Jimmy Cricket’s much-loved Mammy’s Letters haven’t just been entertaining for audiences – they have also come to the rescue on more than one occasion.
The famous comedian, 70, recalls two of those times in his Lancashire Evening Post column for October.
He says the first was when he was appearing in the Royal Children’s Variety Show in London, which was being recorded to be televised on Christmas Day in 1986 and included Princess Margaret in the audience.
Jimmy had just finished his three-minute act and was heading for the wings when a “very distraught” stage manager indicated to him that the set behind the curtain wasn’t ready for the next performance, which was to star well-known actors Jan Francis and Paul Nicholas.
So he did one of his ever-popular Mammy’s Letters and timed it to perfection; just as he finished, the curtain started opening behind him.
And he also told of the time he was playing panto at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham when there was a power cut, which plunged the theatre and half the city into darkness.
“As the torch-wielding usherettes led the audience quietly down the aisles and out the exit doors, I reached for my pocket. This time in a loud voice – as all the mikes were off, of course – I said: ‘Dear son, I’m cutting down on electricity. I’m only going to plug the electric clock in when I want to know the time!’ said Jimmy.
“As I could hear little pockets of laughter emanating from the stalls, it gave me a warm glow to know I was helping to keep things calm in what can be a scary situation, especially for the children there that night.”
* Jimmy has produced a new Christmas CD in aid of the Francis House Children’s Hospice. It is priced at £5 and available for purchase from either the hospice direct or from the shop on this website.