Gloria Hunniford says Cliff Richard ‘elated’ over historic sex abuse allegations being dropped

Gloria Hunniford on Loose Women

Gloria Hunniford has spoken about her showbiz pal Cliff Richard and how the allegation ordeal has taken its toll mentally and physically.

Loose Women regular Hunniford spoke to ITV’s Good Morning Britain earlier today noting that Sir Cliff Richard was ‘elated’ after being told he would not be prosecuted over historic sex abuse allegations but the ordeal had affected him ‘mentally and physically’.

Speaking to Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard, Gloria also said that her good friend of 45 years now wanted to be officially told he was ‘innocent’.

Describing Sir Cliff’s mood when she spoke to him yesterday, Gloria said: “I only spoke to him for a short while but he was just so elated. He said it was just an emotional moment when he heard the news.”

“During the terrible turmoil of the last couple of years, he would say it’s the last thing he thought of night, will it all be cleared tomorrow, and the first thing he thought of in the morning, so I know his thought process this morning will be one of elation because at least that relief, I mean his body must be thinking, ‘thank goodness’ and I must say I couldn’t be more happy for him.”

Michael Parkinson talks to Cliff Richard at YTV on his chat show in 1987

When asked whether she had seen a change in the singer over the last two years, Gloria said: “Mentally and physically. I mean I think mentally, it’s been horrific for him, I mean how could it not be because you’re being accused of something you know you haven’t done. I think physically, Cliff was never overweight but on the other hand I do think he’s dropped weight.”

Gloria explained that Sir Cliff now wanted to be officially told he was innocent, she said: “Cliff, I know, is looking for the word innocent, which he hasn’t yet received in terms of the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] because as he rightly says, if you haven’t done anything there is no evidence to collect in that sense, so he hasn’t got the word innocent yet and he would love that word of course because that’s how he feels.”

Sir Cliff has been a much-loved entertainer since the 1950s, selling over 250 million records worldwide and is the third-top-selling artist in UK Singles Chart history, behind the Beatles and Elvis Presley. In the 1960s he regularly fronted his own ATV London produced series for ITV.

Cliff Richard, ATV, 1964

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Pictured Top: Gloria Hunniford on ITV’s Loose Women, Pictured Middle: Michael Parkinson chats to Sir Cliff in 1987 (YTV) and bottom: Cliff hosts his own series for ATV in 1961.