Cricket Times

Thoughts, updates and news from Jimmy Cricket

Car’s a write-off – but show must go on! 150 150 mhamer

Car’s a write-off – but show must go on!

Jimmy Cricket's car was damaged by a falling tree

Jimmy Cricket's car was written off after being badly damaged by a falling tree

Irish comedian Jimmy Cricket suffered more than just a bit of car trouble only 48 hours before he was due to begin his summer show in Eastbourne.

The vehicle which he and his wife May use for travelling to entertainment venues all over the UK was extensively damaged during bad weather near their home in Rochdale.

“We had a good opening night in Eastbourne, although two days before on the Sunday heavy winds brought a tree down on top of our car which was parked outside the house on the edge of Healey Dell Nature Reserve,” said Jimmy.

“It was a write-off and since then we’ve been driving around in hired cars. Thank God we weren’t in it.”

Jimmy Cricket is starring in a “royal” variety show in Eastbourne to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.

Sentimental Journey is on at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne, East Sussex, from 1 May to 26 September.

Irish comedian in the headlines… 150 150 mhamer

Irish comedian in the headlines…

Jimmy Cricket in Eastbourne

Jimmy Cricket’s appearance in a family entertainment extravaganza at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne, East Sussex, this summer has hit the headlines.

The loveable Irish comedian features in two big stories about the show.

One is on the Eastbourne Herald website and here is an excerpt from the article:

Over the last few years Eastbourne has begun to finally shake free of its historic tag as a pensioner’s paradise but this summer one corner of the Sunshine Coast will be proudly plonking itself well and truly inside a time warp.

Having opened way back in 1883, the Royal Hippodrome Theatre has played host to stars of the stage as diverse as Peter Sellers, Ken Dodd, Vera Lynn and even escape artists extraordinaire Harry Houdini.

But despite surviving an unfair roasting from Sir Bruce Forsyth, who publicly laid into the venue’s facilities during an interview – he was starring at the Hippodrome when he was called up to compere at the London Palladium – the much-loved theatre has fallen on hard times.

Where once it staged regular shows, attracting sell-out crowds of more than 1,000 all year round, now the bill is limited to the summer months and played out in front of audiences which are often far more modest.

This summer though, the powers that be are hoping for a return to the halcyon days of yesteryear as the venue once again gears up for its summer variety show – the longest running of its type anywhere in the UK.

A Sentimental Journey kicks off on May 1 and runs all the way up until the end of September and boasts an array of acts ready to tread the boards in what promises to be a fun-filled and nostalgia twinged trip back to the 1950s and 60s – a time when variety ruled the world and places like the Hippodrome attracted the biggest stars in the businesses.

The line-up includes a Billy Fury tribute act who blossomed after an appearance on hit TV show Stars in Their Eyes and a team of show time dancers who will no doubt high kick their way through some of the popular numbers from yesteryear.

Comperes Barry Moon and Mike Lee will keep things ticking over with their mix of conversation and comedy while Tracey Lea appears as the much-loved Connie Francis.

Top of the bill and very much the main attraction though is a man perhaps best known for his letters from his mammy and an inability to tell his left from his right.

Jimmy Cricket in Eastbourne

Jimmy Cricket has been charming crowds since first stepping onto a Butlins stage as a 18-year-old red coat back in 1966. England may have been winning the World Cup, but over the sea in the small Irish town of Mosney a young comic was developing a winning formula which would carry him through the next four decades and see him leave an indelible print on the comedy consciousness of all who saw him.

Read the full story here

And Jimmy is also mentioned prominently in a feature on Whatsonstage.com, which says it is “Britain’s biggest and best theatre and performing arts website”.

The story is about Eastbourne’s Royal Hippodrome opening its doors again May with a five-month run of a new summer season show called Sentimental Journey – in which Jimmy will be starring.

Here is a section from the story:

The summer show, which is being produced to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, is a family variety show appropriately called Sentimental Journey. This will take you on a journey back to the time of the coronation (1953) with Stars in Their Eyes contestants Colin Gold as Billy Fury and Tracy Lea, as Connie Francis. The show will also have its own Show Time Dancers and alternating compères Barry Moon and Mike Lee. Headlining is a man who has been described as “one of the greatest front of tabs comedians” and family favourite, Jimmy Cricket.

I had an opportunity to talk to Jimmy about the show and the theatre in which it plays.

“This is the Cinderella theatre in Eastbourne and the fact that it could have closed makes me weep. I’ve gone out on a limb sometimes, when I see other theatres closing, and I have had irate letters back from some councillors asking why I am butting in, but I can’t just stand by and watch them go under.

“I was here three or four years ago. I stood in for Syd Little for a few nights in the summer when he had other commitments, and when I had the greasepaint on and I got the smell of the theatre in my nostrils I knew I wanted to come back. It’s wonderful to be here for a real summer season, with a time-honoured and classic variety show.”

Read the full story here

Photos on this page supplied by Peter Gurr

Jimmy and the rest of the Eastbourne show entertainers

Jimmy and the rest of the Eastbourne show entertainers

Arr, Jim lad! 150 150 mhamer

Arr, Jim lad!

Jimmy Cricket with the parrot

Jimmy Cricket agreed to be pictured with the parrot in aid of charity

Jimmy Cricket has had thousands of photographs taken of him as an entertainer over the years – but probably not many with a parrot on his shoulder!

