Cliff Richard confessed ‘guilty secret’ he’d never seen Grease to Olivia Newton-John
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The Summer Holiday singer, 80, has been friends with Australian actress Newton-John for more than 50 years. Sir Cliff was introduced to the singer, then an emerging star, in the Seventies and immediately felt a connection with her. Since then, she has performed alongside him on tours and multiple times on stage.
Many have speculated about a potential relationship between Newton-John and Sir Cliff due to their “chemistry” during duets.
On a number of occasions the singers have kissed as part of their performances.
Sir Cliff met Newton-John when she was dating his bandmate Bruce Welch, who was part of The Shadows in 1970.
They “hit it off straight away” and the singer described her as “just a lovely person”.
Cliff Richard admitted that he harboured a ‘guilty secret’ related to Olivia Newton-John
Cliff Richard met Olivia Newton-John when she was dating Bruce Welch, from The Shadows
Sir Cliff noted that she was “really easy to talk to” and despite being new to the music industry was a “fantastic singer”.
He immediately felt a connection to her but dismissed speculation about romance.
Sir Cliff said: “It was clear from our on-screen chemistry that Olivia and I got on well.”
He clarified “we never were… an item” and rejected claims of any flings between them.
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Cliff Richard and Olivia Newton-John have kissed multiple times during performances
Sir Cliff said: “We were as close as it’s possible for two just-good-friends to be.”
Despite dismissing the rumours, he described their connection in a way that could suggest deeper feelings.
It followed fans spotting their “chemistry” on the star’s 1970 TV show It’s Cliff Richard.
Sir Cliff said: “She was the sort of soulmate that you meet and you know is a friend for life.”
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But their relationship was not always easy and the singer once admitted to holding a “guilty secret” about her.
In 1998, Sir Cliff met Newton-John to watch the 20th anniversary rerelease of her musical hit Grease.
When she asked him to accompany her to the premiere, the singer said he “was delighted”.
Sir Cliff added: “Yet I was hiding a guilty secret.”
He admitted that he “could not have been more excited” for Newton-John when the 1978 musical film “rocketed her to global superstardom”.
Cliff Richard had never watched the 1978 musical film Grease
However, “for one reason or another” Sir Cliff revealed her had “never got around to seeing it”.
The singer continued: “I didn’t want to tell her this.”
When he watched the film for the first time alongside Newton-John, he was “blown away”.
Sir Cliff added: “I had no idea that Grease was so completely fantastic.
“After it had finished, I was so complimentary about it that I dropped a boo-boo.”
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Sir Cliff told Newton-John: “Wow… that was just way, way beyond my expectation…”
After that slip of the tongue, he realised she knew he hadn’t watched Grease before.
When Sir Cliff recounted the moment in his autobiography The Dreamer last year, and wrote “Oops” in response to his blunder.
He claimed Newton-John “stared at him” in shock with “comically narrowed eyes”.
She then vented: “Beyond your expectations? What?!
Cliff Richard said Grease ‘blew me away’ after watching the Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta hit
“You hadn’t seen it before, had you Cliff?”
Sheepishly he replied: “No.”
Moments later Sir Cliff claimed they “both collapsed into giggles”.
He noted: “At least I absolutely loved it when I finally did get to see it!”
Sir Cliff’s blunder followed a cheeky snipe at the star when she toured with him in the Seventies.
Cliff Richard celebrated his 80th birthday in October last year
Newton-John, who was performing as a backing singer, had placed her microphone next to Sir Cliff’s at the front of the stage.
When he saw it, he was annoyed that she had tried to invade “my area”.
Sir Cliff told the tour manager and the next night, Newton-John and another backing singer’s mics were placed “behind the piano”.
He explained: “I came on and opened the piano lid – and you couldn’t see them!
“They still remind me of this joke occasionally.”
Cliff Richard: The Dreamer was published by Ebury Press last year. It is available here.
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