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Thoughts, updates and news from Jimmy Cricket

Christmas lunch at Leeds hotel for City Varieties

Jimmy Cricket with Friends of City Varieties in Leeds

Jimmy Cricket headlined a Christmas luncheon in Leeds earlier this month.

The Northern Irish funnyman performed at the event organised by The Friends Of The City Varieties at the Hilton Hotel in the West Yorkshire city.

Fellow acts included Billy Bedlam and compere Johnny Pat.

The Friends of The City Varieties promote public appreciation and understanding of the arts by the support, maintenance and advancement of the charitable work of the City Varieties Music Hall.



Liz Dawn: Corrie star had ‘courage and a big heart’

Jimmy Cricket paid tribute in his Lancashire Evening Post column to Liz Dawn, who played Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street

Jimmy Cricket has paid a warm tribute to the late Liz Dawn in his  monthly newspaper column.

In the Lancashire Evening Post, Jimmy said Liz, who played Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street for more than 30 years, was “a great actress with a big heart who had the common touch”.

The soap legend died aged 77 in September following a long battle with emphysema, a disease of the lungs that primarily causes shortness of breath.

“It was when she landed the role of a factory worker in Coronation Street that Liz came to everyone’s attention,” recalled famous Northern Irish comedian Jimmy, 72.

“Her natural acting ability won the hearts of viewers and her on-screen relationship with Bill Tarmey as the bickering husband and wife Jack and Vera Duckworth captivated the nation.

“She raised incredible amounts of money for such worthy causes as the Manchester Children’s Hospital, the Genesis Appeal, and the Liz Dawn Cancer Appeal, and was awarded the MBE in the 2000 Queen’s Birthday Honours for her extraordinary fund-raising achievements.”

Jimmy said he first met Leeds-born Liz while working on the QE2, adding she was a  “huge hit”, with large audiences attending her ‘An Audience With Show’ where she talked about her life.

“At the height of her success on Corrie, she did a ‘Christmas Special’ from her home, and I played a postman who delivered her Christmas cards,” reminisced Jimmy.

Liz Dawn (who played Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street) talks to Frankie's friend Liz Creagh after the service. Liz was at both the ordination and the First Mass and Frankie was really thrilled she came to both events











“However, it was my son who formed a strong friendship with Liz and her husband, Don.

“When our Frank was training for the priesthood, he politely enquired if Liz could put in an appearance at a fund-raising concert which would help to send some young people to Lourdes.

“Without hesitation, Liz not only turned up to that event but became a regular guest artiste at these shows.

“Our Frank, who was a stand-up comedian before he took up his vocation, would introduce Liz and together they would do a hilarious question-and answer-session.

“They both struck up such a rapport that when when Frank was ordained a priest [in 2013], Liz not only turned up at his ordination in Salford Cathedral but at his very first Mass in St Vincent’s Catholic Church in Rochdale [picture above].

“It took great courage and bravery, for by that time emphysema had taken its toll, but there she was… still laughing and joking with her fans after the service and always with her beloved Don pushing her wheelchair.”

Jimmy added: “I was so proud to be at her Requiem Mass at Salford Cathedral where Father Frankie was a concelebrant.

“Liz, you went from rags to riches and gave so much enjoyment and happiness along the way.”

A Christmas-themed spectacular in East Anglia

Jimmy tweeted his thanks to the Nine Lives Theatre Company and Wisbech Council for a "wonderful Christmas-themed show".Jimmy Cricket returned to Wisbech in East Anglia to headline a “spectacular Christmas variety show for the whole family”.

The famous Northern Irish comedian performed at The Tower Ballroom in the market town, having been asked back following several successful shows there in recent years.

Jimmy tweeted his thanks to a host of people, including the Nine Lives Theatre Company and Wisbech Council, for a “wonderful Christmas-themed show”.

Jimmy Cricket returned to Wisbech in East Anglia to headline a "spectacular Christmas variety show for the whole family".



