Cricket Times

Thoughts, updates and news from Jimmy Cricket

From the archives: Jimmy the Butlin’s camp comic! 150 150 mhamer

From the archives: Jimmy the Butlin’s camp comic!

Jimmy Cricket

Here’s a treat for you from Jimmy’s past – a photo of him as a Butlin’s Redcoat in the late 60s.

Jimmy says: “It was 1967 and I was a Redcoat at Butlin’s in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.

“The entertainment manager was a man called Bill Martin.

“He’d been a comedian in twice-nightly variety, which meant he toured in theatres up and down the country in the late 40s and early 50s.

“He had a wealth of experience and he took me under his wing.

“He made me the camp comic, which meant I was relieved of official duties and could dress up in silly clothes and gatecrash The Knobbly Knees contest and The Glamorous Grandmother Competition.

“In the enclosed photo, I’ve managed to talk a fellow Redcoat into climbing into a gorilla costume and I walked him round the camp with a lead having photographs taken.

“Happy Days!”

* * Thanks to Neil Whitfield for sending this photo to Jimmy.

Hope you have an egg-traordinary Easter! 150 150 mhamer

Hope you have an egg-traordinary Easter!

Happy Easter from Jimmy Cricket

Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy Cricket has posted two Easter-related photographs on social media.

One shows the comedian holding a basket of eggs, along with the message ‘Happy Easter‘, while the second – below – says: ‘He has risen.’

He is risen

Picture posted in honour of those lost to Covid 150 150 mhamer

Picture posted in honour of those lost to Covid

The profile picture was in honour of those lost to Covid-19

Jimmy Cricket updated his profile picture on social media to remember those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

The famous comedian uploaded a photograph of him alongside several other well-known celebrities.

They included the late Frank Carson and also fellow funnyman Bobby Ball, who died in October aged 76.

Bobby, one half of the popular comedy double act Cannon and Ball, passed away at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The actor and comedian had tested positive for Covid-19.

Bobby starred in several popular sitcoms.

They included Not Going Out, Last of the Summer Wine and Benidorm.

Jimmy posted the photo on Tuesday 23 March, which marked exactly one year since the first coronavirus lockdown.

Tommy Cannon and Wee Jimmy Frankie also featured on the picture.

The text on the photo said: “In honour of those lost to Covid-19” and “UK national day of reflection.”

A national minute’s silence was held at midday, which parliaments across the UK paused business to observe.

On 23 March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tough restrictions on people’s lives aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19.

Since then, the UK’s official death toll has risen from 364 to more than 126,000.

Also read: Bobby Ball: An original, funny man – we all loved him

Don Crann: A fine comedy actor and a joy to be with 150 150 mhamer

Don Crann: A fine comedy actor and a joy to be with

Paying tribute to my friend Don Crann who sadly has passed away today, I first met Don when we worked together as Redcoats at the Metropole in Blackpool he was a fine comedy actor who starred in, the hit TV sitcom, “The Gaffer”, a joy to be with, our thoughts are with his family.

Jimmy Cricket has paid tribute to his late friend, actor Don Crann.

Don appeared in a host of top TV programmes, including Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Jimmy said: “I first met Don when we worked together as Redcoats at the Metropole in Blackpool.

“He was a fine comedy actor who starred in the hit TV sitcom The Gaffer.

“And he was a joy to be with. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Don was also a regular in Heartbeat, as well as starring in countless plays and musicals.

He played Mike Baldwin’s business contact Trevor Hargreaves in Coronation Street.

Read all the latest stories on Cricket Times here

Happy St Patrick’s Day folks! 150 150 mhamer

Happy St Patrick’s Day folks!

Belfast-born Jimmy Cricket has wished everybody a happy St Patrick's Day.

Belfast-born Jimmy Cricket has wished everybody a happy St Patrick’s Day!

The famous funnyman donned a green bow-tie and his trademark hat in a special celebratory poster (above).

It was posted on social media.

Millions of people around the world mark the day on 17 March every year.

It is a celebration of Irish history and culture.

And it is a national holiday in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, which is known as the Emerald Isle.

St Patrick’s Day: Everything you need to know (an article from the BBC website).

Watch: Happy St Patrick’s Day message from Jimmy (from 2020) – from this website


Casual chat with a workman led to my first DVD! 150 150 mhamer

Casual chat with a workman led to my first DVD!

