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Tuesday, April 27, 1999 Published at 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK


Sir Cliff mourns his 'gorgeous' friend

Sir Cliff and Miss Dando: "She was sweet and nice"

Cliff Richard has spoken about his close friendship with the late television presenter Jill Dando - and of his "confusion" at her death.

Jill Dando 1961 - 1999

Speaking from Copenhagen, Denmark, where he is working, he told BBC One's One O'Clock News he first met Miss Dando many years ago, and had become "close friends" with her over the last few years.

Sir Cliff: "She was just a gorgeous person"
Sir Cliff said everybody hits it off with certain people, but "she seemed to have a chemistry where more people liked her than is normal".

Jill Dando had many likeable qualities, he said. "She was a very funny person. You must have heard her do impersonations of various accents - she was always a good laugh.

[ image: Sir Cliff prepares to surprise his friend ...]
Sir Cliff prepares to surprise his friend ...
"She was just a gorgeous person", he said.

Sir Cliff was at the party where Miss Dando announced her engagement to gynaecologist boyfriend Alan Farthing.

"She's a very beautiful woman and she just seemed to be a very genuine person, and it was really nice to get to know her - and latterly of course, to know Alan her fiancé," he said.

[ image: ... who is delighted to see him]
... who is delighted to see him
"It is very difficult to understand and I find it all very confusing at the moment."

Asked how he would best remember Miss Dando, Sir Cliff said: "It'll be different for all of us.

"The nation will remember a very beautiful woman, who actually presented a very fine personality - she made you feel comfortable just watching.

"It's very rare you switch things on just to see someone nowadays," he said, "but I certainly switched things on just to see Jill.

"Watching her on television was very comfortable, you felt that you were in the presence of someone really sweet and nice.

"I'd like to think the nation will remember her for that," he said.

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