Christmas show @Square Chapel in Halifax was a ‘wonderful evening’

Jimmy Cricket posted a thank-you message on Twitter after his Christmas show at the Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax, West YorkshireJimmy Cricket expressed his thanks to all after thoroughly enjoying his Christmas show at the Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Friday’s event also featured pianist Roger Stevenson, songwriters Cath Binns and Angus MacGregor, festive songs from the Halifax-based Sing for Fun ladies group and Christmas cheer from the local talented performers of the Stage Door Studio Theatre Workshop.

Afterwards, Jimmy posted a message on social media channel Twitter saying it had been a “wonderful evening”.

Bobby Davro one of the acts at Doncaster Dome

Jimmy Cricket and Bobby Davro

Old pals Jimmy Cricket and Bobby Davro both performed at a charity gala in South Yorkshire in memory of the late performer Dick Van Winkle.

Dick was a  multi-instrumentalist who worked on the variety circuit over the years, in summer season shows or on cruise ships.

Northern Irish comedian Jimmy and TV impressionist Bobby were at the Doncaster Dome last week along with other performers in aid of dementia and cancer charities.

And afterwards Jimmy, 72, tweeted that there had been a “host of great acts” in the variety show.

Jimmy Cricket and Bobby Davro

Jimmy Cricket talks to Bridlington audience about John Wayne film

Jimmy CricketJimmy Cricket described as “great fun” chatting about one of his favourite films to a live audience at a festival on the East Yorkshire coast.

The famous entertainer, 72, took part in the East Riding Film Festival, which arranges for celebrities, film-makers and those with a deep knowledge of their subject to introduce movies of their choosing.

Jimmy’s talk about The Quiet Man at the Bridlington Spa theatre earlier this month was followed by a question-and-answer session.

John Ford’s 1952 classic film starred legendary actors John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, who was an Irish-born American actress and singer. The comedy drama won an Oscar for the best cinematography that year.

Wishing Sir Ken Dodd a happy 90th on Twitter!

Jimmy Cricket wished Sir Ken Dodd a happy 90th birthday on TwitterJimmy Cricket used social media to wish his great friend Sir Ken Dodd a happy 90th birthday!

The Northern Irish entertainer posted the following message on Twitter on 8 November:  “A very happy 90th Birthday to the Squire of knotty Ash himself. Sir Kenneth Dodd. I hope his day is filled with Tattifilariousness and plumpiousness!”

Sir Ken is an English comedian, singer-songwriter and actor, particularly famous for his red, white and blue “tickling stick” and his upbeat greeting of “how tickled I am!”.  He also created the Diddymen characters from Knotty Ash on Merseyside, where he is a local resident.

Jimmy, 72, was also among those to pay tribute to Sir Ken when he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award in front of a star-studded audience at the British Music Hall Society event at the Lansdowne Club in central London recently.

Arts centre in Halifax to host Christmas show

Jimmy Cricket will be teaming up with the local community for a special Christmas show at the Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Jimmy Cricket

The famous entertainer will be armed with his usual one-liners galore, a sprinkling of visual comedy and, yes, that ever present letter from his mammy!

The show, on Friday 24 November, will also feature the musical prowess of songwriters Cath Binns and Angus MacGregor, festive songs from the Halifax-based Sing for Fun ladies group and Christmas cheer from the local talented performers of the Stage Door Studio Theatre Workshop.

Tickets for the show are £10 per ticket with Under-16s getting in for £5. More details can be found at

Jimmy Cricket


Tinsel & turkey with great friends Eric & Gloria

Jimmy Cricket with old friends Eric and Gloria

Famous comedian Jimmy Cricket and his wife May enjoyed an evening with some old friends at the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool recently.

They had a Christmas-themed dinner in the hotel restaurant with Eric Devereaux – himself an entertainer – and his wife Gloria.

Jimmy, 72, has been doing another season of performances at the Lyndene, which welcomes tourists and visitors all year round .

After the illuminations season ends each year, it goes straight into its Christmas season with tinsel and turkey stays.

Then, post-Christmas and at the start of each New Year, the Lyndene offers attractive packages to keep the hotel ticking over until after Easter, when the early summer season arrives.

Jimmy tweeted: “November is Turkey and Tinsel time, had a lovely meal here in the restaurant with my great friends Eric and Gloria! 🎄