Cricket Times

Thoughts, updates and news from Jimmy Cricket

Golden memories: Summer season with Cilla Black 150 150 mhamer

Golden memories: Summer season with Cilla Black

Jimmy Cricket and Cilla Black on posterJimmy Cricket has appeared with many great fellow entertainers in 50 years of showbusiness – including Cilla Black.

The lovable Northern Irish comedian, now 74, was recently made aware of a poster promoting a summer season at the Royalty Theatre in Great Yarmouth in the early 80s.

Anthony Stubbins, a good friend of Jimmy, put the poster (above right) on social media.

Also appearing that year was the legendary Cilla Black OBE.

Cilla was one of Britain’s most successful and best-loved entertainers of all time.

She was a singer, comedian and actress, having two number one hits and presenting several iconic British TV shows.

There was a fair bit of reaction to the poster on social media.
What an amazing poster….😳 brilliant Jimmy. Ah, what memories…👏👏👏
Hope your well my friend, take care.. Good luck with your upcoming shows.👍
Great times !!!
Saw the show fantastic
I’m guessing 1983?
Fantastic xxx
The golden days for the pros and the pro venues and shows…….and lovely long seasons too!!!

Blackpool big night out

Golden memories: The Osmonds

If you have any special memories of celebrities with whom Jimmy has performed or would simply like him to feature somebody in our series, you can:

Losing the Grand Theatre in Blackpool would be a ‘tragedy’ 150 150 mhamer

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

Jimmy Cricket says the closure of the iconic Grand Theatre in Blackpool would be a "tragedy" for future generationsJimmy Cricket says the closure of the iconic Grand Theatre in Blackpool would be a “tragedy” for future generations.

The theatre, which was almost demolished in 1972, could be closed because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Management warned it would shut unless the government intervened.

Most of the 57 staff were furloughed during the lockdown.

They could be left redundant when the job-saving scheme ends on 31 October.

A charitable trust has run the theatre since 1972, when local campaigners saved it from the bulldozers.

Among them were entertainers such as Sir Ken Dodd and BBC broadcaster Alistair Cooke.

It reopened in March 1981 with a performance of The Merchant of Venice starring Timothy West and Prunella Scales.

Like other provincial theatres which depend largely on box office receipts to keep going, the venue has had no income since the lockdown began.

All tickets were refunded for cancelled shows and plays.

We must all get together

The theatre, which first opened in 1894, had applied for a £500,000 government grant to keep it going until it might be able to put shows on in January.

However, if social distancing measures were still in place then, it would not make the shows viable and also the money would have run out.

Jimmy said: “We must all get together to save the Grand in Blackpool folks.

“To deprive future generations of this wonderful theatre would be a tragedy.”

His post on Twitter attracted hundreds of likes and retweets as well as some comments.

Also read: Grand Theatre in Blackpool hosts charity concert

External link: Blackpool’s Grand Theatre facing closure amid coronavirus pandemic

The late, great Paul Melba was one of the finest 150 150 mhamer

The late, great Paul Melba was one of the finest

Sad to hear of the passing of one of showbiz finest comedians and impressionist the great Paul Melba, known for his classy mimicking of the great stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, alongside his acclaimed James Mason voice, amongst others! R.I.P.

Jimmy Cricket described Paul Melba, who has died aged 84, as one of the finest comedians and impressionists in showbusiness.

Paul Melba, whose real name was Francis ‘Frank’ Staunton, passed away on 11 August from heart failure.

The dad-of-three grew up in Huyton on Merseyside and went on to enjoy a  successful career on stage and television.

It included him performing at the Royal Variety Performance and he became friends with some famous celebrities.

He was known for voice impressions of stars such as James Mason, John Wayne, Eric Morecambe, Ken Dodd and Billy Connolly.

Paul also did memorable singing impressions of the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr among many others.

Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy said on social media: “Sad to hear of the passing of one of showbiz’s finest comedians and impressionists the great Paul Melba.

‘Great entertainer and gentlemen

“Known for his classy mimicking of the great stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, alongside his acclaimed James Mason voice, amongst others! R.I.P.”

Jimmy’s post prompted tributes from others.

They included:

:: Met him once lovely talented man Jimmy will be greatly missed!

:: A great entertainer and gentlemen, RIP

:: Thank you, he will be sorely missed #PaulMelba x
Jimmy found out there was a fund-raising appeal in the wake of Paul’s death.
He said: “We’re living in difficult times folks, but if you can help financially, by donating a little for this worthy cause! Paul’s Melba’s Funeral Expenses.”

Paul’s daughter, Kate Richards, 50, organised the fundraiser, saying: “I am so sad to say that my Father passed away peacefully at his home in Spain on the 10th of August.

