Cricket Times

Thoughts, updates and news from Jimmy Cricket

Jimmy Cricket is ‘friendly and funny… a great, old-school comic’! 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy Cricket is ‘friendly and funny… a great, old-school comic’!

Jimmy Cricket's Big Shows takes place at the Belgrade Theatre on Thursday 29 February (1.30pm start).The young stand-up comedians of today could learn plenty from famous comic Jimmy Cricket.

That’s the view of musician Andy Eastwood, who is hosting a midday variety event in Coventry, which Jimmy is headlining.

Jimmy Cricket’s Big Show takes place at the Belgrade Theatre on Thursday 29 February (1.30pm start).

'Unmissable afternoon of top-class variety theatre' in Coventry with JImmy Cricket the headline act

Organisers promise a “heart-warming afternoon of comedy, songs, music and fun”.

A spokesperson for the theatre said tickets were selling fast.

The Coventry Observer published an article about the event.

It said: “The fun-filled show heralds a new season of Midday Variety, which has become very popular at the Belgrade Theatre over the past decade.”

Andy Eastwood is quoted in the piece as saying: “To have Jimmy Cricket with us is a real treat as he’s one of the great, old-school comics.

“Comedy trends have come and gone, but Jimmy has stayed true to his style: warm, friendly and funny without ever an insult.

“Today’s young stand-ups could learn a lot from him!”

Joining Jimmy and Andy on stage are the multi-talented virtuoso Gordon Cree, the stunning mezzo-soprano voice of Cheryl Forbes and Kearra Bethany, with her flawless tribute to the legendary Barbra Streisand.

Book here for the performance

Also read from this website: Coventry show will be ‘wonderful afternoon of feel-good entertainment’

Buy Jimmy’s autobiography!Jimmy Cricket with his autobiography

Don’t forget that Jimmy’s official autobiography is on sale.

Memoirs Of An Irish Comedian tells the heart-warming story of the comic’s illustrious life and 50-year career.

The paperback costs £11.99 and can be bought at online retailer Amazon here. It is also available via eBook and audio.

Signed copies (£15.99 including postage and packing) can be purchased on this website here.

It is also available at Jimmy’s live gigs for £10 where Jimmy will also sign it.

One pound from the sale of every book goes to Mary’s Meals.

The charity supports feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Also read: Jimmy Cricket’s signed autobiographies now available by post!

 

Singing and comedian priests in St Patrick’s variety concert 150 150 mhamer

Singing and comedian priests in St Patrick’s variety concert

Singing and comedy priests in St Patrick's variety concert.

Fr Frankie Mulgrew is one of two priests helping to provide the entertainment at a special St Patrick’s variety concert next month.

Jimmy Cricket, Fr Frankie’s famous father, is also on the show at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Monday 11 March.

Both will be teaming up with singing priest Fr Ray Kelly, who reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2018.

A comedian like his dad, Fr Frankie will be the compere for the evening, which starts at 7.30pm.

Glasgow’s own St Roch’s Ceili Band & Harrison School of Irish Dance, plus a surprise guest vocalist, are also performing.

Ring the box office on 0141 353 8000 or you can book tickets online here.

Jimmy said: “I’m heading up to bonnie Scotland to work at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with my son @FatherFrankie and Fr Ray Kelly from BGT.
“Also, St Roch’s Ceili Band and Harrison School of Irish Dance, raising funds for food banks and the homeless.”

Buy Jimmy’s autobiography!

Don’t forget that Jimmy’s official autobiography is on sale.

Jimmy Cricket with his autobiography

Memoirs Of An Irish Comedian tells the heart-warming story of Jimmy’s illustrious life and 50-year career.

The paperback version costs £11.99 at online retailer Amazon. It is also available via eBook and audio.

Signed copies (£15.99 including postage and packing) can be purchased on this website here.

It is also available at Jimmy’s live gigs for £10, where Jimmy will also sign it.

One pound from the sale of every book goes to Mary’s Meals.

The charity supports feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Also read: Jimmy Cricket’s signed autobiographies now available by post!

Talking Pictures TV festival: Singer Tony Christie among performers 150 150 mhamer

Talking Pictures TV festival: Singer Tony Christie among performers

Looking forward to joining this great cast of fellow performers for @TalkingPicsTV this coming 20th July weekend!A Festival of Film being staged by Talking Pictures TV and Renown Pictures later this year will feature a host of entertainers, including comedian Jimmy Cricket and singer Tony Christie.

The event takes place at The Savoy Theatre in Monmouth, Wales, on Saturday and Sunday, 20 and 21 July.

Northern Irishman Jimmy has performed at a Talking Pictures TV production previously, appearing alongside fellow comic Jimmy Tarbuck and actor Tim Healy in October 2022.

Speaking about the show this summer, he said: “Looking forward to joining this great cast of fellow performers for Talking Pics TV!”