The famous Irish comedian was asked to pose for a picture with Gizmoo the parrot as part of an idea to raise money for a special charitable cause.

Moments later he went on stage at the Palace Theatre in Mansfield.

Photographing Gizmoo with celebrities is a fundraising concept by Jane Beresford – who took the photo above – on behalf of a baby who was seriously ill at birth.

Ten-month-old Amelia Rose Sutton was born four weeks premature with severe brain damage after lying on the umbilical cord while in the womb, causing a condition known as Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) when the brain does not receive enough oxygen.

After spending seven weeks in neonatal intensive care, Amelia was allowed home, but has since been in and out of hospital.

She requires 24-hour care, which is currently provided solely by her parents, Adrian Sutton and Louise Toplis, and needs regular physio to help her limbs more freely and assist her posture.

Her parents, who live in Derbyshire, have set up the Help Amelia Rose Trust (HART) to raise money for extra physio sessions and a room equipped with sensory lights which will help her quality of life and general development.

For details of how to donate to HART call 01159 446165 or visit www.helpamelia.org

The 25-year-old photograph 150 150 mhamer

The 25-year-old photograph

Jimmy Cricket with Clare Boulton

Smile please for the camera!Jimmy Cricket with Clare Boulton

This is what Jimmy Cricket looked like 25 years ago!

The famous Irish comedian was given a reminder in a photograph sent to him recently.

He is pictured with a fan called Clare Boulton who emailed the photo to Jimmy, saying: “I found this one of us many years ago and I even got your signature!!!”

It was taken in the Springfield Hotel in Holywell, North Wales.

Joker Jimmy performs in joker’s club! 150 150 mhamer

Joker Jimmy performs in joker’s club!

Jimmy Cricket and friends at the Joker's Workingmen's Club in Selston

Jimmy Cricket performed last month in the aptly named Joker’s Workingmen’s Club in Selston, Nottinghamshire.

The Irish comedian appeared on 10 March in a pre-St Patrick’s Day celebration where he “had a wonderful time”.

Gerry Molumby, one of the organisers, is well-known within the Irish community and is hosting a celebratory event in tribute to film star Maureen O’Hara at the Irish Embassy in London in June.

  • Watch a slideshow of all the photos relating to this event – supplied by Gerry Molumby – at Jimmy’s flickr pages here.
  • Jimmy Cricket and friends at the Joker's Workingmen's Club in Selston
    Jimmy Cricket and friends at the Joker's Workingmen's Club in Selston
    Jimmy Cricket and friends at the Joker's Workingmen's Club in Selston

    Grand National dinner with the Lions 150 150 mhamer

    Grand National dinner with the Lions

    Jimmy Cricket and Tim Vaughan were special guests at the celebration evening

    Jimmy Cricket and Tim Vaughan were special guests at the celebration evening

    An Irish comedian and a horse racing trainer were, fittingly, the special guests at a sportsman’s dinner in Liverpool during Grand National week.

    Funnyman Jimmy Cricket and Tim Vaughan, a National Hunt trainer, appeared at the annual fundraising event hosted by the City of Liverpool Lions Club.

    This year the dinner was staged at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool.

    Jimmy says: “The organiser was Dave Scott and it was a very professionally run event which raised bundles of money for the Lions’ charitable causes they support.

    “During the dinner Tim, an up-and-coming trainer on the National Hunt scene, mentioned that he was aiming for his 100th winner of the season.

    “He did provide a tip to the assembled guests at the dinner. This referred to one of the horses which he trains. The tip was for the first race the next day at Newton Abbot and although the horse, Wicklewood, started as one of the favourites, unfortunately it trailed in sixth!”

    The City of Liverpool Lions organised the fund-raising event

    However, there was a happy ending for Vaughan whose Pant Wilkin stables are based in Aberthin, Cowbridge, South Wales – Saint Are won at Aintree’s Grand National meeting for the second year in a row to give him his 100th winner.

    The City of Liverpool Lions Club, which is celebrating its Golden Jubilee during the 2011-2012 year, organise a series of fundraising projects each year which enables its members to make welcome donations to various charities and other worthwhile causes.

    All aboard for comedy, music and dance! 150 150 mhamer

    All aboard for comedy, music and dance!

    Family variety summer show poster

    The family variety summer show will take the audience on a nostalgic trip

    Jimmy Cricket is starring in a “royal” variety show this summer to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.

    The family entertainment extravaganza, Sentimental Journey, is at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne, East Sussex, from 1 May to 26 September.

    And it will take the audience on a nostalgic trip back to the 1960s and beyond.

    Jimmy will be joined by fellow comedians Barry Moon and Mike Lee, world-renowned tribute acts Colin Gold and Tracy Lea – who perform as Billy Fury and Connie Francis respectively – and the Show Time Dancers.

    Colin, who starred on ITV’s Stars in Their Eyes, has gone on to become one of the most experienced and acclaimed Billy Fury acts in the world. Halfway to Paradise was one of Fury’s best-known songs.

    Stars in Their Eyes was a British television talent show that was screened on Saturday nights from 21 July 1990 to 23 December 2006 and in which contestants impersonated showbiz stars.

    Connie Francis’ greatest hits included Who’s Sorry Now, Lipstick on Your Collar and Stupid Cupid.

    Performances are at 8.15 each night. Tickets cost £12 and £17 – go here for more information.