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‘Dawn comes just after the darkest part of the night’ 150 150 mhamer

‘Dawn comes just after the darkest part of the night’

Fr Frankie Mulgrew has given a message of hope during the coronavirus pandemic

Fr Frankie has given a message of hope during the pandemic

Fr Frankie Mulgrew has talked about the “coming of the dawn” as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Jimmy Cricket’s younger son is the parish priest of St James and All Souls in Salford and Catholic chaplain at Salford University.

He has also been assisting with hospital ministry during the current crisis.

Fr Frankie is reported in the Catholic Universe talking about the importance of hope and love in response to the virus.

“The greatest message we can give anybody is the message that they’re loved, and to know they’re not alone,” Fr Mulgrew said in a recent interview with The Art of Dying Well.

“They’re loved enough that someone wants to be sat next to them in this difficulty, wants to stand with them on this front line… I think that’s really key.”

Fr Frankie has been supporting Fr Mark Paver, who is the lead chaplain at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

He said chaplains have personal protective equipment (PPE) and take the lead from the hospital on whether they can go into wards to minister.

“We’ve got to have the gear on, and even with personal equipment – there’s still the eyes, hopefully you can still display a message of eyes of love,” he said.

However, he admitted it was “tricky” and these are particularly “difficult circumstances”.

‘No night lasts forever’

“It’s letting people know that they’re not alone really,” Fr Frankie explained. “And from the priest’s perspective; it’s that God never leaves them.

“I think that’s the key thing, that He never leaves them; and that he always joins them in their pain.”

He said it was “a great honour” to be able to help and support as a chaplain, but insisted: “The real heroes are the doctors and nurses.”

Fr Frankie added: “What I am holding onto is that basically, the dawn comes just after the darkest part of the night. The dawn is coming. No night lasts forever before the sun rises. And when it rises, boy, does it shine brightly.”

Read the full story here

The UK government announced on 24 March it was imposing strict new curbs on life in the UK.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said public liturgies should cease until further notice because of the coronavirus.

Many churches have been getting around the problem by streaming their services online – including Fr Frankie.

Also read: Coronavirus pandemic: Fr Frankie’s Masses go online

Looking on the lighter side of the lockdown 150 150 mhamer

Looking on the lighter side of the lockdown

Jimmy Cricket talks about life under the lockdown in his latest newspaper column.

Jimmy Cricket talks about life under the lockdown in his latest newspaper column.

The UK government announced on 24 March it was imposing strict new curbs on life in the country following the global outbreak of coronavirus.

It has included restrictions on leaving the house and also meant people observing social distancing when they are in public.

Jimmy, 74, tells readers of the Lancashire Post in his own inimitable way to “come closer but stay two metres away”.
The famous Northern Irish comedian says: “I’m having nothing to do with this coronavirus. I’m washing my hands of the whole thing.”
During the lockdown, Jimmy has been producing daily videos containing jokes and posting them on his social media channels.
‘Lift people’s spirits’
He has branded them part of a We’re doing this together series.
The veteran entertainer says in his column: “I think it’s important for someone like me to lift people’s spirits during these trying times.

“So after lunch I’ll put on my hat and wellies on and record some jokes and birthday wishes to send out on social media.

“I’m so blessed that my good lady May is such a whizz kid on modern technology, so she acts as director and producer on these little movies.”

He says he puts aside some time each evening to phone his friends.

“They’re all going to be in, that’s for sure.”

Jimmy adds: “We also look forward to our family get-together through Zoom and Skype.

“We get to see to see the latest drawings and stories from our grandkids, and extended family.”


Tribute to old friend on first Music Hall and Variety Day 150 150 mhamer

Tribute to old friend on first Music Hall and Variety Day

My own personal contribution to @musichallsoc and my tribute to my sadly missed friend Roy Hudd OBE whose birthday it is today!
Jimmy Cricket posted his a special tribute to an old friend on the first Music Hall and Variety Day.

The British Music Hall Society launched – online – the celebration event on Saturday 16 May.

Variety fans used the hashtag #musichallvarietyday in posts on social media.

Moreover, it was an opportunity to pay tribute to the society’s former president Roy Hudd, who died in March.

