Tag Archives: northern ireland

LEP column: Here’s to the king of comedy writers

Jimmy Cricket's Lancashire Evening Post columnJimmy Cricket remembers legendary comedy writer and close friend, the late Eddie Braben, in one of his recent newspaper columns.

Edwin ‘Eddie’ Charles Braben was best known for providing material for Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise. He also worked for David FrostRonnie Corbett and Ken Dodd.

He was credited with changing the profile of Morecambe and Wise, helping to turn them into one of the most popular and enduring comedy acts in the history of British entertainment.

Belfast-born entertainer Jimmy, who has lived in Rochdale for many years, recalls in the Lancashire Post how Eddie started out as a market trader, selling fruit and veg from a stall in Liverpool’s St John precinct. In his spare time, he made up jokes.

Jimmy says how nervous he was when he first met Eddie, adding: “That was the start of a beautiful friendship that spanned two TV series, five radio series and even a book of letters from my Mammy.”

Northern Irish comedian Jimmy developed a lasting friendship with Eddie who sadly died aged 82 in May 2013. Below is a newspaper article in which Jimmy paid tribute to his old pal at the time.

Jimmy Cricket pays tribute to Eddie Braben in the Rochdale Observer

East Riding Film Festival: Jimmy Cricket to talk about The Quiet Man

Jimmy Cricket will be appearing in a film festival at Bridlington SpaJimmy Cricket will be talking about his favourite film to a live audience at a festival on the East Yorkshire coast later this year.

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

Jimmy, 71, will be talking about The Quiet Man at the Bridlington Spa theatre on Sunday 12 November.

It will be 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. A comedy drama, it won an Oscar for the best cinematography that year. All the support actors were from the famous Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

You can buy a ticket to hear Jimmy talking about the film in November here.

Omagh pub, John Wayne & Dublin’s Abbey Theatre

Jimmy Cricket has been recalling when he and his wife May came across a distinctive Northern Irish pub which is themed on a legendary film.

The famous entertainer made the recollection in a recent monthly column in the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post.

He and Mrs Cricket noticed the pub, which has a thatched roof, while he was working at the nearby Strule Arts Centre theatre in Omagh.

The Sean Ogs pub is themed like the one in John Ford’s 1952 classic film The Quiet Man starring legendary actor John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, who was an Irish-born American actress and singer.

A black and white photograph on the wall of the pub shows the cast of the 1952 movie, as Jimmy, 71, discovered it was the setting for much of the action. The film, a comedy drama, won an Oscar for the best cinematography that year.

All the support actors were from the famous Abbey Theatre in Dublin.  It is also known as the National Theatre of Ireland and first opened its doors to the public on 27 December 1904.

Jimmy Cricket’s nostalgic return to west Belfast

Jimmy Cricket and Owen O'NeillA recent nostalgic trip down Memory Lane for Jimmy Cricket was the subject of a BBC radio programme.

The famous Northern Irish entertainer returned to west Belfast, where he was born nearly 71 years ago, to tell fellow comedian and BBC Radio Ulster presenter Owen O’Neill all about his childhood.

In his radio series, Owen spends the day with a well-known local face as they show him around a place that they hold in affection, uncovering stories about their home territory.

And last month Rochdale-based Jimmy took Owen to his childhood home off the Andersonstown Road, which included playing the saxophone on the street corner where he used to perform with his mates.

They also went to the former family-run bar where much-loved funnyman Jimmy cut his teeth telling jokes to the customers.

BBC Radio Ulster posted the following tweet about Jimmy’s return home.

BBC Radio Ulster (@bbcradioulster)
In a new series Owen O’Neill spends the day with @jimmy__cricket on home turf in West Belfast. Saturday at 10:30am bbc.in/2uLCFd9 pic.twitter.com/0qWvmSJOM1

Finding a ‘little gem’ near Omagh’s Strule theatre

Jimmy Cricket outside the thatched pub in Omagh

Jimmy Cricket

Jimmy Cricket and his wife May recently came across a pub with a thatched roof while working at the nearby Strule Arts Centre theatre in Omagh. 

Sean Og’s pub is themed like the one in John Ford’s 1952 classic film The Quiet Man starring legendary actor John Wayne and the wonderful Maureen O’Hara, who was an Irish-born American actress and singer.

Famous Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy, 71, described Sean Og’s pub as a “little gem”.

Jimmy Cricket behind the bar!

BBC Radio Ulster show on Jimmy’s Belfast roots

rish comedian Owen O’NeillJimmy Cricket has been invited to guest in a new radio series for BBC Radio Ulster called The Town I Love So Well .

The series will comprise half-hour radio programmes presented by Irish comedian Owen O’Neill (left), who is a popular Northern Ireland-based writer, actor and comedian.

Each episode of the series will feature a well-known celebrity from Northern Ireland being interviewed by Owen in and around their home town and surrounding areas.

In Jimmy’s case the programme will look back at his childhood and formative years growing up in West Belfast. This episode will feature locations which have significant memories for Jimmy and they will provide an interesting backdrop and talking point for his discussions with Owen.

Famous comedian Jimmy, 71, will be recording his programme on 23 May and the show will be broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster one Saturday morning at 10.30 am – date to be confirmed.

