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Jimmy Cricket: What I want for Christmas and Strictly Come Dancing

Jimmy Cricket appeared in the 50th edition of Rochdale Style

Jimmy Cricket was the subject of a special feature in the 50th edition of Rochdale Style.

The article about the Rochdale-based, Belfast-born comedian, 72, was in a question-and-answer format.

Among the questions were what does the Northern Irish entertainer want for Christmas.

His reply? “Peace or the box set of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers! I just watch Fred on YouTube and think he’s incredible. He’s a big inspiration to me.”

And when asked if he would appear on BBC’s popular Strictly Come Dancing, Jimmy said: “Oh Yes? Tomorrow!”

The Rochdale Style magazine is edited by actor Colin Meredith, a good friend of Jimmy.

Jimmy is currently playing Professor Fitzwarren in pantomime Dick Whittington, which is running at Rochdale’s Gracie Fields Theatre until New Year’s Eve.

The panto also features The Chase’s Mark Labbett (also known as The Beast), who plays King Rat.

Dick Whittington panto details


Like father like daughter…

Katie Mulgrew features in the Christmas edition of Rochdale magazine StyleJimmy Cricket’s comedienne daughter has appeared in the Christmas edition of the Rochdale-based and focused glossy magazine Style.

Katie Mulgrew was interviewed by Style writer Ruth Meredith for the feature.

The article says Katie has been hailed as one of the UK circuit’s “bright young things” and received some very positive reviews for her Edinburgh Fringe debut this summer.

Famous comedian Jimmy said: “This was a really nice article on Katie and it made me chuckle on a number of occasions when I read it!

“Hats off to Ruth Meredith who wrote the article and her dad Colin for producing another belting edition of the local Rochdale magazine Style.”

Shrinking trousers and bumble bees

Jimmy Cricket featured in Rochdale StyleJimmy Cricket featured in Rochdale StyleFamous funnyman Jimmy Cricket has taken centre stage again – this time in a local magazine.

The summer edition of Rochdale Style has a special feature on Belfast-born Jimmy whom it describes as the “town’s adopted son”.

Style is a glossy magazine reporting on society and current affairs in the town of Rochdale.

It was set up by Rochdale-born and bred actor Colin Meredith, who has had several notable appearances in ITV’s Coronation Street over the years.

Colin wanted to project a positive image of the town and so started publishing Style Magazine.

Jimmy Cricket featured in Rochdale Style

It has been going for around 10 years and, because Jimmy is a local Rochdale-based celebrity, he has featured in the magazine previously.

In the recent interview, Jimmy reveals his favourite comedians and the inspiration behind his famous stand-up act.

He also talks about his Mammy shrinking his trousers, his daughter’s comedy genes and bumble bees.

The latest article about Jimmy was written by Colin’s daughter, Ruth Meredith.

Jimmy Cricket featured in Rochdale Style

Maloney’s Big Moment

Cast in Maloney's Big Moment: Colin Meredith, Cyril Walker, Katie Mulgrew (Jimmy’s daughter who is a stand-up comedian), Russell Richardson, Mark Whiteley, Steve Garner, Sarah Groarke-Booth and Jimmy CricketA newspaper story about a Spanish coastal town electing an English ex-pat as its mayor inspired top entertainer Jimmy Cricket to write a new radio play.

And Maloney’s Big Moment got its first public showing in front of a live audience at St Vincent’s Parish Centre in Rochdale.

Famous comedian Jimmy wrote the play after seeing the article and thinking it was a really fascinating scenario, especially as the elected candidate did not have a particular good grasp of Spanish!Radio producer Roger Neale

Joining Jimmy for the recording in early April was a host of locally based actors and actresses.

These included Colin Meredith, Cyril Walker, Katie Mulgrew (Jimmy’s daughter who is a stand-up comedian), Russell Richardson, Mark Whiteley, Steve Garner and Sarah Groarke-Booth (all the cast are in the photo above), alongside the production team of Gerry Coates and Roger Neale.

Roger Neale (right) came all the way from Mansfield to help out with the production of the play.

Gerry Coates, from the internet Catholic radio station called Heart Gives unto Heart, and Jimmy between them made the production happen.

Interestingly, the new radio station has been acquired by the national Catholic newspaper called The Universe and will now become a division under this paper’s banner.

It is hoped during the relaunch of the station that this radio play will feature prominently in the opening week’s schedule – watch out for further details on this website.

:: Thanks to John Kay for providing these two great photos from this event.

New heritage centre and tea rooms open

The redecorated tea room at the visitor centre
The redecorated tea rooms at the visitor centre

Jimmy Cricket recently attended the press launch of the new Healey Dell Heritage centre and tea rooms near to where he lives in Rochdale.

The famous Irish entertainer was invited to the opening event by Janice Percy, who had teamed up with a friend to save the centre when she heard Rochdale Council no longer wanted to keep it open.

Jimmy with Lorraine, one of the centre’s volunteers
Jimmy with Lorraine, one of the centre’s volunteers

Jimmy did not need to think twice about going because when he is not working he often goes walking in Healey Dell, as he lives on the edge of this nature reserve.

Last December Janice and her partnership took on the lease of the building and set about raising around £25,000 for its refurbishment.

She also started to look for volunteers who would help the project get off the ground.

Janice and her team have now revived the old building and have created the following:

The exterior of the building - the fairy is there in preparation for the children’s Easter activities!
Outside the centre – the fairy is there in preparation for the children’s Easter activities!
  • A heritage room – An all-year-round exhibition dedicated to the rich heritage of the nature reserve
  • Dedicated gallery space to showcase the work of local artists and photographers
  • A vintage style tea room featuring a baby grand piano and six sparkling crystal chandeliers where visitors will enjoy traditional cream teas served from vintage bone china
  • Newly converted disabled facilities/wheelchair access and disabled toilet and washroom

The centre reopened on the Thursday before the Easter weekend and  the tea rooms will now open every Saturday and Sunday over the summer season. The centre is run entirely by unpaid volunteers.

Jimmy with the Rochdale-based actor Colin Meredith, who recently appeared on Coronation Street
Jimmy with the Rochdale-based actor Colin Meredith, who recently appeared on Coronation Street