Tag Archives: tv

Ex-Corrie actress takes part in Rochdale show

Jimmy Cricket

A former Coronation Street actress was among the performers in a parish centre show hosted by much-loved entertainer Jimmy Cricket.

Sue Devaney (below right) has played various roles on British television, including Debbie Webster in Corrie, Rita Briggs in Jonny Briggs, Liz Harker in Casualty and Jane in Dinnerladies.

Local, national and sometimes international entertainers perform for nothing at the monthly event, which takes place at St Vincent’s RC Parish Centre in Norden, Rochdale.

Sue Devaney

Also on the bill was singer John from J & D Alexander Jewellers in the Greater Manchester town of Rochdale, where Belfast-born Jimmy has lived for many years.

A collection is made for a charitable cause usually decided on the jam night, with the Sudden Community Centre, based on Cheltenham Street in Rochdale, the beneficiary on this occasion.

The centre has been established in the community through various forms since August 1991.

Since its inception, it has helped thousands of local residents empower themselves to a more dignified and fulfilling life through many of the programmes offered there.

Their mission is for local residents to be members of a vibrant and sustainable community who manage and control their future through the improvement of their own living and working environment.

Emphasis is on empowerment through education, enterprise, and lifelong learning and training opportunities for all.

The centre delivers community-based training and support for local residents, particularly those who are hard to reach and face barriers to accessing information, advice and guidance and progression to employment, training and education.

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

Forgotten passport nearly KO-ed Greek cruise shows with Rory Bremner

Jimmy Cricket's column in the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket once failed to persuade the authorities in Athens to let him into Greece without his passport.

The famous entertainer was scheduled to do some shows on a cruise ship around the Greek Islands with friend and impressionist Rory Bremner.

It was during the 1980s when Jimmy, now 70, had his TV series And There’s More, for which he did some YouTube sketches with Bremner, then a “young, fresh-faced impressionist doing his stint in a pub in London”.

Jimmy’s agent told Jimmy he had arranged a three-day cruise for him and Rory performing cabaret on board.

“Now prior to this, I hadn’t been out of the country with Mrs Cricket and, as we had a young family then, it was usually to Disneyland in Florida,” he told readers of the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post in his July column.

“In other words, my good lady took care of all the travel arrangements. Sooo – and you’re probably not going to believe this – but I actually headed off to Greece with my hat, my wellies, my jammies, my toothbrush, but without – wait for this – my passport!”

He said he somehow managed to get the staff at Heathrow – who recognised him – to go through, they but warned him the Greek authorities “might not be so understanding”.

And despite Jimmy showing staff at Athens photos from his suitcase of him in his full stage costume of hat and wellies and also contacting the cruise organiser and British Embassy official, he still ended up spending the night sleeping on the airport floor!

However, Mrs Cricket sent his passport details through the next morning and he finally got to go on the cruise.

 

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.”

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.

From Muddles to Milton Keynes (slideshow)

 

Jimmy Cricket returned to action after his festive pantomime spell with  a show in Milton Keynes.

The well-known entertainer appeared at the Lovat Fields Retirement Village in Milton Keynes, which is part of a national chain run by the Extra Care organisation. Jimmy has appeared at some of their other sites over the years in St Helens, Warrington and Coventry.

This particular visit was organised by Mary Cooper, who is one of the residents at Lovat Fields and is involved in helping to arrange the entertainment programme. A big thanks to Mary for also sending in the slideshow photos of the night.

Jimmy said: “This was my first show after the Christmas pantomime season.

“It came after what is a traditional annual break for me during January, so it was wonderful to return to stand-up after four weeks of being Muddles in Snow White and to entertain at such a hospitable place with a wonderful audience!”

* Click on either of the arrow buttons above to view the slideshow.

Book now to see Jimmy in action

Jimmy Cricket's shows in the first part of 2015

The first venue that famous comedian Jimmy Cricket will be visiting for his 2015 shows around the UK is the Plaza Theatre in Stockport on Sunday (25 January).

With the show scheduled for a 3pm start, there is the chance to have Sunday lunch with all the family, then go along to see him and laugh away the calories! Tickets are priced at £10 (£5 for under 16s).

Jimmy embarks on a tour of Northern Ireland with the You Must Be Joking show next week.

When the veteran entertainer visits the charming Lamproom Theatre in South Yorkshire during February, he will feature in a format that will afford the audience an opportunity to ask him a question, as he brings his Audience with show to the Barnsley region.

Jimmy’s trip to the Victoria Theatre in Halifax on 25 March will be part of a Music Hall show that his good friend, Neil Hurst, is organising.

And he is also looking forward to visiting Bexhill-on-Sea, where the team behind the Bexhill Festival of Music are organising the show he will headline in April.

All the other venues on the list shown above right will also present Jimmy’s Value for a Tenner show.

So if you live in one of the regions Jimmy will be visiting during the first half of 2015, do go along and see him in action.

Snow White panto – watch photo slideshow

 

Jimmy Cricket’s final appearance in panto over the festive period was captured in pictures by a friend.

Gerry Molumby travelled from Nottingham to Preston earlier this month to watch famous entertainer Jimmy perform in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre.

Another of Jimmy’s friends, John Nolan, and his family came up from West Sussex, where he is the organiser of the annual Crawley Irish Festival.

Not only did Gerry get some great shots of Jimmy performing on stage, but he also tiptoed back stage before the final performance to obtain snaps of other members of the cast, including Prince Charming and Snow White (Adam Trembath and Kristina Castellina respectively).

Gerry also caught on camera the UK’s most famous ringmaster, Norman Barrett, who has been touring with Zippos circus over the last few years. Norman and his wife, Sally, had come to see Jimmy and they did not escape the photographer’s clicks either!

Gerry has now sent the photos and a report to the Irish Post – the English-based weekly newspaper for the Irish ex-pat community within the UK – with the hope of getting some coverage of his and John’s visit to see Jimmy in Preston.

* Click on either of the arrow buttons above to view the slideshow.

A Christmas & New Year message from Jimmy

Here is a Christmas and New Year message from your favourite entertainer Jimmy Cricket:

Jimmy Cricket's Christmas card features the Only Fools and Horses’ sketch staring regular cast members David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst, plus special Comic Relief guest David BeckhamDear all,

I write this from my dressing room at the Charter Theatre in Preston where I am currently appearing in a pantomime production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. We have had some great audiences in Preston and the show has been great fun to do! (There is still time to come along as the show continues until the 3rd of January).

Another year has gone by and, after spending some time over Christmas with my family, I will start to look forward to what 2015 will bring.

This will be a special year for me as in October I will turn 70! Already there are plans in place on how this milestone will be marked and one of the exciting events will be a special fun run to be arranged at a location within my adopted home town of Rochdale.

There are already several interesting touring commitments lined up for 2015. In the early part of the year I will feature in a comedy show called You Must Be Joking, which has several tour dates around Northern Ireland in late January and early February.

I am also teaming up with the male vocalist Michael George for a couple of theatre dates in May and I make a welcome return during 2015 to the Warner Leisure Hotels circuit for the first time in several years.

Of course, I will also be touring my own stand-up show throughout the year and venues already lined up for 2015 include: Stockport, Preston, Barnsley, East Kilbride, Horsham, Nelson and Soham.

Over the last few weeks I have just finished recording a new comedy music CD called Jimmy Cricket – Light and Shade and this will be available to purchase early in the New Year.

Finally, it only remains for me to wish all readers a very happy and peaceful Christmas and a great start to the New Year!

Jimmy Cricket (17 December 2014)