Tag Archives: new year

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, folks!

Jimmy Cricket's Christmas card features new US president Donald TrumpDear readers,

I cannot believe 2016 is coming to an end and the Christmas season is once more upon us.

This year has been a fantastic one for me personally as it all started back in January with a service led by the Bishop of Salford to formally award me with my Papal Knighthood.

During the year I have also been fortunate to have:

·         Been involved in some great shows, such as the You Must Be Joking, which toured Northern Ireland back in the spring, and the opening weekend of The Good Old Days autumn season at the world-famous City Varieties Theatre in Leeds

·         Made a couple of appearances alongside my friend Tony Crane and the iconic 60s band The Merseybeats

·         Had trips to Spain to appear in some lovely venues around the Costa Blanca region

·         Paid visits to the Warner Leisure sites at Nidd Hall in Harrogate and Bembridge on the Isle of Wight

·         Did a spring season at the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool

·         Continued to write a monthly column in the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post

·         And managed, at long last, to launch a new Christmas CD for the Francis House Children’s Hospice – a project I’ve been wanting to get off the ground for a couple of years. As I write this, I am nearing sales of more than 1,300 from this year’s festive period.

This Christmas I am at the White Rose Theatre in Leeds featuring in a panto production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

And then when we get into 2017, I immediately fly off to Tenerife for an appearance there early in the New Year!

And there’s more…

… Other highlights for 2017 include a return to the Benidorm Palace in March alongside Gerry and the Pacemakers; another residency back at the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool over the winter, spring and the autumn; teaming up with my pals from  show band group Clubsound for a night in Northern Ireland In April; a visit to the Wayside Cheer Hotel in Guernsey over the Easter weekend; a voyage with Cruise & Maritime Voyages around the Faroe Islands in July; and plenty more to keep me out of mischief!

If you see me advertised at any venue near you in 2017, please do come along and say ‘Hi’!

That reminds me… can I thank all those who over the last year have either seen one of my shows, or browsed this website, or bought one of my CDs or DVDs.

All that remains for me to say, dear readers, is have a happy Christmas and a great start to the New Year!

Jimmy Cricket's signature

There’s more… Jimmy Cricket’s festive message

Jimmy CricketDear Cricket Times readers,

Well, I cannot believe we have come to the end of another year!

When I look back over the last 12 months, I can safely say 2015 has been a special year for me. This is because not only did I turn 70 years old, but I was deeply humbled to receive the award of a papal knight from the Roman Catholic Church.

Over the course of the last year I have bumped into many of you at some of the wonderful shows I have appeared in, around a host of different locations and venues.

I should give special mention to the recent tour I have just finished with the Osmonds as part of the Andy Williams Christmas Spectacular. This was an amazing tour which visited venues that were incredibly well attended – many even sold out – and everywhere the show went the reception was warm and lively.

So thank you for coming along and seeing one of these shows, or keeping in touch through my website, Facebook pages or Twitter feed.

As we fast approach the New Year, I am pleased to say I have plenty to look forward to over the next 12 months, such as:

  • A 32-date spring season at the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool
  • Participating in a seven-date tour of a great comedy show called You Must Be Joking around Northern Ireland in February
  • Embarking on a couple of trips to the Benidorm region of Spain to appear at some fantastic venues
  • Visiting the Warner holiday resorts and heritage hotel locations on the Isle of Wight and in Harrogate
  • The first significant moment is scheduled for Saturday 16 January when the Bishop of Salford will formally preside over a ceremony to present me with my papal honour.

So if I did not catch you during the last year, maybe I might get a chance to bump into you in 2016?

All that remains for me to do is to wish you and your family a very happy, peaceful and joyful Christmas season and a wonderful start to the New Year!

Jimmy Cricket (23 December 2015)

Johnny Vegas to also feature in film

Johnny Vegas is appearing in the Womble film

Famous actor and comedian Johnny Vegas is to appear in the Womble movie, which is being filmed on location in North Wales and also features entertainer Jimmy Cricket. 