On 16 May, Jimmy posted a video containing a mixture of music and photographs from the archives.

He said: “My own personal contribution to @musichallsoc and my tribute to my sadly missed friend Roy Hudd OBE whose birthday it is today!”

Watch Jimmy’s tribute on Twitter here

Jimmy Cricket paid his own special tribute to old friend Roy Hudd OBE on

Comedian and writer Roy was president of the society for 28 years, until his death.

The day celebrated the theatrical form, a popular type of entertainment from the early Victorian era.

However, it faded away after 1918, to be later rebranded as variety.

The influences of this era of entertainment are still present today, such as Saturday evening talent contests and stand-up comedy.


Music Hall and variety theatre fans celebrated by sharing personal artefacts, collections and memories of the genre.

Roy’s widow, Debbie, said: “I am delighted that the British Music Hall Society is paying tribute to Roy in this way.

“Roy loved music hall and variety.

“He was honoured to be the President of the Society and was thrilled and delighted with the continuing work it does.”

Find out more about the society here.

Jimmy also marked the occasion by doing an interview on BBC Radio Somerset on 16 May.

He tweeted later: “My thanks to #MelEverett at BBC Radio Somerset for the interview today for the #MusicHallVarietyDay in memory of their past President Roy Hudd OBE.”

Listen to Jimmy’s interview here

The first Music Hall and Variety Day took place on 16 May 2020

Roy, an actor, radio host, author and authority on the history of music hall entertainment, died on 15 March following a short illness.

He hosted BBC Radio 2’s The News Huddlines for 26 years and also starred in Coronation Street.

The all-round entertainer appeared in Corrie as Archie Shuttleworth on and off between 2002 and 2010.

Fellow funnyman Jimmy said: “Comedian/actor/writer, Roy was a walking encyclopedia of the British music hall.”

Dick Whittington

Croydon-born Roy earned praise for his roles in Dennis Potter’s Lipstick on your Collar and Karaoke in the 1990s.

He also starred in acclaimed crime drama Ashes to Ashes.

Five years ago, he played his first pantomime dame in Dick Whittington and His Cat at the then newly renovated Wilton’s Music Hall in London.

Other TV credits include Broadchurch, Benidorm and Casualty.


Blackpool Big Night Out: Relive it on BBC’s iPlayer 150 150 mhamer

Blackpool Big Night Out: Relive it on BBC’s iPlayer

Blackpool Big Night Out in on BBC's iPlayer

Jimmy Cricket and a host of other top entertainers have featured in a special programme about Blackpool – and you can catch it on iPlayer.

The 74-year-old Northern Irish comedian has performed at the popular Lancashire seaside resort many times over the years.

In the BBC documentary, he talks fondly about his feelings for the coastal town.

Blackpool is described as the beating heart of British entertainment.

The Lancashire coastal town launched the careers of Morecambe and Wise, attracted stars as big as Frank Sinatra and is still the spiritual home of the likes of the late Sir Ken Dodd, Cannon and Ball and many more.

Jimmy Cricket is among those interviewed on Blackpool Big Night Out

Jimmy tweeted: “Hi folks, here is a link to the BBC’s nostalgic look at this great seaside resort.”

He says on the programme about Blackpool: “I remember arriving and seeing the trams.

“There were people advertised on the trams, like Cilla Black and Val Doonican.

“And you think, you’ve arrived when you’ve got your name on a tram – this is incredible.

Blackpool Big Night Out on BBC's iPlayer“I remember once doing the south pier and actually saw my name on a tram.

“I thought ‘I must get on here!'”

The programme went out on BBC Two on Monday 27 April 2020 at 9.45pm.

You have just 11 days left (until 27 May) to watch on the BBC iPlayer.

Watch it here

Jimmy features about three quarters of the way through the hour-long programme.

Also read: From the archives – Norman Wisdom and Ernie Wise

Jimmy Cricket is seen performing on Blackpool Big Night Out

From the archives: Norman Wisdom and Ernie Wise 150 150 mhamer

From the archives: Norman Wisdom and Ernie Wise

Jimmy Cricket, Ernie Wise and Norman WisdomHere’s a golden memory from the archives – when our very own Jimmy Cricket teamed up with two of his comedy heroes, Norman Wisdom and Ernie Wise.

