Elton John and Tony Blair reached out to Cliff Richard when he was falsely accused of historic child sex abuse - and the former PM was the only one who made Cliff laugh in a dark time as he mocked himself.
Writing in his new autobiography, Sir Cliff speaks about the 2014 police raid on his home which was filmed by the BBC who put a helicopter above his house.
In 2018, Cliff won a landmark case against the broadcaster about the way they reported that he was being investigated over historical child sexual assault claims. He was never arrested or charged and later decided to sue the BBC for invading his privacy.
Looking back to 2014, he writes: “My life had changed overnight. I had been accused of a heinous crime, awful beyond belief.And the BBC had broadcast that accusation around the world. My family, my friends, my fans, people in every country I had ever played in my career, would have seen that damning BBC footage. People close to me would know I was innocent, of course. But what of the others? What if most people thought: There’s no smoke without fire? My world collapsed. I went into an absolute meltdown.
“Elton John was one of the first people to phone me when the storm broke.
Elton had had his own previous problems with false sex allegations in the media, of course, so he doubtless had some idea of how I felt. As you would expect, he was empathic and encouraging.”
But perhaps the biggest encouragement came from former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who made him laugh but suggesting things could be worse.
Sir Cliff added: "I was also touched to get a call from Tony Blair. Tony said that he and Cherie didn’t believe a word of the allegations and listened sympathetically as I told him how helpless I felt as I watched my name being traduced across the globe.
‘I can’t even look at the internet, Tony,’ I said. ‘People are saying such awful things about me.’
"Tony gave a wry chuckle. ‘You want to see people saying even worse things?’ he asked. ‘ Google my name!’ I even laughed, for a second.”
Cliff admitted that he thought the stress of "nightmare" would kill him, describing it as “the deepest and darkest hole of my life and I could see no way out”.
He said it was his Christian faith as well as the support of his friends that got him through.
Cliff who turned 80 earlier this month, insists getting older no longer worries him.
In an interview last weekend he said: "I don't have any fear of being 80.
The funny thing is, as the years have gone by, each decade has been easier to deal with.
“When I first hit 40, I thought: 'Oh my goodness, 40.' Fifty was absolutely no problem at all, nor 60 or 70. Now that I'm at 80, it doesn't feel any different to me. Fortunately, I've been blessed with good health so that helps.”
But he also admitted the time of the police raid is still “pretty vivid in my mind if I start thinking about it”.
Speaking last week on ITV's Life Stories programme, Sir Cliff also told how he was a fighter at school and left other kids battered and bleeding - to stop being bullied himself.
The singer is known for being softly spoken and a complete gentleman during his seven decade career in pop, but there was another side to him growing up.
He said of one fight: “The guy had me by the wrist and I managed to turn it around and I’ve thrown him down, he was on the floor. And all I did was that and there was all blood here and the bone and everything.”
* The Dreamer: An Autobiography by Cliff Richard is out now published by Ebury Press.