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Friday, 7 April, 2000, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
Cilla's tribute to Lennon
Rory Bremner, Cilla Black and Chris Tarrant
Winners: Rory Bremner, Cilla Black and Chris Tarrant
Television presenter Cilla Black paid tribute to the late John Lennon as she won an award for her contribution to broadcasting.

The Blind Date host was given the award by the Broadcasting Press Guild at a ceremony in London.

It is her second outstanding contribution award in a month - she recently picked up the same honour at the Television and Radio Industries Club last year.

She told guests how Lennon helped her get a recording contract in the early 1960s when she was trying to establish herself in her home city of Liverpool.

She recalled how she was performing at the Cavern Club in 1963 as Lennon looked on with Beatles manager Brian Epstein and local DJ Bob Wooler.

'Thrilled' with prize

"Bob said, 'She's one of the worst singers I've heard,' but John Lennon said he ought to sign me up," she recalled.

"And thank God he did because I wouldn't be here today."

Tony Doyle
Posthumous honour: Tony Doyle
The 56-year-old said she was "thrilled" with the award, presented by television and media writers who make up the guild.

She has been rebuilding her public profile recently following the death last year of her husband Bobby, who was her agent and manager.

Their son Robert, who has taken his place in managing Cilla's affairs, accompanied her to the ceremony.

Doyle honour

The late Tony Doyle was honoured for his roles in BBC One's Ballykissangel and ITV's Four Fathers with a posthumous best actor award.

Doyle, who played Brian Quigley in Ballykissangel, died in January shortly before he was due to start work on a new BBC drama, McCready and Daughter.

Collecting the award, his widow Sally said: "Tony would be completely thrilled to be here. Thank you very much indeed."

Justine Waddell won best actress for BBC One's Wives and Daughters, while the adaptation was named best drama series at the awards, compered by BBC media correspondent Nick Higham.

Meanwhile, Chris Tarrant took the title of best performer (non-acting) for ITV's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, and Channel 4's Bremner, Bird and Fortune won best entertainment show.

BBC One's Warriors added to its awards haul by winning best drama series, while Walking With Dinosaurs was best documentary.

Other awards:

Writer's award - Stephen Poliakoff (Shooting The Past, BBC Two).
Radio programme of the year - Late Junction (BBC Radio 3).
Multichannel award - Nick News (Nickelodeon UK).
Best single documentary - The Boer War (BBC Two).
Radio broadcaster - Melvyn Bragg.

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See also:

01 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Cilla's farewell to husband Bobby
04 Feb 00 | Northern Ireland
Tributes paid to 'Ballyk' star Doyle
14 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Dinosaurs walk off with award
06 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Unseen Beatles art on show
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