Cricket Times

Thoughts, updates and news from Jimmy Cricket

Covid outbreak in the Cricket household dashes unveiling trip 150 150 mhamer

Covid outbreak in the Cricket household dashes unveiling trip

Just seen this on Facebook folks, how wonderful is this! The unveiling of Eddie’s portrait today! xx

A bout of Covid-19 prevented Jimmy Cricket from attending the unveiling of a portrait of the late Eddie Large in Blackpool.

Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy tested positive for coronavirus, meaning he could not travel to the famous seaside resort for the event.

He posted the photo below of his positive Covid test on Saturday 2 April – the day of the unveiling.

Jimmy said: “Gutted I won’t be able to attend the unveiling of the portrait today in Blackpool of one of showbiz’s greatest talent, Eddie Large.

“Sending our love to his widow Patsy and son Ryan and the rest of his family and friends who will be there this morning! #WinterGardensBlackpool.”

Eddie was usually the funny guy in the legendary comedy duo of Little and Large.
How wonderful!
Syd Little was the straight man of the two and they went on to be one of the best-loved comedy acts in showbusiness.
They had a TV series and appeared in theatres and pantomimes for many years before their partnership ended when Eddie developed serious health problems.

Eddie, who was born Edward Hugh McGinnis, died aged 78 in April 2020.

He had been suffering with heart failure and contracted coronavirus in hospital.

Family and celebrity friends attended the invitation-only unveiling at the weekend.
The portrait can be seen at The Floral Hall in the Winter Gardens.
It will also be on display at Showtown, Blackpool’s first museum of fun and entertainment.

Jimmy Cricket tested positive for Covid

Jimmy posted the photo at the top of this article on social media on Saturday.

He commented: “Just seen this on Facebook folks, how wonderful is this!

“The unveiling of Eddie’s portrait today!”

Watch video of the unveiling here (note: this is an external website and the video is preceded by an advertisement).

Also read from this website:
Providing an update on his wellbeing, Jimmy said on Sunday: “Hoping to be Covid-free soon.
“Mrs Cricket has been very supportive, although I’m not sure about her medical advice.
“She told me to drink a hot glass of orange after a hot bath…. that was four days ago and I’m still drinking the hot bath!”
Little and Large: It was a joy to work with them both 150 150 mhamer

Little and Large: It was a joy to work with them both

Hi folks my tribute to Eddie Large and Syd Little efore the unveiling of Eddie's Portrait this weekend in Blackpool, it was always a joy to work with them both! #keepvarietyalive

Jimmy Cricket says Little and Large were one of the best-loved comedy acts to ever play in the famous seaside resort of Blackpool.

Syd Little was the straight man of then two great entertainers, while Eddie Large was generally the funny guy.

They had a TV series and appeared in theatres and pantomimes for many years before their partnership ended when Eddie had serious health problems.

Eddie, who was born Edward Hugh McGinnis, died aged 78 in April 2020.

He had been suffering with heart failure and contracted coronavirus in hospital.

Fellow comedian Jimmy devoted his latest newspaper column to the famous comic duo.
It was published ahead of an unveiling of a portrait of Eddie this weekend at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
Jimmy said: “It was always a joy to work with them both.”
Here is his column in full:

Little and large were appearing in summer season at the Princess Theatre in Torquay when I went backstage to visit them with a sketch I’d written.

It was the early 80s and I was breaking into television.

They had a prime-time show on Saturday evenings at that time, that used guest artistes and as I’d done a few one-night­ers with them, I thought I’d pitch an idea to them.

I knew from experience that you had a much better chance of getting your material accepted if you let the stars of the show get as many laughs as you did.

So I hit on this idea to do a sketch based on me teaching Eddie to be an Irish comedian.

Eddie was a brilliant mimic and I figured if we could do a couple of routines, we could split the jokes between us.

I also figured if the wardrobe lady could tog him out in the same garb as my comedy character It would be even better.

Here’s the jist of the sketch:

Jimmy: Ladies and gentlemen, come ‘ere, I’ve been for a haircut.

He said: Do you want your hair cut round the back; I said, is there no room in the shop?

Eddie: And there’s more…

He said: You know it needs cutting badly; I said: I don’t want it cutting badly, I want it cut properly.

And so on…. the sketch finished with Eddie’s long-suffering on-stage partner Syd,
(they were the best of friends off stage), coming on to try and keep order but of course we both give him his come comeuppance and do a little jig off set.

When I knocked on the boys’ dressing room at the Princess Theatre in Torquay that evening, Eddie was there on his own and he warmly welcomed me in.

When I handed him the script, he sat down and perused it attentively, (comedy’s a serious business folks), but gradually a smile appeared as he visualised the comic potential of it and a huge feeling of relief came over me.

Happy summer season

He said he would show it to Syd and the two of them would show it to their producer Bill Wilson.

I left the theatre that evening in a confident mood.