Radio DJ Mike Read is one of the hosts for the weekend.

For details of how to book, phone (freephone) 0808 178 8212.

Tony Christie, now 80, found fame in the 1970s with songs such as (Is This the Way to) Amarillo.

A special Festival of Film later this year, staged by TV channel Talking Pictures, will feature a host of entertainers including comedian Jimmy Cricket and singer Tony Christie.In 2002, comedian Peter Kay used Amarillo on his TV show Phoenix Nights, leading to a resurgence in the song’s popularity.

Talking Pictures TV is an independent archive film and television channel.

It is available on Virgin 445, Freesat 306, Freeview or Youview 82 or on the Sky digital satellite platform, channel 328.

Its website says: “Do you remember the thrill and excitement of Saturday Morning Pictures?

“Where heroes and villains and clowns and crooners, invariably in glorious black and white, would entertain you for hours?

 

“Now those glorious days return, and it’s not just for Saturday mornings.

“It’s 24 hours a day. Every day!”

Find out more about the TV channel here.

Renown Pictures Corporation is a British film distributor founded by producer George Minter in 1938.

Buy Jimmy’s autobiography!

Don’t forget that Jimmy’s official autobiography is on sale.

Jimmy Cricket with his autobiography

Memoirs Of An Irish Comedian tells the heart-warming story of Jimmy’s illustrious life and 50-year career.

The paperback version costs £11.99 at online retailer Amazon. It is also available via eBook and audio.

Signed copies (£15.99 including postage and packing) can be purchased on this website here.

It is also available at Jimmy’s live gigs for £10, where Jimmy will also sign it.

One pound from the sale of every book goes to Mary’s Meals.

The charity supports feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Also read: Jimmy Cricket’s signed autobiographies now available by post!

Raising a toast to ‘the godfather of theatrical agents’ 150 150 mhamer

Raising a toast to ‘the godfather of theatrical agents’

Former theatrical agent Johnny Martin was there when his acts needed him the most, says famous comedian Jimmy Cricket.

Former theatrical agent Johnny Martin was there when his acts needed him the most, says famous comedian Jimmy Cricket.

Jimmy and two fellow famous entertainers met up a few months ago to celebrate Johnny’s career.

In his latest newspaper column, which appears in both the Lancashire Evening Post and the Blackpool Gazette, Jimmy recalls the meeting.

He says: “On a sunny Sunday afternoon in late October last year, three entertainers – Syd Little (of Little and Large fame), Phil Cool (comedian, impressionist and musician) and Jimmy Cricket (that’s me folks), gathered at the Bukhara Indian Restaurant near Preston, to celebrate the career of former theatrical agent Johnny Martin.

“This was quite an unusual event in the entertainment world.

“Normally, agents stay in the background while their artistes get all the plaudits… in other words they get the commission while their turns get the glory.

Excited tones

“So, what made Johnny – who now resides in Chorley – so special? Well, he was there when his acts needed them most.

“Let’s let Syd tell his story first: “My partner Eddie Large had to retire because of heart problems, so one minute I was one half of one of the most successful comedy double acts in Britian and the next I was on my own.

“Johnny believed I could  go solo and got me a booking entertaining passengers on the QE2.

“He also encouraged me to write a book about my time as part of Little and Large… he helped me promote it well as getting me live work around the country… and he was there for me when I needed somebody to help build my confidence.

“You could say he’s the godfather of theatrical agents.

Short-lived

“My personal anecdote about Johnny was the time he fixed pantomime for me in my hometown.

“I remember the telephone conversation vividly when he told me in excited tones that he’d booked me to do Jack and The Beanstalk at the Grand Opera House in Belfast at the end of that year.

“Unfortunately, my euphoria was short-lived, for a few weeks later he rang again and this time in more sombre tones he told me that a bomb had gone off next door to the theatre and the pantomime may now not go ahead.

“He said he’d keep me posted.

“I can’t tell you how deflated I was readers, when I put the phone down after that conversation.

“However, like all good pantomimes this story does have a happy ending, because within a few weeks, Johnny rang to say that with the help of a few very talented architects and engineers the theatre could be saved, repaired and brought back to its former glory.

Emotional moment

“It wouldn’t be completely ready for that Christmas, so we would have to change in portable cabins, but that was a minor inconvenience.

“The important thing was Jack and The Beanstalk opened and played to record attendances that year.

“And it had a lot to do with the people of Belfast voting with their feet and showing they wouldn’t be beaten by violence.

“Closer to home now for Phil‘s heart-warming story of how when he had developed his unique style of impressions that entailed bringing his characters to life with his descriptive facial expressions.

“It was Johnny who kept bringing producers and promoters into see his live act that eventually led to him having his own television series.

