Jimmy Cricket met up again with TV characters Wendy Abrahams and Theo The Mouse when they all featured in a summer season spectacle at the beginning of August at the Embassy Theatre in Skegness, Lincolnshire.
The show was part of a series of summer performances at the theatre, which also featured Anita Harris, Stu Francis and The Bachelors (see poster below).
The Embassy Theatre line-up was produced by the theatre impresario Mark Andrews.
Although well-known entertainer Jimmy only headlined the first production, all three evenings featured Wendy, who features in CITV’s Sooty Show, and Theo The Mouse, a children’s character created by Wink Taylor.
Wendy’s partner, Wink, helps out with Theo The Mouse and is also heavily involved with the latest television version of Sooty, which is broadcast on weekend mornings on ITV1.
Jimmy Cricket already has an exciting 2013 lined up.
And you can see him live on stage at a nearby venue – or on television.
Highlights of the coming year include:
– Appearing in Sky1’s new comedy series called John Bishop’s Only Joking, scheduled for January and February
– A return to the open seas as he is making an appearance on P&O’s Aurora cruise ship where he will feature in a leg of the ship’s world cruise during February between Honolulu, the southern-most major US city, and Papeete, capital of French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean
– Featuring in a tour of Northern Ireland with the legendary comic showband, Clubsound – this show has proved so popular that the tour’s promoter has had to arrange a second leg!
– Headlining a national Music Hall Tour, which will visit places such as Nottingham, Cardiff, Ipswich and Tunbridge Wells to name just a few
– Appearing at Dave’s Comedy Festival in Leicester during February
– Headlining the summer show at the Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne, which ran for five months and was presented every Tuesday and Wednesday evening from the first week of May through to the end of September
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.
In addition to the Darlington appearance on Wednesday 11 July, the Jimmy and Mick Show tour also includes Preston, Chester, Sheffield and Manchester. It is even down to visit the world-famous Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August.
Jimmy said: “It is a great thrill to be returning to the civic theatre in Darlington after appearing in the theatre’s pantomime last Christmas.
“I am especially excited as people who came to see the panto will now get a chance to see me perform my stand-up.
“Darlington has a great theatre which is really ideal for us comedians as it has an intimate setting that creates a great atmosphere. The evening in question brings together two fine exponents of the arts of comedy and this is a comedy treat that should not be missed.”
Mick said: “This date in Darlington kicks off mine and Jimmy’s tour together, and I know we are going to have a barrel of laughs over the different dates.
“But I cannot think of a better starting point than Darlington. If you want a giggle or two, then hop down to the civic theatre because with the two of us on stage, it is going to be madcap fun and laughter all the way.”
Jimmy added: “There must have been about 65 panto shows in all as there were often two a day. It was very intensive but thoroughly enjoyable.”
Ray Quinn, who was Prince Charming in the Darlington panto, is engaged to theatre star Emma Stephens who played Cinderella.
They first met when they starred together in Grease in London’s West End several years ago.
Former Brookside actor Ray shot to fame when he finished runner-up to Leona Lewis in the 2007 series of The X Factor and two years later he won ITV’s Dancing on Ice with professional ice skater Maria Filippov.
“Ray’s a good-looking guy. He’s got a terrific voice and dances very well too. I think he could very easily become the next Michael Bublé [Canadian singer and actor]. Ray, Emma and the rest of the cast were great working colleagues,” said Jimmy.
View a musical slideshow of Jimmy and his fellow panto stars on his YouTube channel.
Jimmy and his wife May have just moved house though they still live in Rochdale.
“The move means we have been offline for a while and have fallen a bit behind with our email and Facebook, but I can assure everybody that they will receive replies to their queries and orders in the next few weeks.”
Jimmy Cricket’s marathon pantomime season is coming to an end (oh yes it is! sorry – ed).
The famous Irish comedian has been appearing in Cinderella at the Civic Theatre in Darlington since 3 December. Its last show is on Sunday (15 Jan).
Other celebrities alongside Jimmy, who plays Baron Hardup, include Dancing on Ice star Ray Quinn (Prince Charming) and and former Emmerdale actress Deena Payne (Fairy Godmother).
The pantomime has been praised in media circles with the British Theatre Guide saying:
“Michael Vivian’s script provides a faithful re-telling of the classic fairy tale; it is beautifully designed and costumed; there is a nice balance of pop hits and original songs, and the choreography is tight and slick.”
Jimmy and other panto stars agreed to take part in a special photo call to mark a toy giveaway for underprivileged children.
The event was sponsored by a local Darlington car dealership called Jennings Ford and also involved the Salvation Army.
Despite a busy schedule, Jimmy, Ray – who plays Prince Charming – and Deena (Fairy Godmother) took time out from the busy rehearsals to offer their support to the appeal.
Last year about 7,000 children and 2,000 families across the North East of England were supported with presents and a further 1,000 individuals received food over the Christmas period.
For the past 13 consecutive years, Jennings Motor Group has supported the appeal by using its branch network across the region as drop-off points for staff and members of the public.
Ray Riaz, general manager at Jennings Ford’s Yarm Road dealership in Stockton, said: “We were delighted that the cast of this year’s pantomime could help out with the appeal. The Salvation Army does an absolutely amazing job helping those in the local community, not just at Christmas time but all year round.”