The three comedians are each donning a smart suit of their own choice from a range of styles to model them.

It was part of a promotional build-up to the International Mens & Boys Wear Exhibition (Imbex), which took place at the Savoy hotel in London.

The date the photograph was taken was 16 February 1989.

This newspaper article the following day carried the headline of Comics put fun into male fashion.

And the story began: “Comedians got all dressed up to kill yesterday”.

Jimmy recalls: “This was fun when I got the chance to meet two of my comedy heroes!

Sir Norman died in October 2010 in a nursing home on the Isle of Man aged 95.

Cult figure in Albania

The London-born star was famous for his slapstick film roles in the 1950s and 1960s, famously playing Norman Pitkin against the frustrated boss Mr Grimsdale.

He was a cult figure in Albania, where his were the only films from the West allowed in the country.

Ernie was one half of the Britain’s most popular comedy duo with Eric Morecambe, Morecambe and Wise.

He died in March 1999 at the age of 73.

Also read: Golden Memories – performing in front of Princess Diana

Lockdown lament: I’m all dressed up to stay in! 150 150 mhamer

Lockdown lament: I’m all dressed up to stay in!

Jimmy Cricket's lockdown lament

A dapper-dressed Jimmy Cricket has posted a poignantly funny lockdown lament on social media.

The famous comedian produced the video as part of his We’re doing this together series.

He published his rhyming lament on both Twitter and Facebook, where it has had several thousand views.

Jimmy, 74, is dressed in a smart dinner jacket and bow tie.

He begins and ends his poetic lament by saying: “I’m all dressed up to stay in!”

Watch Jimmy’s lament in full here

‘Big huddle’

For the past six weeks, Jimmy has been sending all his fans and friends daily togetherness messages via video as the world fights coronavirus.

Jimmy Cricket's self-isolating message just before the start of the lockdown

The UK government announced on 24 March it was imposing strict new curbs on life in the UK.

Jimmy posted his first video on social media two days earlier with the message: “We can do this together!”

He told a few jokes in the clip and urges people to help each other in these tough times.

He said: “Once we get though this, at the end of the tunnel, we’ll all have a great big huddle together.”

A nationwide round of applause has been taking place at 8pm every Thursday since the start of the lockdown.

The aim is to show gratitude to the NHS staff and key workers.

Also read: Coronavirus pandemic: We can do this together!



Mammy’s letters are handy reading for the garden! 150 150 mhamer

Mammy’s letters are handy reading for the garden!

Steve Hewlett @ventriloquist29 @jimmy__cricket I might read these this weekend in the garden Red heart 👍🏻 Glowing star

Popular ventriloquist Steve Hewlett has the perfect answer to what to read during the coronavirus lockdown – two Jimmy Cricket books!

Steve, who was a finalist in the seventh series of Britain’s Got Talent, posted a photo of the books on Twitter.

He tagged Jimmy in it and said: “I might read these this weekend in the garden.”

The books are the first and second editions of Come ‘ere There’s More! Letters from Me Mammy.

Jimmy is particularly well-known for the letters he reads on stage from his Mammy back in Northern Ireland.

They helped him to become a household name back in the 1980s.

Top-class performers

Steve has also performed at the Royal Albert Hall and guested as a ventriloquist on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

He has headlined summer seasons and comedy clubs as well as devising, producing & appearing in countless variety shows.

Over the years, he has worked with many top-class performers, including the Osmonds, the Stylistics, the late Sir Ken Dodd, the late Roy Hudd, Ricky Tomlinson, Tom O’Connor, Bobby Davro and many more.

And Jimmy himself of course!

They both performed in a fund-raising show in September 2018 in memory of the late Keith Harris.

The event, called Eyes & Teeth, took place at the Viva Blackpool in the west Lancashire seaside resort.

All the money raised went towards The Keith Harris & Orville Statue Fund as part of a campaign to erect a memorial in the town for the late ventriloquist.

Keith was best known for his television show The Keith Harris Show (from 1982 to 1990) and for his appearances with his puppets Orville the Duck and Cuddles the Monkey.