BBC Radio Ulster

You Must Be Joking 2016 plays to several sellouts

Jimmy Cricket, John Linehan (AKA May McFettridge), Gene Fitzpatrick and William CaulfieldJimmy Cricket has just finished a tour of his native Northern Ireland with a comedy show called You Must Be Joking.

He featured alongside three fellow Ulster comedians, John Linehan (AKA May McFettridge), Gene Fitzpatrick and William Caulfield.

The tour was born out of the 2014 Cookstown Comedy Festival, as the line-up was put together for the first time there with huge success.

Jimmy CricketThis merited a full tour of the province in 2015, with this year’s edition continuing its popularity with shows at Grand Opera House in Belfast and the Millennium Forum in Derry,  as well as at some of the major towns in the province.

The crowds were marvellous and large in number everywhere, even to the point where several venues were sold out, including the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen.

The latest series of shows were organised by Northern Ireland’s leading tour promoter, David Hull Promotions.

Jimmy said: “I have known David for a number of years, having first worked for him during the mid-80s when I first launched myself on to the national stage.

“I would like to thank David for making You Must Be joking 2016 happen and for being a great friend and colleague over the years!”

BBC’s Stephen Nolan joins Jimmy’s juggling act!

BBC radio presenter Stephen Nolan tries a bit of unusual juggling

Jimmy Cricket got a well-known BBC presenter to take part in one of his juggling gags live on air.

The famous comedian  appeared on BBC Northern Ireland’s popular current affairs television show Nolan Live on Wednesday, 3 June.

It is hosted by Stephen Nolan, who is often heard on BBC Radio 5 live presenting the station’s evening programme at the weekend.

Stephen’s show in Northern Ireland is a mix between topical debate and chat – he holds a panel discussion during one part of the programme, with the other section devoted to talking to a special guest.

Jimmy Cricket and Stephen Nolan on BBC Northern Ireland's Nolan Live show

Jimmy did a short performance during his appearance and was joined on stage by Stephen who helped him with one of his juggling sketches.

Stephen then had a short interview with Jimmy, asking him about the contrast between him as a family comedian and other comics who have to resort to more edgy material.

“He also asked me what I was up to and I managed to grab a mention of my upcoming national tour with the Osmonds, which is due to take place in December later this year,” said Jimmy, 69.

Jimmy’s appearance can be watched until the end of June on the BBC’s online playback facility, iPlayer, at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05xgngj/nolan-live-series-4-episode-4

Jimmy Cricket on Stephen Nolan's Nolan Live show

Fun run poster flags up birthday charity event

The special poster publicising the charity fun run being organised to mark Jimmy Cricket's 70th birthday in OctoberA special poster has been produced to publicise the 5K charity fun run being organised to mark Jimmy Cricket’s 70th birthday in October.

The event is being arranged in Jimmy’s adopted hometown of Rochdale in Greater Manchester by a seasoned run organiser called Andy O’Sullivan, who is not only associated with the local Rochdale Harriers running club, but who has also been awarded the MBE for all the fundraising he has done over the years.

Famous Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy will turn 70 on 17 October 2015 and his birthday race will take place the following day.

The location of the start will be the Cock & Magpie pub in Whitworth, near Jimmy’s beloved Healey Dell Nature Reserve where he is often spotted walking and taking in the beautiful surroundings.

He will be there in person to start the race off at 11.30am, with the route planned to take in two laps of Cowm Reservoir, ensuring the race will be a true 5K.

Jimmy said:  “A big thank you to Rachel –  one of the charity’s trainee fundraisers – for producing a nice flyer for the event (above right).

“Naturally, I will be on hand to start the race off outside the Cock & Magpie public house and welcome back the winners after two laps of this stunning water feature. I will also hand out the prizes in the Cock & Magpie once all runners are safely back home.”

All proceeds from the fun run will be donated to one of Jimmy’s favourite charities, which is the Francis House Children’s Hospice in Manchester.

The entry fee to join Jimmy on this fun race is £4 to club runners and £6 to all others. An additional £1 will be charged to entrants who turn up on the day. Prizes will be awarded to all race finishers.

For more information and for a copy of the entry form, please contact Andy O’Sullivan at info@andemsrunners.co.uk

Jimmy Cricket to appear on BBC Northern Ireland’s Nolan Live

Stephen Nolan - Jimmy Cricket is appearing on his BBC radio show

Jimmy Cricket is going to appear on BBC Northern Ireland’s popular current affairs television show Nolan Live on Wednesday, June 3.

It is presented by Stephen Nolan (above) – a name that might be familiar to readers as he is often heard on BBC Radio 5 live presenting the station’s evening programme at the weekend.

Stephen Nolan's programme is called Nolan Live

Stephen’s TV show in Northern Ireland is a mix between topical debate and chat – he holds a panel discussion during one part of the programme, with the other section devoted to talking to a special guest. The first programme in this current series featured Peter Stringfellow,  the British businessman and nightclub owner.

Nolan Live has built a significant share of the viewing audience over several series and is now one of the most popular shows that BBC Northern Ireland produces for its home audience.

Famous entertainer Jimmy said: “Not only will I be having a chat with Stephen about what I am up to currently, but I have also been asked to perform some comedy stand-up and this is an opportunity I’m relishing.”