You’ll be happy to know, readers, the sketch did make it on to the show.

From the moment we came to the set, in identical hat, wellies and tailcoat the studio audience lapped it up and I’m sure that was replicated with the viewers at home.

Many years later, I did a very happy summer season at the Britannia Theatre in Great Yarmouth with them.

Syd and Eddie never had a hang-up about other comedians on the bill getting laughs.

Another 15 years

To them it was the success of the overall show that mattered and the louder people laughed the more likely they would be to spread the word around the resort.

Not long after that season, Eddie’s heart condition deteriorated, but miraculously he was given a heart transplant at the Papworth Hospital in Cambridge which gave him another 15 years.

I made him laugh once when I sent him an email and jokingly suggested that the reason his new heart was in such good nick was that it came from a theatrical agent and had hardly been used!

It was while Eddie was having treatment for his heart at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, that he succumbed to the coronavirus and sadly died on the 2nd of April 2020.

A light went out in the UK entertainment industry.

All the happy memories of working with Eddie and Syd have been rekindled these last few weeks, because Eddie’s wife Patsy, and son Ryan, have passed on to me the happy news that a portrait of Eddie is to be unveiled at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Given the fact that Little and Large broke all box office records during their summer seasons in Blackpool, this is a fitting and lasting tribute from our premier seaside resort to one half of one of the best-loved comedy acts to ever play there.

Latest What About You podcast features Jimmy Cricket 150 150 mhamer

Latest What About You podcast features Jimmy Cricket

Listen now to a podcast in which Jimmy Cricket talks about his life and career.

Podcast featuring Jimmy Cricket

The popular Northern Irish comedian is the focus of the latest in a series of podcasts hosted by Richard Moore.

Richard was shot and blinded in 1972 during the Northern Ireland conflict when he was 10 years old.

His podcast series is called What About You and contains one-to-one conversations with his guests.

It focuses on a variety of human stories, which are inspirational, challenging, humorous and sometimes sad.

And it is an opportunity for individuals to share their life journey in a way that will hopefully have a positive impact on listeners.

Jimmy retweeted the following post: “WhatAboutYouPodcast @WhatAboutYouRMSeason 2, Episode 2! Irish comedian @jimmy__cricket from Northern Ireland first came to fame in the 1970s.”

In this episode, Jimmy chats about his journey to stardom.

From working in a betting office in Belfast, as a Redcoat in Butlin’s, to being a top comedian across the UK and Ireland.

LISTEN NOW: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/what-about-you/id1537387388

Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone! And remember… 150 150 mhamer

Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone! And remember…

It was a joy to return to the wonderful #gladstonetheatre this evening, my thanks to #ChriskaDanceAcademy and Mrs C. and House Manager Valerie, sound and lighting by Ste, and all the volunteers who made us feel so welcome! #keepvarietyalive

Jimmy Cricket sent his annual happy St Patrick’s Day greeting to all his friends and followers across social media.

The popular Belfast-born Jimmy said: “Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone!

“And remember… if you want to live longer, find out where you’re going to die and stay away from there.”

Jimmy and his wife May began the celebrations early, performing at the Gladstone Theatre in Port Sunlight on The Wirral.

“It was a joy to return to the wonderful #gladstonetheatre this evening,” said Jimmy on Sunday.

“My thanks to #ChriskaDanceAcademy and Mrs C. and House Manager Valerie, sound and lighting by Ste.

“And thanks also to all the volunteers who made us feel so welcome! #keepvarietyalive.”

2 weeks to go until Irish comedy legend @jimmy__cricket will be on our stage! Come and start your St Patrick’s Day Celebrations off right and book your tickets now!

Like Jimmy, singer May Marion, aka Mrs Cricket, hails from the Emerald Isle.

The Gladstone Theatre’s website had promoted the event with the following: “Come and join the comedy legend Jimmy Cricket in this St Patrick’s Day celebration as he celebrates all things Irish.

“Featuring the fabulous May Marion and Ellesmere Port-based CHRISKA Performing Arts School (pictured top right), this really is a celebration not to be missed.”
The Wirral’s hidden gem

William Hesketh Lever, founder of Lever Brothers, now known as Unilever, founded the Gladstone Theatre in 1888.

The building originally housed his soap factory workers.

It is known as The Wirral’s hidden gem.

Subsequently, it became an assembly and recreation hall for entertainment.

Additionally, it has staged political meetings, films, dance and lectures, something it still hosts to this day.

The Port Sunlight venue hosted Jimmy’s popular comedy play No more Fiffing and Faffing in October 2019.

Also read: Start St Patrick’s Day celebrations by watching legend Jimmy!

May to sing special song in Gladstone Theatre show 150 150 mhamer

May to sing special song in Gladstone Theatre show

2 weeks to go until Irish comedy legend @jimmy__cricket will be on our stage! Come and start your St Patrick’s Day Celebrations off right and book your tickets now!