Yes, it was an emotional moment in that restaurant for Johnny and his lovely wife Chris, as we all raised a toast to the man who helped our career when we needed it most.

“In fact, we all enjoyed our lunchtime get-together so much, that we even thought of forming our own showbiz fraternity to meet in the future.

“Syd suggested calling ourselves ‘The Chorley Chaplin’s’, but Johnny himself had the last word.

“He said: ‘Instead of ‘The Four Musketeers’, how about ‘The Four Must Have a Beers!'”.

Buy Jimmy’s autobiography!Jimmy Cricket with his autobiography

Don’t forget that Jimmy’s official autobiography is on sale.

Memoirs Of An Irish Comedian tells the heart-warming story of Jimmy’s illustrious life and 50-year career.

The paperback costs £11.99 and can be bought at online retailer Amazon here. It is also available via eBook and audio.

Signed copies (£15.99 including postage and packing) can be purchased on this website here.

It is also available at Jimmy’s live gigs for £10 where Jimmy will also sign it.

One pound from the sale of every book goes to Mary’s Meals.

The charity supports feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Also read: Jimmy Cricket’s signed autobiographies now available by post!

What a celebration as we paid our respects to the great Mo 150 150 mhamer

What a celebration as we paid our respects to the great Mo

What a celebration this morning as we paid our respects to the great performer/comedian/dancer/singer, Maureen Moreland aka Mo from the Roly Poly’s our thanks to family friends of Mo, Tracey, Sam and Charlotte Dawson who helped us give her a great send off! ♥️xx

Jimmy Cricket was among those to pay their respects to the “great” Mo Moreland at her funeral in Lancashire.

Entertainer Mo, originally from Sheffield, died in December after a long illness at a nursing home on the Fylde coast.

The service took place at Lytham Park Cemetery & Crematorium in Lytham St Annes on Thursday morning (18 January).

So saddened to hear of the passing of Marie Ashton, I had the great pleasure working with her and the rest of the girls, they were such fun to be with backstage. So glad she found happiness with the great comedian Jack Diamond as they settled in Southport

Jimmy said afterwards: “What a celebration this morning as we paid our respects to the great performer/comedian/dancer/singer Maureen Moreland, aka Mo, from the Roly Polys.

“Our thanks to family friends of Mo, Tracey, Sam and Charlotte Dawson who helped us give her a great send off! ♥️xx.”

Mo was best known as the lead dancer in comedy dance troupe the Roly Polys, devised by late comedian Les Dawson.

Their success took them across the world to perform, including travelling to France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary, Italy and Japan in their 20-year career.

Jimmy Cricket, who featured on performance bills with Mo and The Roly Polys, described her as a "great comic, singer and dancer"

They were especially popular with German audiences and visited the country on numerous occasions.

Mo also appeared in Coronation Street, as well as on the Little and Large Show, and Super Gran.

Northern Irish comic Jimmy had first met her when she was one half of the Mighty Atom and Roy act, in which she teamed up with her husband.

Mo was born Maureen McCluskey in 1936 and married singer Roy in 1959. He died in 2001.

She first performed on stage aged three and attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts.

At just 4ft 11in tall, she performed as The Mighty Atom and was a skilled dancer, particularly at tap.

Also read from this website: ‘Saddened to hear of the passing of Marie Ashton’

 

‘Unmissable afternoon of top-class variety theatre’ in Coventry 150 150 mhamer

‘Unmissable afternoon of top-class variety theatre’ in Coventry

'Unmissable afternoon of top-class variety theatre' in Coventry with JImmy Cricket the headline act

Jimmy Cricket is headlining a “heart-warming afternoon of comedy, songs, music and fun” in the West Midlands next month.

The famous funnyman appears on the Belgrade Theatre Main Stage in Coventry on Thursday 29 February (1.30pm start).

Musical host Andy Eastwood, a good friend of Jimmy’s, is the ‘merry musical host’ for what is billed by promoters as Jimmy Cricket’s Big Show.

Jimmy is described on the poster advertising the show as a “legend of laughter”.

The venue’s website says: “Jimmy’s amazing career in comedy includes his own TV and radio series, Royal Command Performances and even a Papal Knighthood, awarded for his services to charity.

“He is delighted to be headlining this special show at the Midlands’ home of variety, the Belgrade Theatre.

‘Flawless tribute’

“Joining Jimmy will be our regular Midday Variety host Andy Eastwood, with his dazzling array of instruments and, from Scotland, another virtuoso musician, the remarkable, multi-talented Gordon Cree.

“The stunning mezzo-soprano voice of Cheryl Forbes will bring us favourite songs from stage and screen and completing the all-star line-up is the sensational Kearra Bethany, with her flawless tribute to the legendary Barbra Streisand.

“Why not take advantage of our group rates and bring a party to enjoy this unmissable afternoon of top-class variety theatre?”

