Jimmy meets campaigning grocer

Jimmy Cricket and Robin Blair with some of the plants Robin donated to Darlington Civic Theatre
Greengrocer Robin Blair shows Jimmy Cricket some of the plants he donated to Darlington Civic Theatre

Jimmy Cricket met a campaigning greengrocer on a recent visit to Darlington where he will be appearing in a stand-up show.

The famous Irish comedian had a walk around the town and chatted to local celebrity Robin Blair, who was recently awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Robin has donated plants to brighten up the Conservatory Bar plaza at the Darlington Civic Theatre and also regularly provides baskets of fruit in the dressing rooms for visiting entertainers.Jimmy and Robin have a chat during a walk around Darlington

The 67-year-old, who has been a grocer for more than 50 years, received the British Empire Medal for his services to the community of Darlington.

Over the years, he has campaigned to keep markets alive and against too many supermarkets taking away their trade.

Robin, who joined his father John Joseph’s stall officially at the age of 15 but had helped out on it since he was seven, said one of the highlights of his job was putting free fruit baskets in the dressing rooms and receiving messages of thanks – including from Ken Dodd.

Jimmy Cricket is returning to the Civic Theatre in Darlington just months after appearing on the same stage as Baron Hardup in a pantomime version of Cinderella.

This time, he will be doing his usual stand-up and is teaming up with fellow comedy legend Mick Miller.

In addition to the Darlington appearance on Wednesday 11 July, the Jimmy and Mick Show tour also includes Preston, Chester, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh.

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