Hi folks this months @leponline is a little story about how we got everyone onboard, which created work for a video recording company, while raising funds for a Charity, while producing my live DVD! #keepvarietyalive

The unusual story of how Jimmy Cricket ended up producing his first DVD is told in his latest newspaper column.

Pull Your Seats Forward was created by the famous comedian’s family company, Wellie Boot Productions, more than 10 years ago.

Belfast-born Jimmy produced the DVD in response to the overwhelming public clamour that suggested there was a real demand for a recording of his stand-up entertainment.

It was filmed at the Royal Court Theatre in Bacup, Lancashire, near Jimmy’s adopted home of Rochdale in Greater Manchester.

The DVD is an hour and 10 minutes long.

It includes Jimmy’s favourite routines, a phone call and letter from his mammy and 20 minutes of extras.

In his March column for the Lancashire Post, Jimmy reveals how the DVD came about.

I’d just pulled into the garage of the house in the new housing estate we’d just moved into when one of the workmen who was completing work on one of the other houses approached me.

“You’ve upset somebody up there. haven’t you?”

“I beg your pardon?” I asked him in a puzzled tone.

Leap of faith

“You’ve upset one of the big boys in television….that’s why you’re not on anymore.”

Before I could answer him, he was straight in: “Look, you don’t have to answer me but I just want you to know I enjoyed what you did.”

I mumbled “thank you!” and he headed back to work.

After I’d entered the house, I thought maybe I should have invited this chap in, give him a cup of tea and explain that I hadn’t really upset anybody but television was changing.

The variety shows I performed on were giving way to reality/fly-on-the-wall type programmes which I wasn’t really interested in.

But then I thought if there were more people out there like that workman, how could I get my product out to them?

So, in a gigantic leap of faith, I decided to produce and finance my own DVD.

I called a local theatre – in this case the Royal Court in Bacup.

We fixed a date and I raided the piggy bank and sent them the hire charge of £500.

The next step was to hire a camera crew.

I rang up a gentleman called Paul McGreen who ran a company called Dash Productions.

He said he could do me a deal but it would still cost £2,000 to pay for the crew.

Bar of chocolate

So I had an idea how we could make this work – and help a charitable cause at the same time.

I rang around all my friends and explained that the theatre held 400; if they all bought a ticket for £10, after I’d paid for the cameras I would give the rest to our local charity.

And so, on a sunny evening in September in 2008, we shot our video in front of a full house.

Mrs Cricket put programmes on everybody’s seat with a picture of Springhill Hospice in Rochdale, and a place where they could fill in their name and address if they wanted to get the first copies for half price.

Oh, and she also left them a bar of chocolate to munch on during the interval.

The morning after the show, I turned up at the hospice with a cheque for £2,000 and we had a 90-minute DVD called Pull Your Seats Forward.

As I write this, I’m coming up to 9,000 sales.

Do you know what makes me really proud, folks? The whole family can sit round and watch.

Pull Your Seats Forward can be bought via the Go Shopping page on this website or at one of Jimmy’s live shows (once they resume).

Read the Lancashire Evening Post online here


Relishing summer return to Club Tropicana 150 150 mhamer

Relishing summer return to Club Tropicana

Hi folks looking forward to getting back to treading the boards again! #savevariety

Jimmy Cricket is “looking forward to treading the boards again” when he returns to Club Tropicana in July.

Like so many other entertainers, he has done few live shows during the past year because of the coronavirus restrictions.

With an end to the third lockdown in sight, Jimmy is taking bookings again and Club Tropicana is confirmed for mid-summer.

The famous funnyman returns to the 2,000-seater venue in Skegness on Friday 16 July.

The club, based on the Golden Palm Resort Holiday Park, hosts a variety of acts including live bands, singers and comedians.

Jimmy said: “Looking forward to getting back to treading the boards again! #savevariety.”

Club Tropicana said: “Jimmy Cricket is without doubt a 1980s comedy icon.

“With his trademark wellington boots, his famous letters from his Mammy and his catchphrases of ‘come closer’ and ‘there’s more’, he holds the hearts of all those that were original fans of his television and radio shows.

“His shows are as hilarious as ever, winning him new fans wherever he performs.

“Jimmy remains one of the few completely family friendly comedians currently on tour.”

Supporting Jimmy on 16 July at Club Tropicana is Faye Horne’s Diva Show.

Admission is free to members and holiday pass holders.

For more details on Jimmy’s latest show there, ring the box office hotline on 01754 874444 (option one).

Also read: Great night at Club Tropicana in Skegness