St Helens-born Johnny is well known for his appearances in the hit ITV comedy drama Benidorm and also for popping up in adverts for tea brand PG Tips with a stuffed puppet monkey!

His addition to the cast is another major coup for the people behind Womble the movie, as it also includes top comedian Jimmy, 69, who will play himself as a talent contest judge.

The film is about a man called Aloysis Rupert Womble (played by actor and comedian Tom Spencer), who is in his 30s and living with Asperger’s Syndrome in a typical seaside resort town.

Children and adults affected by Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviours.

Aloysis’s dream is to become a stand-up comedian. The film is a week-long snapshot of his life as he goes through the trials of living with a cognitive disorder, while dealing with the injustices forced upon him by society and parts of his community.

Over the seven-day period he prepares for the biggest night of his life – a talent show in his local pub.

The film will feature songs from the Beautiful South’s former lead singer Briana Corrigan and American Pie star Thomas Nicholas, as well as a string of original songs written by songwriters especially for the movie.

My movie debut – as a dream maker

Jimmy Cricket's column in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket says he is looking forward to his role as a talent show judge on his  forthcoming silver screen debut.

But the famous veteran entertainer insists he will not be like Simon Cowell in The X Factor, telling readers of the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post in his monthly column he will be a “dream maker, not a dream breaker”.

Womble, one of the biggest independent movies to be made in North Wales, is being shot over the summer and will be set for release in 2016.

It is about a man called Aloysis Rupert Womble (played by actor and comedian Tom Spencer) who is in his 30s and living with Asperger’s Syndrome in a typical seaside resort town.

Children and adults affected by Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviours.

Aloysis’s dream is to become a stand-up comedian. The film is a week-long snapshot of his life as he goes through the trials of living with a cognitive disorder, while dealing with the injustices forced upon him by society and parts of his community.

Over the seven-day period he prepares for the biggest night of his life – a talent show in his local pub.

Jimmy says in the Lancashire Evening Post: “Hopefully, the film will be shown in 2016 at the Cannes Film Festival.”

‘Man in wellies & battered hat saves the day’

Jimmy Cricket's latest column in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket has been reminiscing about the era of the comedy song and how he hopes he has helped keep it alive.

In his latest column for the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post, the famous entertainer recalls “the many comedy and novelty songs that used to permeate the airwaves in the 50s and 60s”.

He adds: “Commercial radio stations all have playlists now. This means they only play songs that appeal to younger audiences , which companies who advertise with them deem to be possible customers. That’s how the commercial radio stations make their money.

Jimmy Cricket's Light & Shade

“However, you can still hear comedy and novelty songs on BBC radio stations, especially on their request shows.

“However, fear not dear readers.

“Just when you thought the comedy song was a footnote in the history of popular music, along comes the man in the wellies and the battered hat to save the day!

“Yes, my new CD called Light & Shade contains gems like ‘my budgie’s been tweeting for years’ and ‘I got blotto when I thought I’d won the lotto’.”

Light & Shade was officially released on 1 February and is available for £6 at www.jimmycricketshop.co.uk and at Jimmy’s live shows.

In the inside sleeve, Jimmy talks about the history behind the CD, which features a mixture of serious and comedy songs.

Nostalgic flashback: Christmas panto 2010

Jimmy Cricket was reminded of a Christmas pantomime past through a series of photographs sent to him recently.

The pictures were from the 2010-11 festive season when the famous entertainer appeared at the Doncaster Civic Theatre in a panto version of Aladdin.

This Christmas show was produced by David Lee of Pantoni Productions and it was he who sent Jimmy the images in the slideshow above.

Funnyman Jimmy said: “It was a nice reminder of the show and its cast, whom I enjoyed working with.”

Since Aladdin there has been a change of scenery for the arts in Doncaster because this pantomime was one of the last before the civic theatre was demolished.

It was replaced by a brand new modern arts centre called Cast and so now only memories remain of what was the town’s main auditorium for a number of years.

