

Born in Liverpool as Priscilla White, Black changed her name to launch a singing career which spawned hits including Anyone Who Had a Heart, You're My World and Alfie.

Last year Black resigned from ITV series Blind Date live on air, after fronting the show for 18 years.

She returns to television this month, fronting a Christmas special on digital channel Living which echoes her past series Surprise Surprise.

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