Tag Archives: nostalgia

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

Catch up with Concordia show in photos

Jimmy Cricket and fellow performers at the Concordia Theatre in Hinckley, Leicestershire

Jimmy Cricket’s recent performance at the Concordia Theatre in Hinckley, Leicestershire, was captured on film.

Jimmy Cricket performing at the Concordia Theatre in Hinckley, Leicestershire

Matt Holt took these photographs, which are courtesy of MGL Media.

It was the second of two variety shows, which well-known entertainer Jimmy did with Midlands crooner Michael George.

The other one took place at the Trinity Arts Centre in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, seven days earlier.

They each featured Michael, his wonderful eight-piece band, his troupe of dancers, a supporting female vocalist, and comedian Jimmy as the special guest star.

The Concordia Theatre show is an annual event, which Michael holds each year to raise money for charity, with all proceeds going to Leicestershire-based  Hope Against Cancer.

Jimmy said: “I enjoyed working with Michael at both the Gainsborough and Hinckley shows and found his enthusiasm for performing just wonderful to see.”

Jimmy Cricket performing at the Concordia Theatre in Hinckley, Leicestershire

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.”

Variety show raises money for cancer charity

Jimmy Cricket with Michael George

Jimmy Cricket teamed up with the Midlands crooner Michael George to do two variety shows across two counties.

The performances, both organised and funded by Michael himself, took place at the Trinity Arts Centre in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, and the Concordia Theatre in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

They each featured Michael, his wonderful eight-piece band, his troupe of dancers, a supporting female vocalist, and comedian Jimmy as the special guest star.

The Concordia Theatre show is an annual charity event, which Michael holds each year to raise money for charity, with all proceeds going to Leicestershire-based  Hope Against Cancer (as reported in the Hinckley Times newspaper, below).

Well-known Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy said: “I really enjoyed appearing alongside Michael, who I think has an infectious desire for performing and singing.

“Both shows went down very well with those who were in attendance and I enjoyed immensely my time on stage in both Gainsborough and Hinckley.”

Hinckley Times article about Jimmy Cricket's show with Michael George at the Concordia Theatre

Burnley FC event raises £10,000 for good causes

Burnley Football Club

Almost 450 people attended the Pauline Helm Memorial Event at Burnley Football Club, where Jimmy Cricket was one of the entertainers.

The Pauline Helm Memorial Event took place at Burnley Football ClubThe fund-raising gala dinner evening was organised by Pauline’s widower, Graham Helm (pictured below with Jimmy), and was held in one of the club’s main function suites, which was packed to the rafters with almost 450 people there.

It was hosted by BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Sally Naden and, apart from Jimmy’s contribution, the entertainment programme also featured Bacup-born international opera singer Sean Ruane (pictured below right with his wife) and music from the excellent band, A few good men.

International opera singer Sean Ruane with his wifeFamous Northern Irish comedian Jimmy said: “The evening raised a magnificent £10,000 in total and this achieved figure was a richly deserved outcome for Graham after all of his efforts over a number of months in the lead-up to the event.”

The money raised will now be split between two great causes, with £7,000 being awarded to the local East Lancashire Hospice and £3,000 going to construct an outdoor performance space for young people in Burnley.

Jimmy Cricket and Graham Helm at the memorial event at Burnley Football Club

Jimmy Cricket to appear in Blackpool charity gala

Jimmy Cricket is appearing in the charity gala, A Night to Remember, at the Viva venue in BlackpoolEntertainer Jimmy Cricket will be appearing in a huge charity gala at the Viva cabaret venue in Blackpool on May 15.

The line-up for A Night to Remember is a stunning collection of high-quality performers, who have been assembled by the organisers of this fundraising event, Jean Parkes and Sue Coolie.

Jean is a former manager of the Bradford Theatres organisation and now runs an agency in Blackpool called  Personality Artistes.

The proceeds from the event will go towards charities, which are associated with two worthy causes – Parkinson’s disease and leukaemia.

Book your tickets now with the Viva box office on 01253 297297.

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.

Filming under way for Womble movie

Jimmy Cricket with  Tom Spencer and actresses Gemma Jones and Georgina Ford
Jimmy with Tom, Gemma and Georgina

Filming for the Womble movie in which Jimmy Cricket will play himself is now under way.

Famous entertainer Jimmy’s cameo role will be filmed on location in North Wales in June and he was recently involved in a photo shoot alongside the central character Womble, played by actor Tom Spencer.

Also at the promotional event, which was held at the Bojangles Theatre, home to the Middleton Popstars Academy in North Manchester, were director Lee Howard, co-writer and actress Gemma Jones, and fellow actress Georgina Ford.

Jimmy said: “I was very grateful to Anne (Marshall, director) and the Popstars organisation for hosting this activity and I am very excited about returning to the theatre later in the year for a show with the Popstars on Saturday the 11th of July.”

The film is about a man called Aloysis Rupert Womble (played by actor and comedian Tom), 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.

It 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.

Top comedian Jimmy, 69, will play himself as a talent contest judge.

Jimmy Cricket and Tom Spencer

Joining Bernie Clifton on Live-ish show

Jimmy Cricket with Bernie  Clifton, fitness trainer Kellyanne Sharman and BBC Radio Sheffield producer Rav

Jimmy Cricket appeared on a radio show presented by an old showbiz colleague earlier this month.

Jimmy Cricket performs on Bernie Clifton's BBC Radio Sheffield Live-ish show

The Northern Irish entertainer was among the guests on Bernie Clifton’s weekly BBC Radio Sheffield comedy show.

Jimmy was personally asked by Bernie to go over to South Yorkshire to take part in his show, which is called ‘Live-ish’. The name springs from the fact that the programme is recorded on a Friday morning in front of a studio audience, but is not broadcast until 1pm the following day.

Jimmy said: “I have known Bernie for three decades and have always had a fondness for his zany and visual approach to comedy, which is not too far away from my own style.

Jimmy Cricket performs on Bernie Clifton's BBC Radio Sheffield Live-ish show

“I really enjoyed taking part in the show and can see why it is gathering listeners all the time, as it now has become one of the most popular programmes produced by BBC Radio Sheffield.”

Top, Bernie and Jimmy are pictured alongside the show’s other guest that week, Sheffield-based fitness trainer Kellyanne Sharman, and the show’s producer, Rav.

Below, Jimmy and Kellyanne are with Peter Lewis, who was in the audience and took these photographs.

Listen to the show featuring Jimmy here

Jimmy Cricket with Peter Lewis and Kellyanne Sharman

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.”