* Click on either of the arrow buttons above to view the slideshow.

The time I nearly met a footballing legend

Jimmy Cricket talks about how he nearly met the late Sir Tom Finney in his latest Lancashire Evening Post newspaper column

Jimmy Cricket recalls in his latest newspaper column the time he nearly met a footballing legend.

The well-known comedian says in the Lancashire Evening Post that he was asked to do the corporate entertainment a few years ago at Deepdale, home of Preston North End for whom Sir Tom Finney made 473 competitive appearances, scoring 210 goals.

Tony Jo, a friend and fellow comedian, said during the evening that he would go and get Sir Tom so Jimmy could meet him.

However, Sir Tom was not feeling too well and had to go home early.

Jimmy recalls: “My big moment to meet a remarkable man and footballer, who had done so much for his home town of Preston, had gone.”

Sir Tom, who scored 30 goals in 76 appearances for England, died 12 months ago aged 91.

 

New CD gives listeners ‘a few surprises’

Jimmy Cricket's Light & Shade

Jimmy Cricket says he has tried to give people who buy his latest musical CD “a few surprises”.

Light & Shade was officially released on 1 February and is available for £6 at www.jimmycricketshop.co.uk and at Jimmy’s live shows.Jimmy Cricket's new CD is called Light & Shade

The inside sleeve has the following message from the famous entertainer, in which he talks about the history behind the CD, which features a mixture of serious and comedy songs.

 Hiya Folks,

It’s me Jimmy, come closer!

I was asked to write something for this sleeve, so I thought I would do something off the cuff. Get it!

These are the songs I’ve written and performed at my little ‘Jimmy and friends’ nights which I’ve done at St Vincent’s parochial hall in Rochdale over the last few years.

When I do shows I like to give the audience a few surprises and I’ve tried to do the same with this CD.

Sure there’ll be comedy songs that you would associate with Jimmy Cricket, but I’ve also thrown a few serious ones in too! So whether you’re listening in the car, at home, or walking along with your earphones, I hope there is something there for you.

I’d like to mention two people who‘ve been the bedrock of this CD.

Firstly, musical arranger David Carter, whose god given talent enables him to breathe life into my tunes and words.

And record producer Chris Warsop, who has worked tirelessly and painstakingly over the last six months in making sure we had a quality product at the end.

To them I am eternally grateful, as indeed to you for buying it.

ENJOY!

Jimmy Cricket 7th November 2014

From Muddles to Milton Keynes (slideshow)

 

Jimmy Cricket returned to action after his festive pantomime spell with  a show in Milton Keynes.

The well-known entertainer appeared at the Lovat Fields Retirement Village in Milton Keynes, which is part of a national chain run by the Extra Care organisation. Jimmy has appeared at some of their other sites over the years in St Helens, Warrington and Coventry.

This particular visit was organised by Mary Cooper, who is one of the residents at Lovat Fields and is involved in helping to arrange the entertainment programme. A big thanks to Mary for also sending in the slideshow photos of the night.

Jimmy said: “This was my first show after the Christmas pantomime season.

“It came after what is a traditional annual break for me during January, so it was wonderful to return to stand-up after four weeks of being Muddles in Snow White and to entertain at such a hospitable place with a wonderful audience!”

* Click on either of the arrow buttons above to view the slideshow.

The show must go on… despite a bomb next door

Jimmy Cricket's latest column in the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket has recalled the time that a pantomime in which he was starring went ahead despite the fact that a bomb had been planted next to the theatre.

The famous entertainer was appearing in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Grand Opera Theatre in Belfast at the time.

Looking back at the incident in 1992, Jimmy told the Lancashire Evening Post in his latest column for the Preston-based newspaper: “With the help of great architects and engineers, we got the theatre ready just in time for the pantomime, even though we had to get ready and change in portakabins!

“The fact the people from Northern Ireland didn’t want the terrorists to succeed meant we did sellout business all the way through.”