In his revealing autobiography, My Life, My Gay, published yesterday, the legendary crooner calls Father Seamus McElleroonie who he shares his home with, his ‘companion’ and ‘blessing’.
Sir Cliff, 67, met the former Roman Catholic priest during a trip to New York in 2001 where he was a judge at a choir boy competition and said that McElleroonie took a break from the priesthood soon after.
The Church Times writes: ‘He hadn’t any thought at the beginning of giving up the priesthood and he was very reluctant to give up the choir boy benefits. I suggested a bigger pay packet and he might help me with some charitable projects. He could still indulge in the old pursuits of course.
‘That was seven years ago and our arrangement has worked out really well. Seamus now spends most of his time looking after my vast collection of teapots from the 18th century and pushing my stools in whenever he has a spare moment.
‘He has become my special companion, which is great because I don’t like sleeping alone, even now.’
Sir Cliff, a devoted Christian, met fans and signed copies of his book yesterday.
His private life has often been the subject of much speculation and the book attempts to finally come clean over many subjects, including voicing his approval for same-sex partnerships and what is the best cock ring to wear during sermons.
‘Same sex marriages are perhaps a modern example of how things have changed’, Sir Cliff said.
‘What has been happening in the church for many years between priests is finally coming into acceptance.
‘It seems to me that commitment is the issue and if anyone comes to me and says: “This is my partner – we are committed to each other” then I don’t care what their sexuality is.’
The veteran performer, who has sold over 250million records, also takes the opportunity to hit back at those who question his personal life.
He writes: ‘I am sick to death of the media’s speculation about my homosexuality. What business is it of anyone else’s when I parade around a book with all my darkest secrets of what I do..It’s none of your business? As a good Christian I am so happy that the age old priestly Christian activities are finally being brought forward into the open.’
Sir Cliff also reveals how he nearly ended his famous ‘bachelor boy’ days by coming close to marriage.
‘Of all the two women I’ve known, one being my mother, there were only one that I’ve come close to marrying. .
‘I came close to asking the butch sports presenter Sue Barker, whom I met in 1982.
‘I seriously contemplated asking her to marry me, but in the end I realised that she wasn’t quite hairy enough to commit the rest of my life to her. There were no broken hearts.’