Later this year, British pop staff Cliff Richard celebrates 20 years in the hit parade.?
FILM CLIP Cliff Richard singing 'Devil Women'
Cliff Richard in Johannesburg, South Africa 1961, waving to fans from balcony BLACK & WHITE (5 shots)
CU Cliff Richard speaking in English
CU Visnews reporter asking question in English
CU Cliff Richard answering question in English
CU PAN FROM Magazine TO reporter asking question
CU Cliff Richard talking to Mother Teresa in India, Bangladeshi refugees queuing for food, children starving (8 shots)
CU PAN FROM Cliff Richard TO reporter asking question
CU Cliff Richard answering question
FILM CLIP Cliff Richard singing 'Devil Woman'
RICHARD: "I have a sort of image of being whiter than white, which is not true. I mean that it's just that I don't go in for some of the things that are allegedly part of the pop scene. I haven't taken drugs, I haven't been immoral in my life time, in the way that some people have been, and so therefore there has been really nothing to aim at."
REPORTER: "I know that these days you devote a lot of your time to Gospel tours, Gospel concerts for TEAR Fund. Bearing in mind your other music commitments, how important is this work for you?"
RICHARD: "It's probably the most vital thing that I do really. Because as a committed Christian, I mean one of the things that I realised very early on, that it's easy to talk about being a Christian. It's actually more difficult doing and being, you know, what this Christian thing is. And one of the ways in which I can be of assistance in our world, is by being involved with my career, in the area that is, quote unquote, Christian. So what can I do? I can't give injections or be a doctor, or go and teach people how to dig their fields in India or whatever, but I can raise money for it."
REPORTER: "When you see poverty at first hand, in such places as Calcutta or Bangladesh, does it ever make you question your Christian faith?"
RICHARD: "In 1973, I went to Bangladesh, and I've never, I've never been in those kind of circumstances before. There had been a terrible war, Bihares had been left behind. Therefore there were refugees, and crammed into camps, that were, I mean, thousands of people in a very, very small little acreage. Human excreta was knee deep. I mean, it was just awful. Babies died of malnutrition, and I think in some places they still do. And I'd never been first hand, I mean eyesight witnessing this kind of thing, and it was a terrible shock."
REPORTER: "You have had world-wide success, records, films, television. I wonder why there hasn't been such a sustained success in the States?"
RICHARD: "I don't know. I mean, you know one can only finally say that if a public do not buy records, then they do not like those records. So, I've just said, right. The Americans haven't liked the records I've released and that's fine by me. At least I know where I stand. They liked one record, which was called Devil Woman, and when they liked it, they buy it. And they bought a million and a half copies of it."
TEAR FUND is The Evangelical Alliance Relief Fund. Annually, Cliff Richard raises in excess of GBP 30,000 (nearly 56,000 dollars) for the Fund.
REPORTER: GEOFF PETTS
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Later this year, British pop staff Cliff Richard celebrates 20 years in the hit parade. In Britain alone he has had more than 70 hits, a number bettered only by the late Elvis Presley. For Cliff, it all started back in 1958, and over two decades he has had world-wide success with records, films and television series. Now 37, he is an artist who can genuinely be billed as a pop superstar, yet these days he is much more than a 'hit parade idol'. He is a committed Christian, and is just as much at home working for an international Christian charity organisation as he is touring the world doing rock n' roll concerts. Working in an entertainment area often criticised for drugs, sex and violence Cliff Richard has retained his popularity for a remarkable 20 controversy-free years.
SYNOPSIS: Cliff Richard Seventies style, with Devil Women.
Since the Fifties he has had a world-wide following, but his image is not that of the usual rich living, big spending pop star.