In Depth

What is Cliff Richard doing now?

Singer has thrown his support behind a pressure group pushing for anonymity before charge in relation to sexual offences

It has been eight months since Sir Cliff Richard won his privacy case against the BBC, a legal battle he describes as “four years of murderous life”.

The singer successfully sued the broadcaster over its coverage of a police raid at his apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August 2014.

He was investigated by South Yorkshire Police after a man claimed he was sexually assaulted by him as a child in 1985, but he denied any wrongdoing and was never arrested nor charged for an offence.

Richard was awarded £210,000 in damages by the High Court, split between the BBC and the police, last July in a landmark case for media reporting on police investigations.

So what has the singer been doing since?

Speaking to ITV News in October, Richard said he had “got rid of a painful side of my life” and has “just relaxed”, adding: “I’m back to how I was.”

He revealed that he has been approached by others who claim to have been falsely accused of sexual offences, and he has met with DJ Paul Gambaccini and MP Nigel Evans, who were also victims of unfounded allegations.

This month he threw his support behind Falsely Accused Individuals for Reform (Fair), a pressure group pushing for anonymity for people accused of sex offences until there is a charge.

“Being falsely accused myself and having that exposed in the media was the worst thing that has happened to me in my entire life,” said the singer. “Even though untrue, the stigma is almost impossible to eradicate.”

As well as campaigning for law reform, he has been reviving his music career.

A month after his 78th birthday in October, Richard released his first album of new material in 14 years: Rise Up, which included the aptly named songs Reborn, Gonna be Alright and The Miracle of Love.

And, in December, he celebrated six decades in showbusiness with a one-off ITV documentary, Sir Cliff Richard: 60 Years in Public and in Private.

It included interviews with the star over a six-month period at his home in Portugal, at Abbey Road Studios and at Wimbledon, and showed him throwing himself fully back into the public arena with a Diamond Encore tour, due to kick off at the end of June.

“I am starting again, I haven’t been broken down,” he says.

The Daily Telegraph notes that the film finished with his High Court victory, the recording of his album and Richard speculating that he might go on until he is 100.

“Leaving us, as ever, with a paradox: a man who values his privacy more than anything else yet yearns to linger in the glare of the spotlight for as long as he can,” says the newspaper.

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