Book here for the performance

Also read from this website: Coventry show will be ‘wonderful afternoon of feel-good entertainment’

Buy Jimmy’s autobiography!Jimmy Cricket with his autobiography

Don’t forget that Jimmy’s official autobiography is on sale.

Memoirs Of An Irish Comedian tells the heart-warming story of Jimmy’s illustrious life and 50-year career.

The paperback costs £11.99 and can be bought at online retailer Amazon here. It is also available via eBook and audio.

Signed copies (£15.99 including postage and packing) can be purchased on this website here.

It is also available at Jimmy’s live gigs for £10 where Jimmy will also sign it.

One pound from the sale of every book goes to Mary’s Meals.

The charity supports feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Also read: Jimmy Cricket’s signed autobiographies now available by post!

 

Which promenade hotel in Blackpool is a ‘great survivor’? 150 150 mhamer

Which promenade hotel in Blackpool is a ‘great survivor’?

Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool

It’s a promenade hotel in Blackpool which has survived a pandemic, temporary closure and two changes of ownership during recent years.

The Lyndene, situated at the heart of the famous Lancashire seaside resort, has undoubtedly had more than its fair share of uncertainty in the past.

And yet the popular venue continues to flourish, with its nightly entertainment a major part of its success.

Loveable comedian Jimmy Cricket has been a reglar performer at the hotel – and he is already looking forward to doing his NINTH season there.

Jimmy says: “I’m excited about going back to the Lyndene hotel in Blackpool in 2024.

“The Lyndene hotel is a great survivor.

“It went through the pandemic when many hotels closed their doors, never to reopen, and two changes of ownership.

“I suppose the one constant has been the manager Paul and his wife Claire, who have weathered all the storms, keeping in touch with the customers and welcoming them back when things got back to normal.”

Dispensing cornets and 99s

The Northern Irish funnyman recalls: “I remember nine years ago when the original owner Barry Young first booked me.

“Barry was a down-to-earth Brummie who, when he arrived in Blackpool, bought a small bed and breakfast guest house.

“And while his wife Carol looked after it, he drove an ice cream van around Blackpool dispensing cornets and 99s to all the families.

“The guest house became so popular with holiday makers that Barry and Carol  bought the Lyndene on the seafront and transformed it into a 140-bedroom hotel.

“The location is a vital attribute, because the Lyndene is within close proximity to the Blackpool attractions, especially the Pleasure Beach.”

He continues: “The first night I played the Lyndene hotel was a real eye opener.

“As well as me, there were another three acts plus a compere.

“There are two performing venues – the Somerset Lounge and the Cabaret bar – and all the acts rotate between the two rooms.

“In between, there are a couple of games of bingo and even before the shows there’s an organist in each room playing preshow music… is that value or what?

“From a personal point of view, I find the intimate atmosphere at the Lyndene ideal for comedy.

“It’s up close and personal. It also means that after each show I can do a meet and greet, shake hands and have selfies with the audience.

You can’t miss it

“I can also sell my autobiography, Memoirs of an Irish Comedian, for a bargain basement price of £10.” (See below for more details of the book and the charity that benefits from the sales.)

Jimmy adds: “If you drive down the Golden Mile in Blackpool on a cold January night, the lights will be out on all the hotels except one.

“You can’t miss it – it’s the big blue one with all lights fully on and a big sign that says LYNDENE HOTEL.”

The hotel’s website says: “Located on Blackpool’s glorious seafront, the Lyndene Hotel is the No 1 choice for hotels with entertainment in Britain’s favourite holiday destination.

“With sweeping views across the Irish Sea with incomparable sunsets and people-watching, the Lyndene Hotel has all the amenities to make your stay perfect.

“Our entertainment keeps our guests returning to us again and again.

“Widely known as Blackpool’s No 1 entertainment hotel, we offer THREE superb cabaret acts each evening, every evening, all year around.”

Jimmy’s first appearance back at the Lyndene is on Wednesday 6 March.

His other three shows there this year are:

  • Wednesday 5 June
  • Wednesday 4 September
  • Wednesday 4 December.
Jimmy Cricket ‘so sad’ over closure of Blackpool hotels

Buy Jimmy’s autobiography!Jimmy Cricket with his autobiography

As Jimmy mentions above, his official autobiography is on sale.

Memoirs Of An Irish Comedian tells the heart-warming story of Jimmy’s illustrious life and 50-year career.

The paperback costs £11.99 and can be bought at online retailer Amazon here. It is also available via eBook and audio.

Signed copies (£15.99 including postage and packing) can be purchased on this website here.

It is also available at Jimmy’s live gigs for £10 where Jimmy will also sign it.

One pound from the sale of every book goes to Mary’s Meals.

The charity supports feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Also read: Jimmy Cricket’s signed autobiographies now available by post!