Tag Archives: summer

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.”

Returning to 2012 summer season venue

Eastbourne Herald article featuring Jimmy Cricket's return to the Royal Hippodrome TheatreJimmy Cricket is returning to the scene of his 2012 summer season to do his stand-up comedy show at the weekend.

The famous Irish entertainer will perform at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne on Saturday (20 September), two years after his last appearance there.

He was featured earlier this month in the Eastbourne Herald (article clipping above), which read: “This entertainer never stops updating and creating new material.”

The newspaper mentions that Jimmy has just released a song, I was bit by Luis Suarez, which is based on the former Liverpool striker who was banned for four months during this summer’s World Cup for biting an opponent.

Jimmy said: “I am looking forward to seeing the many friends I made during that summer season.

“In fact, these friends have gone on to form a community interest company to manage the Royal Hippodrome Theatre, as the local council were looking for someone to take on this role for them.”

They include Jerome and Carole who own and run the Marine Parade Hotel and Darren Weir who owns the Mowbray Hotel.

Another friend Jimmy will be seeing again is Mike Lee, who is also a partner in the management consortium.

Jimmy said: “Mike is a superb singer who performs a tribute to the great Matt Munroe. I have invited him to appear on my show and am delighted he has agreed!”

To watch the video of I was bit by Luis Suarez, go to the homepage of this website or visit Jimmy’s video channel at YouTube.

And you can pre-order I was bit by Luis Suarez at iTunes.

For all the latest updates on the song and on Jimmy’s schedule and thoughts, go to his Twitter page.

Helping out at post office relaunch

Jimmy Cricket with Michael Meacher (right) and others at the relaunch of Royton Post Office

Jimmy Cricket was only too pleased to help out an old friend at the reopening of a post office in Greater Manchester earlier this summer.

The famous Northern Ireland entertainer was invited to the special event in Oldham by Paul Couglan, who is the new franchise owner of the revamped Royton Post Office.

Paul, an acquaintance of Jimmy, already runs a successful post office at nearby Moston in north Manchester.

Also present at the relaunch was Michael Meacher, a British Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Oldham West and Royton since 1997.

Jimmy said: ” I was thrilled to be able to support Paul at the start of his new venture. He has always tried to support me over the years with his new musicals and shows.

“I wish Paul all the best with Royton Post Office and hope it’s a major success.”

The event was featured in the 18 June edition of the Oldham Evening Chronicle (see image above).

Another Redcoats reunion for Jimmy

Jimmy with some other former Butlins Redcoats

Jimmy Cricket had his latest Butlins Redcoat reunion when he was appearing at a Pontins holiday village earlier this summer.

Jimmy Cricket with Paul Ogden, another former Butlins Redcoat

The well-known comedian worked as a Redcoat at the Butlins sites in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, and Mosney near Dublin in Ireland during the late 1960s before becoming a household name on television.

He has met up with some of his old colleagues during the decades since then and this was actually the second time he had encountered this particular group of fellow former Redcoats – he also bumped into them the last time he was at Sand Bay Holiday Park in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, a couple of years ago!

The photos are courtesy of Paul Ogden, with whom Jimmy can be seen right.

Above, Jimmy has actually managed to borrow a red coat from one of the group and is pictured alongside them all sharing some comedy banter.

Redcoat is the name given to front-line staff at Butlins holiday camps in the UK. A Redcoat has duties ranging from adult entertainer or children’s entertainer to stewarding. Read more about them here.

Ode to the stolen wellingtons

Ken Dodd signed the new concrete wellies for fellow comedian Jimmy Cricket
Ken Dodd has signed the new wellingtons for fellow comedian Jimmy

The story of Jimmy Cricket’s stolen concrete wellingtons – and their replacements – has again been the subject of attention in the media.

The Rochdale Observer, the newspaper in the famous entertainer’s hometown, is the latest publication to feature an article on the saga.

Ken Dodd signed the new concrete wellies for fellow comedian Jimmy Cricket

The first set of wellies were taken from Jimmy’s garden last April, a theft which left him “devastated” and caused quite a stir in the national press.

His friend and fellow funnyman Ken Dodd has bought another pair, having given Jimmy the original ones for his 50th birthday.

Jimmy is famous for wearing green wellington boots, marked with the letters R and L on the wrong feet, during his acts.

Ken recently appeared at The Spa Bridlington, where he signed the new wellies, and they will be presented to Jimmy when he performs at the same venue on Sunday, 24 August.

The Observer reports that the replacements were bought on eBay, the online auction website, for £22 and that Jimmy has written a poem about the whole episode.

Book tickets for Jimmy’s show in Bridlington here.

The Rochdale Observer article on the stolen wellies

New concrete wellies arrive – in Bridlington!

Jimmy Cricket's concrete wellingtons for Ken Dodd

Jimmy Cricket has finally got his hands on a set of concrete wellingtons which will replace the pair stolen last summer – but he won’t be taking them home just yet.

His friend and fellow funnyman Ken Dodd has bought the replacements, having given Jimmy the original wellies for his 50th birthday .

