Growing old disgracefully: Dame Shirley and Cilla show they can party just as hard as their younger contemporaries 

It was 11 months late, but Dame Shirley Bassey finally celebrated her 70th birthday.  

The Welsh diva invited a host of her famous friends, including Joan Collins, 74; Cilla Black, 64; and 'King of the Jungle' Christopher Biggins, to the lavish bash at Cliveden House, the Berkshire stately home and hotel.  

It was a double celebration for Dame Shirley and Biggins - the I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! winner turned 59 on December 15th. Despite their advancing years, Dame Shirley and her pals showed they could party just as hard as their younger contemporaries.  

Dame Shirley and her Golden Girl pals spent the night quaffing champagne and showing off their moves on the dancefloor. Dressed in a red fur bolero, Dame Shirley arrived at 8pm and entered her party flanked by the self-styled Fantasy Boys - a topless male dance troupe dressed in white satin trousers  

While most of the 500 guests kept to the glitzy dress code, ageing punk rocker Siouxsie Sioux and designer Pam Hogg arrived in a low-cut metallic catsuits and garish make-up. Despite celebrating her own birthday, Dame Shirley belted out 'Happy Birthday' to herself, before cutting her four-tiered red birthday cake.  

The singer wore a low-cut red satin sheath dress to the Scarlet-themed party, which cost a reported 500,000 (paid for by Andrew Davis, chairman of von Essen which owns Cliveden) and was named 'Let the Party Start' - a nod to her cover of the Pink song which she performed in the Marks & Spencer Christmas TV ad last year.  

Guests including Bruce Forsyth, Honor Blackman, Tony Hadley, Rolf Harris, Lord Brocket, Toyah Willcox, Tony Christie and Raine Countess Spencer feasted on a lavish spread of Scottish lobster, langoustine, foie gras and Beluga caviar.  

Former Blind Date host Cilla attracted a lot of attention with her public displays of affection with her boyfriend John Madejski. Cilla, who started dating the Reading FC boss in 2004, couldn't keep her eyes off her lover and was spotted caressing his hands at the dinner table.  

Besides Dame Shirley's famous voice, upcoming singer/songwriter Tallulah Rendell and operatic boy band Blake provided the entertainment. The diva was serenaded by Blake - who formed after meeting on social networking site Facebook earlier this year - before being kissed by all four members.  

Dame Shirley turned 70 on January 8 this year, but has been too busy to organise a big celebration until now.  

The Monaco-based singer spent months in a recording studio earlier this year making her hit remix album Get the Party Started, which was released in June. The same month, she was helicoptered into Somerset to headline the Glastonbury Festival.  

Dame Shirley wowed the festival crowd with hits including Big Spender and Goldfinger, dressed in a Julien McDonald dress and wearing 3,000 diamante-encrusted 'DSB' wellies. And in July, she signed a new record deal with Universal Music Group's Decca Records, and is set to release a new album in the new year.  

Daily Mail
18th December 2007