Tag Archives: showbiz

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

Famous funnyman in fond return to Devon

 

Jimmy Cricket with Daryl, the entertainment manager at Beverley Holidays park in DevonJimmy Cricket returned to Torbay in Devon for the first time in a couple of years when he appeared in the coastal resort of Paignton.

The much-loved Northern Irish comedian performed in the wonderful Theatre Cabaret room at Beverley Holidays park (picture of Jimmy on stage below).

He is pictured right with Daryl,  the assistant entertainment manager at the park.

Beverley Holidays have three parks in Devon, and all of them offer an excellent range of holiday accommodation from luxury hot tub lodges and ultra-modern hot tub holiday caravans, to camping and touring pitches with stunning sea views of the coast.

Jimmy Cricket

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.”

Jimmy Cricket agrees digital download deal

Jimmy Cricket has agreed a deal with Townsend Records
Jimmy Cricket has formed a new partnership with an independent record store, whose clients include singer-songwriter Noel Gallagher, entertainer Mike Harding and folk band Houghton Weavers.

The well-known Northern Irish comedian has agreed for Townsend Records, who are based in Great Harwood near Blackburn in Lancashire,  to exclusively provide and manage a new digital store, where downloads of all four of his CD titles can be obtained – both as a full album or as individual tracks.

This means that his two comedy CDs – Best of Jimmy Cricket and Jimmy Cricket – Bee in his Bonnet – and his two music CDs, Jimmy Cricket – I’m dreaming of a far off land and Jimmy Cricket – Light & Shade, are now available to purchase in a digital format online.

Each individual track can be downloaded at a cost of 99p each, with each full album priced at £9.99 per download.

Jimmy’s new online store can be found at http://jimmycricket.tmstor.es/

Jimmy Cricket & co a hit at golf club

Jimmy Cricket with Buzz Hawkins from the Bradshaws, and impressionist Johnny More

Jimmy Cricket will return to a golf club in north Manchester later this year following a recent successful charity show there.

The fundraising event, A Night with the Stars, took place at Blackley golf club and was in aid of the Red Cross and the Ebola crises appeal.

The fundraising event took place at Blackley golf club and was in aid of the Red Cross and the Ebola crises appeal

Jimmy graced the club alongside Buzz Hawkins from the Bradshaws, the impressionist Johnny More (all three are pictured above) and a host of other performers.

Tony Horsfield and Eric Devereux, both very good friends of Jimmy, were the organisers of the event.

It must have been a good night, as Jimmy has already been asked to return to the same venue for his own comedy evening that is being organised by the club captain and his entertainment team.

Keith Harris: ‘Great showman – we salute you’

Jimmy Cricket appeared on Keith Harris’s holiday laughter show (with Orville and Cuddles) at the Royal Opera House in the summer of 1982

Jimmy Cricket has been paying tribute in his latest newspaper column to ventriloquist Keith Harris, who died last month.

Keith, who, with his puppet duck Orville, became a regular feature of Saturday night TV in the 1980s, was 67.

He entertained generations of children with his sidekick Orville, a bright green duck who wore a nappy and spoke in a high-pitched voice but couldn’t fly. He also gave life to the popular puppet Cuddles the monkey, whose catchphrase was ‘I hate that duck!’

In addition to fronting The Keith Harris Show on BBC One, he (and Orville) gave private performances at birthday parties for Prince William and his brother Harry, at the request of Diana, Princess of Wales.

His 1982 single, Orville’s Song, was a top five hit, selling more than 400,000 copies.

In his May column for the Preston-based Lancashire Evening News, Jimmy says: “Most ventriloquists that are successful discover one dummy that tickles people’s funny bone, but Keith was blessed with two.

“In 1983, holidaymakers were still visiting our summer resorts en masse and Keith’s show was a sellout from start to finish.

“Keith Harris – you weren’t just a superb ventriloquist, you were a great showman and producer.

“We salute you.”

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