The first set were taken from Jimmy’s garden last April, a theft which left him “devastated” and caused quite a stir in the national media.

Jimmy is famous for wearing green wellington boots, marked with the letters R and L on the wrong feet, during his acts.

The Northern Irish entertainer is pictured above in the foyer of The Spa Theatre in Bridlington with the package containing the replacement concrete wellies after they were delivered there.

Ken recently appeared at The Spa Bridlington, where he signed the new wellies, and they will be presented to Jimmy when he performs at the same venue on Sunday, 24 August.

So the saga is finally set for a happy ending… well almost, as Jimmy still lives in hope that the original pair will be returned one day!

Show packed to the rafters! Photo slideshow

Jimmy Cricket with "colleague" in action at the Darwen Library Theatre

A collection of photographs from Jimmy Cricket’s show at Darwen Library Theatre earlier this summer has been published on Facebook.

Vivien Nan Coyle posted the images of the well-known Northern Irish entertainer’s visit to the Lancashire venue at the start of June.

Jimmy was appearing in an afternoon show, which turned out to be a tremendous occasion as the theatre was packed to the rafters!

Vivien is pictured with Jimmy in the first photo of the slideshow below and he can also be seen in two images with Winnie Geddes.

The majority of the remaining pictures are of Jimmy in action and also with the show’s host, Glen South.

Jimmy said: “I really enjoyed performing at Darwen and was thrilled that Vivien was able to post this photo montage on her Facebook page.”

Selfies, Ken Dodd and new concrete wellies

Jimmy Cricket talks about selfies*, his stolen concrete wellingtons and good friend Ken Dodd in a newspaper article ahead of a show in Bolton later this week.

The famous funnyman is appearing in Legend at the Comedy Club at Henighans on Bury Road, Breightmet, with MC Lee Tommo and two support comedians on Friday (25 July).

The article was written by the Bolton Evening News newspaper's entertainment reporter Melanie Wallwork

He told the Bolton Evening New’s entertainment reporter Melanie Wallwork: “I can’t understand these selfies on the mobile you take.

“I took a selfie but one of my arms was missing from the picture!”

The article also says: “Next month, he will be reunited with old pal and legendary comic, Ken Dodd, at a gig in Bridlington, as well as a replacement pair of concrete wellington boots.

“He said: ‘I had a pair of concrete wellies that Ken Dodd gave me for my 50th birthday.

‘Last April, they vanished from my front garden, they were nicked.

‘It was quite devastating for me.’

“The entertainer is famous for wearing wellington boots, marked with the letters R and L on the wrong feet, during his acts.

“He said Mrs Cricket tracked down a new pair of wellies, for £20 off eBay, which Ken will sign and present to Jimmy to replace the stolen pair which were of great sentimental value to the comic.

“Speaking of Ken, Jimmy said: ‘His enthusiasm is contagious. What a career. He is quite unique.'”

Tickets for Friday’s show cost £10, call 01204 435 428. Doors open at 8pm and the show starts at 9pm.

 * For those not familiar with a selfie, it is a self-portrait photograph, usually taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone.

A retired fireman and The Original Wag

The Original Wag by Graham AshworthJimmy Cricket is mentioned in the foreword of a new book by a Rochdale-born novelist.

The famous entertainer was presented with his own personal copy of The Original Wag by author Graham Ashworth. Jimmy features in the book and his contribution is also acknowledged.

Graham was a firefighter with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service before retiring in 2009. His first novel was Man O’ The World, which was released in 2013 and The Original Wag is his second.

Amazon, the popular retail website, says: “Both books mirror extraordinary life through the medium of fictional biographies. Nostalgia, humour and a gritty way of life feature prominently to create a welcome journey down Memory Lane.”

Graham now lives in Rossendale, Lancashire, with his wife Dawn. He is currently working on a third novel, the details of which will be revealed shortly, and is a regular contributor to Rossendale’s Life magazine.

Belfast-born Jimmy, who has lived in Rochdale for many years, said: “I wish Graham the very best with this book as it has an interesting theme and I hope many people get to read it!”

Hello again to Hunstanton!

Jimmy Cricket is back next month at the venue where he spent the majority of the 2013 summer season.

The famous comedian returns to the Princess Theatre in the seaside resort of Hunstanton in Norfolk on Sunday 3 August.

A photo (below right) was posted on Twitter by the owners of Café Blah Blahh in Hunstanton to coincide with a  promotional push to publicise the show.

Owners of Café Blah Blahh posted a photo publicising Jimmy Cricket's return to Hunstanton

Jimmy was in the West Norfolk resort for most of last summer, as he starred in the Great British Seaside Summer show.

During his time in Hunstanton, Jimmy had a fantastic stay and earned the affection of the local community.

This included him touching base with a number of local businesses, including the Wash Monster boat ride operator; Hunstanton’s sealife centre; the Marine Hotel (where he stayed for the duration of the season) and Café Blah Blahh to name only a few.

Jimmy said: “I can’t wait to return to the Princess Theatre in this idyllic resort and hope to bump into a few familiar faces when I land there again in August.”