“Unfortunately his financial circumstances were not great and he left no will.

‘Dad would have been so overwhelmed’

“I am sorry to say that we are struggling to find the money to cremate my Father and need to raise the funds to do this due to our own personal financial circumstances.

“Anything you can donate would help towards easing the financial responsibility which has been placed solely with me.

“Many thanks for anything you can spare.

The target was £3,000 and Kate posted again several days later.

She said: “Thank you so much for all of your help, Dad would have been so overwhelmed.

“We have reached the goal with further donations from The Royal Variety Charity & The Water Rats charity.”

Also read: Lord Alton’s ‘wonderful tribute’ to John Hume

Lord Alton’s ‘wonderful tribute’ to John Hume 150 150 mhamer

Lord Alton’s ‘wonderful tribute’ to John Hume

Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume, who brought peace and stability to Northern Ireland

Jimmy Cricket described an article written by Lord David Alton about the late John Hume as a “wonderful tribute”.

The former SDLP leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient died last week aged 83.

He was a key architect of the Belfast Agreement,

It was also known as the Good Friday Agreement, because it was reached on Good Friday, 10 April 1998.

The talks addressed issues which had caused conflict during previous decades.

They resulted in an agreement between the British and Irish governments on how Northern Ireland should be governed.

It aimed to establish a new, devolved government for Northern Ireland.

Unionists and nationalists would share power under the agreement.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, limited numbers attended the funeral Mass in St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry.

‘Works tirelessly for peace

Lord Alton highlighted Hume’s contribution to bringing about peace.

Jimmy said: “What a wonderful tribute to Politician and Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume, who brought peace and stability to N. Ireland.

This article is by Lord David Alton who himself works tirelessly for peace and justice throughout the world.”

Lord Alton, an MP for 18 years, used his own website to pay tribute.

He said: “He attracted many of us into political life, knowing that we had to find political solutions and answers to deep seated injustices.

“And that cycles of revenge killings were not the answer.

“We will not quickly forget the role he played in providing a counterpoint to paramilitary violence, in opposing narrow-minded bigotry and sectarianism…

“… In championing cross-community reconciliation and devolved government, and in giving politicians a good name.”

Lord Alton began his career as a teacher.

In 1972, while still a student, he became Britain’s youngest city councillor, in Liverpool.

Seven years later, he became the youngest member of the House of Commons and was later appointed a life peer.

His motto on his Coat of Arms is taken from the Book of Deuteronomy: Choose Life.

Read the full tribute here.

Also read: LEP column was epitaph to the ‘wonderful’ Vera Lynn

Funeral for John Hume was ‘beautiful and moving’ 150 150 mhamer

Funeral for John Hume was ‘beautiful and moving’

Hi folks for those who missed the beautiful moving Funeral Mass of John Hume, who helped to bring peace, here is a link below, it was wonderful to see his great friend @Phil_Coulter , musician and composer play John’s favourite tune, The Town I Love So Well

Jimmy Cricket described the funeral of Nobel Peace Prize recipient John Hume as “beautiful and moving”.

The former SDLP leader died last week aged 83.

He one of the key architects of the Belfast Agreement.

The deal was also known as the Good Friday Agreement, because it was reached on Good Friday, 10 April 1998.

It was a peace agreement between the British and Irish governments, and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland, on how Northern Ireland should be governed.

The talks leading to the Agreement addressed issues which had caused conflict during previous decades.

Its aim was to establish a new, devolved government for Northern Ireland.

Unionists and nationalists would share power under the agreement.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings, there were limited numbers at John Hume’s funeral Mass in St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry on 5 August.

About 100 people – mostly close family and friends – attended the service.

The funeral was broadcast online.

Jimmy said on social media it was a “beautiful moving funeral Mass” for a man “who helped to bring peace”.

He added: “It was wonderful to see his great friend @Phil_Coulter, musician and composer play John’s favourite tune, The Town I Love So Well.”

Watch the funeral for John Hume here

Also read: LEP column was epitaph to the ‘wonderful’ Vera Lynn

 

Great fun and pleasure working virtually with the Jive Aces! 150 150 mhamer

Great fun and pleasure working virtually with the Jive Aces!

Great fun and pleasure virtually working with the Jive Aces tonight, when you work with these guys you can’t help but come up trumps! Hope to see you on the road soon!
Jimmy Cricket did a ‘celeb call in!’ with friends and fellow performers the Jive Aces.
The UK music band have been presenting a ‘JiveStream’ every day during the coronavirus lockdown.
And Northern Irish funnyman Jimmy joined them as the special guest for some light-hearted entertainment on Monday (3 August).
He said afterwards: “Great fun and pleasure virtually working with the Jive Aces tonight.
“When you work with these guys you can’t help but come up trumps.
“Hope to see you on the road soon! 🎭
Monday’s episode was the Jive Aces’ 140th during the lockdown.

