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.
– Headlining the summer show at the Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne, which ran for five months and was presented every Tuesday and Wednesday evening from the first week of May through to the end of September
Jimmy Cricket used the inspiration of the London Olympics when it came to designing his 2012 Christmas card.
Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Mo Farah feature on the front cover of the cards he has started sending out to friends.
The famous Irish comedian says: “Each year at Christmas time, I think of a topical idea to base the front of my Christmas cards on.
“Each Christmas card design has usually involved a big news event of the preceding year, with me pictured in the middle and passing the odd comedy quip or two!
“Clearly the big event of this year has been the London Olympics, so I thought of an idea which would feature me alongside two of arguably the biggest stars from the games, Usain Bolt and Mo Farah.”
Jimmy has even managed to get into the composition of this year’s Christmas card design the much talked about poses for which these athletes are famous.
Jamaica’s Bolt defended his 100m,200m and 4x100m relay crowns at the London 2012 Olympics, while in winning the 10,000m Team GB’s Farah became the first Briton to ever win a distance gold at an Olympics before adding the 5,000m title exactly a week later to join a select band of greats to have completed the long-distance double.
Jimmy Cricket had them rocking around the clock on the beach this summer!
The famous Irish comedian has recalled the occasion he met professional organist Chris Mannion.
It was on the day that Jimmy appeared live on ITV’s breakfast show, Daybreak, in Eastbourne on the south coast.
“Chris was playing his keyboard as part of the outside broadcast when I arrived on the scene and got the assembled crowd to sing Rock Around The Clock,” laughs Jimmy.
“Chris is a professional organist and is very accomplished. He not only plays at various concerts in Eastbourne, where he lives, but he is much in demand across the country and this extends to playing engagements on cruise ships.
“He is not just a talented person, but a really lovely guy as well.”
Jimmy Cricket returned to the “small screen” today.
The famous Irish comedian, who has made many television appearances over the past few decades and had his own series on Central Television in the mid-1980s called And There’s More, appeared live on ITV’s breakfast show, Daybreak.
Alongside him were fellow entertainers in Sentimental Journey, the family extravaganza running at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne, East Sussex, from 1 May to 26 September.
“Daybreak had both weather and magazine inserts broadcast live from the resort to mark not only the torch event, but to also feature the British seaside resort as we head into the school summer holidays.”
The 19 dance schools which took part in the show were: Garswood School of Dance, Vibe Stage Academy, The Stage School, Harlequin Dance Club, Formby School of Dance, Dance Flava, Claire Knight School of Dance, Martins Dance Centre, Excelsior School of Dance, Phoenix School of Dance, Dance Depot, Liverpool Theatre School, Felicia Burns School of Dance, Chriska Stage School, Marshside School of Dance, Southport School of Dance, Crown Dance School, Jade School of Dance and Dance Passion.
The general secretary of Allied Dancing Association, Carol Parry, invited Jimmy to host the show. They first met last Christmas during Jimmy’s pantomime season at the Civic Theatre in Darlington. Carol’s daughter, Melissa, featured in the Southport Theatre show as a dancer.
Jimmy says: “This was a spectacular show and my hats off to all the organisers of this event for all the hard work they put into it.
“Special praise to one of the principal organisers, Carol Parry, as she was a real driving force behind the show and she worked tirelessly to ensure it was a huge success!”
Photos for this story were taken by Alan at Photos2U
The event’s other special guest was Dame Mary Peters who won gold medal in the pentathlon in the 1972 Munich Games. She represented Northern Ireland at every Commonwealth Games between 1958 and 1974, winning two pentathlon gold medals, plus a gold and a silver for the shot put.
She was born in Lancashire but lived in Belfast from the age of 11.
Jimmy, who was born in Belfast and has lived in Rochdale for many years, said: “It was a real thrill to meet Mary in Southport as she has been one of the great ambassadors of Northern Ireland over the years.
“Her Olympic triumph in Munich was a tremendous achievement, one which should inspire all our home athletes who are currently getting ready for London 2012.”
His diaconate ordination means Frankie, who describes himself on Twitter as a trainee priest/ex-comic, is a deacon for the next year and can perform certain functions of the Catholic Church.
And on his Facebook page, Frankie said: “Many thanks all, for your very kind comments…and just to clarify, my little sis jumped the gun with the ‘Fr’ comment…I became a Deacon last sat… (I knew she’d dose off).
“Priesthood is hopefully just a year off.. but I’m still available for weddings, baptisms, funerals…sideline in balloon modelling, etc.”
Frankie’s journey to this point has involved six years of study, with his first 12 months at the English College in Valladolid in north-central Spain to participate in a pre-novitiate year (contemplative foundation).
He then moved to the five years of full study which has got him to this stage. Four of those years were at St Cuthbert’s College in Ushaw, Durham, but it closed a year ago and his studies were transferred to Birmingham. He has one more academic year to undertake, which starts back in Birmingham in September.
His father, famous Irish comedian Jimmy, said: “The service was a long one! It was two hours and 15 minutes. It involved 10 other candidates who were also ordained deacons and they were from Birmingham, Nottingham, Hallam and East Anglia, to name a few.
“The service was presided over by Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham. There were in total around 70 members of the clergy there to support the ordination of the 11 candidates, plus sisters and brothers from other religious orders. Add to that family members and friends, and it all meant the chapel was rather full.
“The service itself asks for a commitment from the deacon to the church and to the local bishop. It also involves the handing-out of a book of Gospels to the deacon and they also receive their vestments.
“There is also a vow of celibacy taken, so that a full and unencumbered life can be devoted to the ministry of the church.”
Comedian Tim Vine, a very good friend of Frankie, also attended the service to see Frankie being ordained a deacon.
Jimmy added: “Frankie had a placement back in January at this parish for a month and really enjoyed his time there. This time he is only there for a fortnight, before he travels to London where he has been appointed as a voluntary chaplain to the athletes at the Olympic Village during the Olympic Games.
“He then has a bit of time in August, before he returns to St Mary’s College at the start of September.”