Cilla Black
Cilla Black was speaking as she received an award to mark her long career Reuters

Veteran entertainer Cilla Black said she is afraid she may not be able to work any longer as she battles with arthritis, and also because a lifetime working in the music industry has left her quite deaf.

Black, 71, spoke about how she is "falling apart" because of her deteriorating health, as she picked up a Royal Television Society Legends Award celebrating her 50-year career.

Black said she underwent an operation for her arthritis and regularly visits the Caribbean as the warm weather and sunshine helps sooth her joint pain.

"My hand is falling apart. I can't shake hands. I had arthritis and I had an operation for it," she said.

"I had it done because I was in pain. I am not in pain at the moment. But it looks a bit deformed on the wrist.

"That has been fixed but it is going to take some time to heal. I fell in the park earlier this year as well and hurt my hand."

She also said how she is now "completely deaf" as a result of working in legendary Liverpool venue The Cavern Club, famous for hosting the Beatles at the start of their career.

"You see on Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor they all wear ear plugs. But I could not hear myself when I wore them. So that is where the strong voice came from. Now I am totally deaf because of the Cavern days."