Tag Archives: manchester evening news

Christmas card features stolen wellies

Jimmy Cricket's Christmas cardJimmy Cricket’s latest Christmas card is based on his concrete wellies which were stolen last summer.

And the specially designed card is the subject of a story in his local newspaper, the Rochdale Observer.

The concrete wellies, which had been given to Rochdale-based Jimmy as a 50th birthday present by fellow comedian Ken Dodd, were taken from his garden in Shawclough.

Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy is famous for wearing wellingtons, marked with the letters R and L on the wrong feet, during his acts.

He said at the time of the theft that the concrete wellies were of “high sentimental value”.

The BBC, ITV, the Rochdale Observer and several radio stations were among many media organisations to report on the crime.

Saturday’s edition (21 December) of the Observer features Jimmy’s 2013 Christmas card (above right) which has him appealing to Santa Claus to retrieve his wellies and put them under his Christmas tree on the big day (see image below).

The Belfast-born funnyman used the inspiration of London 2012 when it came to designing last year’s Christmas card, which featured Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Mo Farah.

* Jimmy, who is currently appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Forum Theatre in Billingham near Middlesbrough, wishes everybody a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Jimmy Cricket's Christmas card which features in the Rochdale Observer

‘Happy & thrilled’ at musical’s success

The opening night of the premiere of Jimmy Cricket’s new musical, Maloney’s Big Moment. The photo was taken backstage at the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn and features Jimmy with the cast of the show, alongside the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackburn

Famous comedian Jimmy Cricket said he was “happy” and “thrilled” following the successful launch of his new musical.

Large audiences turned out to watch the two-night premiere of Maloney’s Big Moment at the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn earlier this month.

Jimmy said: “For both performances, more than 80% of tickets were sold, which for an original piece of theatre is a tremendous return. I am just thrilled I was able to get this new musical off the ground.

“I must thank the talented cast who only assembled really at the last minute, the fine musicians who made up the band, and the theatre’s technical staff for all coming together and delivering two performances of the show without much rehearsal time.

“I am also really happy that so many friends, colleagues, supporters and interested spectators came to support the show in such huge numbers.”

Above: Jimmy is pictured with the cast of the show, alongside the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackburn, back stage at the theatre on the opening night of the musical.

‘Special medal is fitting recognition’

A good friend of well-known entertainer Jimmy Cricket has been honoured for distinguished service to the Roman Catholic Church and its community.

Jim Nicholas, a DJ and comedian, was featured in the Manchester Evening News for all his fundraising exploits for the Francis House Children’s Hospice in Manchester.

Jim Nicholas was featured in the Manchester Evening News for all his fund-raising work for the Francis House Children’s Hospice in Manchester
Jim Nicholas was featured in the Manchester Evening News for all his fundraising work for the Francis House Children’s Hospice in Manchester

He has been awarded the Papal Medal, which is also known as the Benemerenti.

The medal was presented to him by the Rt Rev Terence Brain, the Bishop of Salford.

Jimmy was at the ceremony and is quoted in the article, right, saying: “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this magnificent award than Jim.

“He has worked tirelessly for Francis House over the years, raising a phenomenal amount of money for this cause.

“It’s been a real pleasure to have known him and to have shared the platform with him at various charity concerts.

“This special medal is fitting recognition for his marvellous contribution to the parishes and communities where he’s lived and helped support.”

* Read about the latest fundraising event for Francis House Children’s Hospice involving Jimmy and Jim.

Heard the one about the comic who…

The Manchester Evening News featured the story about Frankie Mulgrew's ordinationFrankie Mulgrew’s ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood has received plenty of publicity in the media.

The 35-year-old younger son of Irish-born and Rochdale-based entertainer Jimmy Cricket became a priest this summer and among newspapers and websites to provide coverage of the special event was the Manchester Evening News which printed a news article (above).

It included quotes from Fr Frankie who says he used to drive comedian Peter Kay to shows.

Frankie, who has been a stand-up comedian in his own right, says one of his first parts in show business was “playing the back end of a cow at the Belfast Opera House”.

The newly ordained priest, whose stage name was Frankie Doodle, has compiled and edited a book called Does God LOL? (LOL is internet slang for Laugh Out Loud), which went on sale recently.

Ken Dodd, Ricky Tomlinson, Tim Vine, Jo Brand, Milton Jones and the late Frank Carson are among the famous showbiz names to have contributed to the book, which is priced at £7.99 or less (and is available at all good bookshops and websites, including Amazon).

Working with a theatre stalwart

Jimmy Cricket is getting help from a theatre stalwart as preparations are stepped up for his new musical in the autumn.

Maloney’s Big Moment is being staged at the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn on Friday and Saturday, 11 and 12 October.

Jimmy Cricket with Eric Nolan at the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn
Jimmy Cricket with Eric Nolan at the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn

And a vital member of Jimmy’s team is Eric Nolan who runs the Blackburn Drama Club and produces four plays a year at the theatre.

He also presents plays at the Library Theatre in Darwen and last year produced one on the Indian icon, Ghandi.

Well-known entertainer Jimmy said: “Eric is a great advocate for the Thwaites Empire Theatre and helps raise loads of funds to keep the theatre going.

“I am looking forward to working with Eric on my show.”

* The booking office is open from 10am-12.30pm, Monday to Saturday, on 01254 685500.

Meeting an old familiar friendly face

Jimmy Cricket with the professional photographer Tim Badley
Jimmy Cricket with professional photographer Tim Bradley at the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn

Jimmy Cricket came across a familiar figure at the launch of his new musical.

The Rochdale-based famous Irish entertainer was at the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn where Maloney’s Big Moment is being staged on Friday and Saturday, 11 and 12 October.

And he bumped into freelance photographer Tim Bradley, whom Jimmy has met many times previously.

He said: “Tim is such a warm and amiable guy, whom I first met when he worked as a photographer at the Rochdale Observer – my local paper.

“I get asked to appear at a lot of local events in Rochdale and this is when I used to bump into Tim.

“He has now gone freelance and does a lot of work for the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, so when I recently launched my new musical show at the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn, it was Tim who turned up on behalf of the paper to take some photographs.”

Tim took the photos which featured in the previous Cricket Times story about Maloney’s Big Moment.

Jimmy added: “I hope it won’t be too long before our paths collide again!”