Great fun and pleasure virtually working with the Jive Aces tonight

The Jive Aces say ‘JiveStream’ is “an hour of swingin’ music, quality banter, celebrity call-ins, prize draw giveaways and utter stupidity every day during the lock from 8:30pm UK time”.

You can watch the shows on YouTube, Facebook or Twitch at the links below:

http://www.youtube.com/jiveaces/live

http://www.twitch.tv/jiveaces

Wikipedia says the band have long been recognised as one of the top swing bands in the world.

They have performed in more than 40 countries.

The June 2015 issue of Vintage Rock magazine described the group as the “UK’s number one jive and swing band”.

The six-member group were formed in 1989 and were Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists in 2012.

They have released 11 albums and performed at numerous music festivals.

Also read: Performing on cruise ships is not all plain sailing

Hi folks! Why not join us this coming Monday on Facebook, as six aces and a joker share some chat and swing live on Facebook, looking forward to working again with these internationally acclaimed group of guys, (Ian, Vince, John, Alex, Ken, Peter), called the Jive Aces

Performing on cruise ships is not all plain sailing 150 150 mhamer

Performing on cruise ships is not all plain sailing

Hi folks! Here is my July @leponline sadly I have to report that this wonderful Passenger Shipping Company is no longer trading, and is now a casualty, and another repercussion of Covid 19. #StaySafe

Jimmy Cricket talks about performing on cruise ships in his latest newspaper column – and how it’s not always as idyllic as it sounds!

In the 27 July edition of the Lancashire Post, Jimmy recalls one particular time when things did not go to plan.

He posted a copy of his column (above) on social media and a full transcript of it is below.

As a postscript to his message, Jimmy said: “Hi folks! Here is my July @leponline 

“Sadly I have to report that this wonderful Passenger Shipping Company is no longer trading, and is now a casualty, and another repercussion of Covid 19. #StaySafe”

Scrumptious grub

You know I met my good lady on a cruise ship.

We stood on the deck looking out on the moonlight glimmering on the waves and she said, “You know you remind me of the sea”.

I said, “You mean I’m rough and rugged?”

She said, “No, you make me sick!”

I wish I had a disinfectant cleaned ten pound note for every person that’s said to me how much they envy me sailing round the world seeing all the sights and tucking into scrumptious grub and getting paid for the privilege.

Now I don’t want to seem ungrateful for all this.

And I’d be telling a lie if I said I didn’t pinch myself whenever looked out of the cabin window, as the ship sailed into breathtakingly beautiful places like Venice.

Having said all that, being a passenger and an entertainer on board are two very different things, especially if you are a comedian.

If you tickle their funny bone on the night it’s your turn to perform, you can strut around the decks the next morning with your chest out drinking in the compliments.

However, if your humour doesn’t appeal to them and you struggle during your spot, you feel like you want to hide in your cabin and get your meals pushed under the door.

Here’s the thing folks it may not be your fault because cruise ships, like life itself, can throw you a curve.

I’m going to give you an example and l warn you, if you’re of a nervous disposition then look away now.

A few years back, I was booked to do a stint on a cruise ship with one of the big cruise companies.

Collective groans

I flew to Honolulu via LA and joined the ship.

The next night after I arrived on board the Captain himself came on the intercom in the cabin to say he was very sorry but the ship had developed engine trouble and that when we docked in Auckland, New Zealand, it would have to stay there for a few days and we wouldn’t now be visiting Bora Bora, Wellington.

As he reeled off the names of these exotic places I could almost hear the collective groans of the passengers.

Remember this was a round-the-world cruise and most of them had paid a small fortune to be on there.

Some had even made arrangements to meet friends and family at these ports.

An air of despondency settled over the ship and the next morning a group of angry passengers attended a hastily arranged meeting to see what legal action could be taken against the shipping company.

The next night I was due to do my spot and I toyed with the idea of jumping over board and heading for the nearest shore.

It was either that or play to a roomful of disgruntled passengers and from where I stood on the deck the sharks seemed a much more pleasant option.

I finally succumbed to my senses and did my show. I won’t say I did badly but after my show they held a minute’s silence.

You’ll be happy to know, dear readers, that I’ve shook off the emotional scars from that incident and in Easter 2021 (lockdown permitting), I’ll be doing cabaret on a Maritime Cruises ship, The Columbus, and we’ll be stopping off at ports around Great Britain and the Channel Islands.

Stay safe and healthy.