'Cilla' Review: Episode 3 - Loss And Lessons In Downbeat Finale Starring Sheridan Smith, Aneurin Barnard

TV REVIEW: Cilla Part 3 - Loss And Hard Lessons In Downbeat Finale

After all the music and mayhem of last week's episode, it was time, finally, to get down to business, with Cilla revealing the steely backbone behind all that carrot-top hair and Liverpudlian charm.

Steely enough to make it quite clear to devoted but long-suffering Bobby just where his loyalties lay - with her, and not with the offer of his own recording career, even as she kept him firmly in his 'road manager' basket.

Cilla was dependent on Brian Epstein, but her manager had his own demons

The scene when an unsmiling Cilla told Bobby 'No' was the turning point of this relatively downbeat finale - with writer Jeff Pope unafraid to show the determined starlet in all her self-belief, good AND bad, and the couple's conflicting frustrations.

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That all came good, though, just in time for Cilla to suffer a much bigger challenge - the sudden death of troubled Brian Epstein, admirably played by Ed Stoppard in all his suave exterior, demons within.

Bobby was willing to put Cilla's career before his own, and so they remained united

Fortunately, with the kind of timing that seemed to be dramatic licence but was actually based on fact, Cilla's first TV contract was at his bedside when he was found. He had set the stage for Cilla's next, equally impressive chapter - that of primetime TV entertainer, one that would make her millions and define her in the eyes of the younger generations, well, until they sat enthralled through this colourful, moving and nostalgic three-parter, anyway.

'Cilla' Starring Sheridan Smith and Aneurin Barnard



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