Tag Archives: Rochdale Observer

Jimmy Cricket remembers comedy pals Sir Ken Dodd & Jim Bowen

Rochdale Council's photo of Sir Ken Dodd and Jimmy Cricket

Jimmy Cricket has been remembering comedy friends Jim Bowen and Sir Ken Dodd, who died within a few days of each other.

Liverpool legend Sir Ken, creator of the Diddy Men, passed away last weekend aged 90, having recently been released from hospital after six weeks of treatment for a chest infection.

And broadcaster and comedian Jim, best known for hosting darts-based game show Bullseye in the 1980s and ’90s, died on Wednesday at the age of 80.

Belfast-born and Rochdale-based Jimmy posted a video on Twitter in which he pays a special tribute to Sir Ken (below).

And Rochdale Council also tweeted the photo at the top of this article, saying: “Farewell to a legend – here’s comedy star Sir Ken Dodd with his good friend and Rochdale resident during a town hall dinner to celebrate Jimmy receiving a Papal knighthood in 2015. RIP and thanks for the laughs.”

Jimmy Cricket talking about Sir Ken Dodd

The Universe, the weekly Catholic newspaper, featured a photograph of Sir Ken on its front page (below), saying: “Catholic comedian leads tribute to legendary funnyman.”

And the Rochdale Observer also reported on Jimmy paying tribute to Sir Ken. The story recalled the tale of the stolen concrete wellies – read more about that here.

Read more about Sir Ken.

Jimmy Cricket talks about Sir Ken Dodd in the Catholic newspaper, The Universe

Former deputy headmaster Jim, who lived in North Lancashire, began his career as a stand-up comedian on the club circuit in the 1960s. He became a household name when he began presenting Bullseye in 1981. The Sunday tea time show ran for 14 years.

Jimmy tweeted: “So sad to hear of the passing of another legendary comic and game show host, my friend Jim Bowen, another ⭐️ star in heaven!”

Click here to watch Jimmy’s appearance on Bullseye.

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

Rochdale Observer continues build-up to birthday fun run

The Rochdale Observer published a story about Jimmy Cricket's charity fun run

Jimmy Cricket’s local newspaper has published a story about the famous entertainer’s charity fun run, which takes place on Sunday 18 October.

The Rochdale Observer report went in the 7 August edition of the paper and featured more build-up  to the special event, which will mark Jimmy’s 70th birthday.

The form for Jimmy Cricket's 70th birthday fun run

The 5K race  around the Cowm Reservoir in Whitworth, East Lancashire, will be in aid of his preferred charity, the Francis House Children’s Hospice in Manchester.

Rochdale-based Jimmy said: “Interest in the event is growing and this article features a local Rochdale lady who using my 70th birthday fun run as a goal in her quest to get healthier and lose weight!”

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

Alternatively, you can download the form above right by clicking on it, so it is on its own page, and then printing out (right click and print, or press “Ctrl” and “P”).

Fun run build-up covered by Athletics Weekly

The Rochdale Observer reported on Jimmy Cricket's forthcoming fun run

Jimmy Cricket has a new claim to fame after appearing in the Athletics Weekly magazine.

Athletics Weekly reported on Jimmy Cricket's forthcoming fun run

The publication devoted to all things relating to running published an article (right) earlier this month featuring Jimmy’s 70th birthday fun run that will be held in Whitworth, near Rochdale, on October 18.

It also reported on Jimmy’s visit to the location that will act as the starting point and finish line for the fun run – the Cock & Magpie public house.

The Rochdale Observer, Jimmy’s  local newspaper, also covered this ‘four months to go’ milestone (top).

Famous entertainer Jimmy said: “All this build-up coverage of my birthday fun run was quite remarkable and a big thanks should go to Andy O’Sullivan, who arranged this preview for me and who will be the race organiser for the event in the autumn.”The form for Jimmy Cricket's 70th birthday fun run

The 5K race will be in aid of his preferred charity, 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

Or you can download the form above right by clicking on it, so it is on its own page, and then printing out (right click and print, or press “Ctrl” and “P”).

Daughter Katie wins coveted playwriting prize

The Stage newspaper reported on Katie Mulgrew's success

Famous entertainer Jimmy Cricket has expressed his immense pride after daughter Katie won a prestigious playwriting competition.

The Rochdale Observer reported on Katie Mulgrew's success

Katie Mulgrew, 30, was the winner of the first ever Liverpool Hope University playwriting prize, with her work entitled Omnibus, which follows a group of friends following a soap opera.

Not only did she earn herself £10,000 in the process, but she now has the opportunity to see the play produced by the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool, one of the partners for the competition along with the Liverpool Echo newspaper.

She was the only female comic among the 10 finalists.

Katie told The Stage newspaper: “I entered the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize because some of my heroes are on the judging panel, and I would adore the opportunity to work with such a beautiful theatre, positively soaked in history and talent.”

Her play was shortlisted at the start of the year as part of a group of 10 plays that went to a judging panel consisting of:

–         Comedienne Kathy Burke

–         Screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce

–          Playwright, director and visiting professor at Liverpool Hope University John Godber

–          Playwriter & arts journalist  Paul Allen

–          Chief executive of the Royal Court Theatre Kevin Fearon

–          Principal Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at Liverpool Hope University‌ Dr John Bennett

–          Liverpool Echo arts editor Catherine Jones

Jimmy said: “I am really thrilled for Katie and am incredibly proud of this tremendous achievement.”

The Rochdale Observer reported on Katie Mulgrew's success

Fun run plans get media coverage

Jimmy Cricket's plans for a fun run were featured in the Rochdale Observer newspaper

Jimmy Cricket’s plans to stage a special fun run to mark his 70th birthday have received coverage in his local newspaper.

The Rochdale Observer published the above report and picture on the race, which will take place on 18 October 2015 – the day after the well-known entertainer turns 70.

The Belfast-born comedian was approached by Rochdale-based fundraiser Andy O’Sullivan about the prospect of a birthday race.

Andy has been organising charity runs with the local Rochdale Harriers athletics club for many years.

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.

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

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.

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!”