Jimmy Cricket

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‘Wonderful news’ about Blackpool’s Grand Theatre! 150 150 mhamer

‘Wonderful news’ about Blackpool’s Grand Theatre!

Wonderful news to start the week! Grand Theatre Successful COVID-19 Recovery Grant - Blackpool Grand Theatre

Jimmy Cricket has welcomed the news that the Blackpool Grand Theatre is to get a government recovery grant.

It was suggested in August the theatre could close because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Management had warned the venue might have to shut unless the UK government intervened.

Like other provincial theatres, which depend largely on box office receipts to keep going, it has not received any income since the lockdown began.

Popular comedian Jimmy said at the time that the closure of the iconic theatre would be a “tragedy”.

But the theatre, which first opened in 1894, has succeeded in its application for £483,666 to the government’s COVID-19 Recovery Grant Scheme.

Jimmy described it on social media as “wonderful news”.

‘Absolute lifeline’

The grant aims to support the theatre while it is unable to open with consistently financially viable productions.

The theatre’s website said it would pay to keep a small staff team in place to look after the building and its business until 31 March 2021. 

It will also underwrite the cost of unavoidable job losses and preparations to reopen with covid-secure provisions in place.

Additionally, it would help to rebuild the theatre’s reserves and enable it to return to full operation when possible.

Tony Stone, chairman of the charity which operates the Grand, said: “We are beyond grateful to be awarded this grant by the Government.

“It is an absolute lifeline. Since March we have been unable to earn any income as shows have cancelled or postponed.

“This additional grant makes the difference between permanent closure and the potential to return when it is safe and viable to do so.”

‘Fantastic grant’

John Grady, chairman of the Friends of the Grand, said: “In normal times we stuff envelopes, tear tickets and sell coffee to thousands of loyal customers.

“Since March we have been unable to support our favourite theatre as it has been unable to open.

“We realise that we still don’t know when this will be possible.

“But this fantastic grant will, at least, mean that we can prepare to return when circumstances allow.”

Ruth Eastwood, the theatre’s chief executive, welcomed the news “with very mixed feelings”.

‘Tremendous support’

She said the entire team were at risk of redundancy and in consultation about reduced terms and conditions of employment.

“With no work and no place of work available to our 57-strong team and the Furlough scheme ending, we have no choice but to reduce the headcount at the theatre,” she explained.

“This is to ensure we can slow down the speed with which cash is flowing out of our reserves.

“I’d like to thank my dedicated and hard-working team, plus board members and volunteers, for their tremendous support and forbearance at this difficult time.”

Also read: Losing the Grand Theatre in Blackpool would be a ‘tragedy’

‘TV’s Irish comedy legend’ back at Blackpool hotel 150 150 mhamer

‘TV’s Irish comedy legend’ back at Blackpool hotel

Wednesday 14th October at the Lyndene Hotel, entertainment with excellent vocalist Benjamin Moss and comedy from TV's Irish Comedy Legend Jimmy Cricket. Show starts at 6.00pm with Resident keyboard player Ray Bentley followed by Host & Compere Nick Jones.

Jimmy Cricket continues his shortened season this week at a popular Blackpool hotel, which bills him as “TV’s Irish comedy legend”.
The evergreen entertainer returns to the Lyndene on Wednesday for his second appearance of the month there.
The hotel posted on Facebook: “Wednesday 14th October at the Lyndene Hotel, entertainment with excellent vocalist Benjamin Moss and comedy from TV’s Irish Comedy Legend Jimmy Cricket.
“Show starts at 6.00pm with Resident keyboard player Ray Bentley followed by Host & Compere Nick Jones.”
Jimmy has been appearing at the Lyndene Hotel for several years.
The Belfast-born funnyman had been scheduled to do two shows a night on 23 dates during 2020.
However, his summer performances could not go ahead because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government placed the United Kingdom into national lockdown in late March.

Unique venue

But the reopening of hotels and other entertainment venues meant Jimmy could return to the Lyndene several weeks ago.

Three compered acts usually perform twice per night, once each in different lounges at the Lyndene.

The Lyndene Hotel, perched on the seafront, is one of Blackpool’s unique venues as it welcomes tourists and visitors all year round.

It offers a series of seasonal packages around the Blackpool illuminations and Christmas.