May Marion, aka Mrs Cricket, is to sing her father’s favourite song in a show celebrating St Patrick’s Day.

Like Jimmy, May is from the Emerald Isle and will include How Can You Buy Killarney? among her repertoire of songs at the Gladstone Theatre in Port Sunlight on Sunday (13 March).

Killarney, a town in County Kerry, south-west Ireland, is a popular tourist destination.

Jimmy will do his usual comedy routine as the headline act at the Gladstone.

He said: “My good lady will be singing her dad’s favourite song “How Can You Buy Killarney” when we take our St Patrick’s day show to the Gladstone theatre in Port Sunlight next Sunday the 13th of March at 7-30….Telephone 0151 643 8757.”

The Gladstone Theatre’s website says: “Come and join the comedy legend Jimmy Cricket in this St Patrick’s Day celebration as he celebrates all things Irish.

“Featuring the fabulous May Marion and Ellesmere Port-based CHRISKA Performing Arts School, this really is a celebration not to be missed.”

Click on the image below for more details and to book your tickets.

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with Jimmy Cricket

William Hesketh Lever, founder of Lever Brothers, now known as Unilever, founded the Gladstone Theatre in 1888.

The building originally housed his soap factory workers.

It is known as The Wirral’s hidden gem.

Subsequently, it was used as an assembly and recreation hall for entertainment.

Additionally, it has staged political meetings, films, dance and lectures, something it still hosts to this day.

The Port Sunlight venue hosted Jimmy’s popular comedy play No more Fiffing and Faffing in October 2019.

Also read: Start St Patrick’s Day celebrations by watching legend Jimmy!

Start St Patrick’s Day celebrations by watching legend Jimmy! 150 150 mhamer

Start St Patrick’s Day celebrations by watching legend Jimmy!

2 weeks to go until Irish comedy legend @jimmy__cricket will be on our stage! Come and start your St Patrick’s Day Celebrations off right and book your tickets now!

Proud Irishman Jimmy Cricket will kick off this year’s St Patrick’s Day week celebrations with a show on Merseyside.

The Northern Irish comedian appears on Sunday 13 March at the Gladstone Theatre, in Port Sunlight on The Wirral.

The theatre tweeted last weekend: “☘️ 2 weeks to go until Irish comedy legend @jimmy__cricket will be on our stage!

“Come and start your St Patrick’s Day Celebrations off right and book your tickets now!

“📅Sun 13th March
🎟https://bit.ly/3FCxaOdW”

The Gladstone also posted a video of Jimmy here

Its website said: “Come and join the comedy legend Jimmy Cricket in this St Patrick’s Day Celebration as he celebrates all things Irish.

“Featuring the fabulous May Marion and Ellesmere Port based CHRISKA Performing Arts School, this really is a celebration not to be missed.”

Click on the image below for more details and to book your tickets.

You can also ring  0151 643 8757.

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with Jimmy Cricket

History of the Gladstone Theatre

The Gladstone Theatre was founded in 1888 by William Hesketh Lever, founder of Lever Brothers, now known as Unilever.

The building originally housed his soap factory workers.

It is known as The Wirral’s hidden gem.

It was subsequently used as an assembly and recreation hall for entertainment.

Additionally, it has staged political meetings, films, dance and lectures, something it still hosts to this day.

The Port Sunlight venue hosted Jimmy’s popular comedy play No more Fiffing and Faffing in October 2019.

Also read: Gladstone Theatre – thank-you Jimmy for your support!

Tony Jo: Wonderful tributes to former Grumbleweed 150 150 mhamer

Tony Jo: Wonderful tributes to former Grumbleweed

Some wonderful tributes to Tony JoThe late Tony Jo, a member of award-winning British comedy band The Grumbleweeds, received a great send-off, says Jimmy Cricket.

Tony, who joined the popular group in 1997, died in January following an 18-month battle with cancer.

His funeral took place earlier this month.

Fellow entertainer and friend Jimmy said: “Some wonderful tributes to Tony Jo today during his humanist funeral, staged @Grand_Theatre in Blackpool.

“It was great to meet up with some old and some new colleagues in the world of showbusiness 🎭.”

The Grumbleweeds story began in Leeds in 1962, when the group was first formed by Robin Colvill.

They spent the next few years performing in clubs and pubs in their native Yorkshire and and also overseas, playing alongside bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

The group turned fully professional in 1967 following an appearance on BBC TV’s Opportunity Knocks.

Tony was also a celebrated after-dinner comedian.

His work meant he rubbed shoulders with sporting legends like George Best, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst and Alan Ball.

He was a winner of the After Dinner Speaker of The Year Award three times.

In addition, he wrote for shows including You’ve Been Framed and Stars in Their Eyes.

Read more about Tony on the Blackpool Gazette website here.

Also read: Frankie Whittle: A great friend for over half a century