08/09/2014 11:55 BST | Updated 08/09/2014 12:59 BST

Cliff Richard in 'Agony' Over Sexual Assault Allegations, Says His Friend Gloria Hunniford

Cliff Richard is in 'agony' and 'imprisoned' in his home following allegations that he sexually assaulted a young boy, according to his good friend Gloria Hunniford.

The veteran broadcaster also revealed that Cliff - who she has been friends with for 45 years - has been overwhelmed by support from family, friends and fans since the allegations first surfaced last month.

Gloria Hunniford (second left) with her 'Loose Women' co-stars Ruth Langsford, Coleen Nolan and Janet Street Porter

Speaking during her new spot on the panel of the revamped 'Loose Women' on Monday, Gloria said: "Because Cliff loves coming on Loose Women I thought I’d ring him this morning, and ask him if it was it alright to tell you how he is and these are absolutely his words.

"He’s totally devastated because he’s got no idea of course who his accuser is and these are his words... he is appalled about what he regards as a completely false accusation.

"He couldn’t believe that this would actually put him through such agony."

Cliff Richard

The 73-year-old singer has dismissed allegations of an historic sexual assault as "completely false".

In August, South Yorkshire Police searched Cliff's Berkshire home in relation to the alleged sexual assault of a boy under 16 at a religious event in 1985.

He has since been interviewed by police under caution, but was not arrested or charged.

Gloria also revealed that many of the star's friends and family have visited him at his home in Portugal, where he is 'imprisoned'

“He also said he’s never ever had so much support in his life, from fans, friends, family," she said.

"The last thing he said was please send lots of love to the girls and the audience. Message delivered. He’s got lots of very good friends and they’ve been going to Portugal to see him but he’s imprisoned really if you think about it.”

Speaking about her long friendship with Cliff, Gloria added: “I’ve known him for 45 years as a friend. I trust him with my life and genuinely I’ve never heard Cliff say a bad word about anybody or put a foot wrong, so that’s my experience.”

Last month, Cilla Black also spoke out to defend her close friend, telling the Mirror: "Cliff is a very close friend of mine and has been for a million years.

“I, like everyone else, was shocked to hear of these allegations and I am absolutely positive that they are without foundation."

Photo gallery Cliff Richard Through The Years See Gallery