Jimmy Cricket will do a New Year's Eve show at the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool

Jimmy is in his fifth season at the Lyndene Hotel.

See this year’s dates below* and visit the hotel’s website here.

Also read: The Blackpool-illuminations and wonderful-in-laws!

* Note that any scheduled dates for the rest of 2020 are subject to change or cancellation depending on measures imposed during the pandemic.Returning to what has become my second home working alongside many talented singers and old friends like @MALFORDUK , my thanks goes to Claire @TowerTopEnts and @LyndeneHotel the Manager Paul, and all the Team members for their hospitality and support over the last four years

Elvis impersonator Jim Nicholas is the Pride of Manchester 150 150 mhamer

Elvis impersonator Jim Nicholas is the Pride of Manchester

Very proud of my great friend Jim Nicholas who has been given the, “Pride of Manchester Award”, for all the fundraising over the years for such a worthy cause @FrancisHouseCH

Jimmy Cricket said he was “very proud” of his close friend Jim Nicholas who won Fundraiser of the Year in the Pride of Manchester Awards.

DJ and mobile entertainer Jim Nicholas has raised more than £200,000 for Francis House Children’s Hospice.

Jim, from Swinton in Greater Manchester, said he was surprised to be presented with the award by Pride of Manchester award host Kym Marsh.

He thought he was attending a hospice fund-raising meeting at a hotel to discuss ways of raising money.

His wife Denise even persuaded him to dress in his Elvis outfit for the occasion.

However, he was greeted instead by hospice CEO, David Ireland.

Also there were Director of Care Sharon Doodson and former Coronation Street star and singer Kym.

Jim is quoted on the Francis House Children’s Hospice website as saying: “It was fantastic to meet Kym.

Worthy cause

“I’m so proud that someone has thought about nominating me and I feel very humble to get this award.”

Jimmy said: “Very proud of my great friend Jim Nicholas who has been given the “Pride of Manchester Award” for all the fundraising over the years for such a worthy cause @FrancisHouseCH.”

Francis House is based in south Manchester.

Jim is the impresario behind Jimmy’s charity shows for Francis House.

Stars Come out for Francis House is staged at the Coliseum in Oldham.

The pair were introduced many years ago by Sister Aloysius.

They have remained close friends and showbiz partners ever since.

Also read: Elvis impersonator raises £200,000 for Francis House

Bridlington Spa ‘felt like green shoots of recovery’ 150 150 mhamer

Bridlington Spa ‘felt like green shoots of recovery’

Hi folks! My thanks to stage manager Nigel, here with his partner Edith who was also on lighting tonight on the right of me in the picture, with Oscar who was on sound, to my left tonight at the Spa in Bridlington. It felt like the green shoots of recovery this evening!

Jimmy Cricket felt uplifted after his return to the Bidlington Spa theatre.

The ever-green Northern Irish comedian appeared back at the East Yorkshire venue on Sunday 27 September.

It had been billed as the Comeback Cabaret Show.

He posted the photos above on social media.

Jimmy said: “My thanks to stage manager Nigel, here with his partner Edith who was also on lighting tonight on the right of me in the picture, with Oscar who was on sound, to my left tonight at the Spa in Bridlington.

“It felt like the green shoots of recovery this evening!”

In response to the post, @deanbullen said: “Great to see @jimmy__cricket good as ever at @bridspa. Cheering us up in difficult times.”

Looking forward to my return visit to the wonderful #SpaTheatreBridlington as they reopen their doors with social distancing in place!

Social distancing was among the measures in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Indoor theatres, ice rinks and soft play centres were allowed to reopen in mid-August.

The government placed the United Kingdom into lockdown in late March.

Some areas still have tougher measures in place than others.

Also read: Bridlington Spa: Back from lockdown to laughing!

The Blackpool illuminations and wonderful in-laws! 150 150 mhamer

The Blackpool illuminations and wonderful in-laws!

Had a great social distancing, hand sanitising, mask wearing evening with our wonderful in-laws Ali and Jim Martin at Blackpool’s favourite @LyndeneHotel last night alongside the eye catching and traditional illuminations!
Jimmy Cricket enjoyed the Blackpool illuminations and meeting up with some relatives.
The popular Northern Irish comedian was at the Lyndene Hotel for his latest shows there.
He posted on social media: “Had a great social distancing, hand sanitising, mask wearing evening with our wonderful in-laws Ali and Jim Martin at Blackpool’s favourite @LyndeneHotel last night alongside the eye catching and traditional illuminations! Performing arts

Jimmy posted some photos, including of the world-famous Blackpool lights.

He has been appearing at the Lyndene Hotel for several years.

The all-round entertainer had been scheduled to do two shows a night on 23 dates during 2020.

However, the summer performances could not go ahead because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government placed the United Kingdom into lockdown in late March.

Fifth season

But the reopening of hotels and other entertainment venues meant Jimmy could return to the Lyndene at last recently.

Two or three acts usually perform twice per night, once each in different lounges at the Lyndene.

The Lyndene Hotel, perched on the seafront, is one of Blackpool’s unique venues as it welcomes tourists and visitors all year round.

Jimmy Cricket will do a New Year's Eve show at the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool

Its website says that it offers more than 141 fully equipped and tastefully decorated en suite bedrooms.

Jimmy is in his FIFTH season at the Lyndene Hotel.

See this year’s dates below* and visit the hotel’s website here.

* Note that any scheduled dates for the rest of 2020 are subject to change or cancellation depending on measures imposed during the pandemic.Returning to what has become my second home working alongside many talented singers and old friends like @MALFORDUK , my thanks goes to Claire @TowerTopEnts and @LyndeneHotel the Manager Paul, and all the Team members for their hospitality and support over the last four years

The Crickets at Christmas – courtesy of Jimmy and May 150 150 mhamer

The Crickets at Christmas – courtesy of Jimmy and May

Here is an idea for a Christmas Show, with applied social distancing in Theatres and venues! Just ring us on 01706 353545 for a booking!

Jimmy Cricket and his wife May have come up with a special Christmas show format in place of the usual panto.

The United Kingdom continues to remain under coronavirus restrictions.

It means it is highly unlikely theatres will be able to stage traditional pantomimes over the Christmas and New Year period.

So Jimmy and May – who goes under the stage name of May Marion – are offering venues, The Crickets at Christmas.

The photo above is of a poster on the homepage of Jimmy’s webpage.

Jimmy explained: “Panto just like Santa, Christmas trees and turkey is a mainstay of our festive season.

“A wonderful opportunity for the whole family to visit the theatre.

Two-hander

“It’s also a two-way process when theatres can put the house-full signs up and take in a bit of cash to help them get through the rest of the year.

“It’s going to be sad this year to pass some of our local theatres and not hear that laughter and applause.

“To help any theatres that don’t want to remain dark and keep a link open to their regular patrons, my wife and I have devised a two-hander Christmas show.

“It will follow government guidelines with social distancing etc, so everyone can feel safe.

“It can be a 90-minute straight through show or an hour each half with an interval.

“Because of limited capacity, we’re happy to do two shows.

“It’s something to keep us going until please God we can all get back to normal.

“Stay safe and healthy everyone!

“Just ring us on 01706 353545 for a booking!”

Also read: What it might be tough to stage pantos this year…

Tommy Handley: The life and times of a great comic 150 150 mhamer

Tommy Handley: The life and times of a great comic

the life and times of this great comic Tommy Handley
Tommy Handley is the subject of Jimmy Cricket’s latest column in the Lancashire Post.
The Liverpool-born comedian was particularly successful in the 1940s.

He was best known for the BBC radio programme It’s That Man Again (ITMA), which was broadcast between 1939 and 1949.

Tommy established himself as a comedian and singer on the music hall circuit and was a pioneer broadcaster, performing as a solo entertainer and as an actor in sketches.

His greatest success came in the late 1930s with the comedy show It’s That Man Again, which, after an uneasy beginning, became very popular.

Tommy starred as a good-natured, fast-talking anchor-man around whom a cast of eccentric comic characters revolved.

He died suddenly in 1949 at the age of just 56.

Jimmy’s column about Tommy appeared in the 7 September edition of the Preston-based Lancashire Post.

The Northern Irish comedian tweeted about it.

He said: “Hi folks! Here is my September @leponline column, where I reflect on the life and times of this great comic.”

Also read: Lyndene return: Wonderful to get back to ‘normality’