Jimmy Cricket

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A big step nearer to the priesthood… 150 150 mhamer

A big step nearer to the priesthood…

The service was held at the St Mary’s College chapel

The service was held at the St Mary’s College chapel in Oscott, Birmingham

…that’s not Jimmy Cricket but his youngest son, Frankie Mulgrew.

Frankie has been ordained a deacon and is now just 12 months away from becoming a Roman Catholic priest.

The service was held in the chapel at St Mary’s College, Oscott in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham on Saturday (30 June).

His diaconate ordination means Frankie, who describes himself on Twitter as a trainee priest/ex-comic, is a deacon for the next year and can perform certain functions of the Catholic Church.

Frankie in his robes with his cousin Gavin

Frankie in his robes with his cousin Gavin

And on his Facebook page, Frankie said: “Many thanks all, for your very kind comments…and just to clarify, my little sis jumped the gun with the ‘Fr’ comment…I became a Deacon last sat… (I knew she’d dose off).

“Priesthood is hopefully just a year off.. but I’m still available for weddings, baptisms, funerals…sideline in balloon modelling, etc.”

Frankie’s journey to this point has involved six years of study, with his first 12 months at the English College in Valladolid in north-central Spain to participate in a pre-novitiate year (contemplative foundation).

He then moved to the five years of full study which has got him to this stage. Four of those years were at St Cuthbert’s College in Ushaw, Durham, but it closed a year ago and his studies were transferred to Birmingham.  He has one more academic year to undertake, which starts back in Birmingham in September.

His father, famous Irish comedian Jimmy,  said: “The service was a long one! It was two hours and 15 minutes. It involved 10 other candidates who were also ordained deacons and they were from Birmingham, Nottingham, Hallam and East Anglia, to name a few.

“The service was presided over by Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham. There were in total around 70 members of the clergy there to support the ordination of the 11 candidates, plus sisters and brothers from other religious orders. Add to that family members and friends, and it all meant the chapel was rather full.

Frankie celebrates with his family in a photo taken by Tim Vine

Frankie celebrates with his family in a photo taken by Tim Vine

“The service itself asks for a commitment from the deacon to the church and to the local bishop. It also involves the handing-out of a book of Gospels to the deacon and they also receive their vestments.

“There is also a vow of celibacy taken, so that a full and unencumbered life can be devoted to the ministry of the church.”

Comedian Tim Vine, a very good friend of Frankie, also attended the service to see Frankie being ordained a deacon.

Frankie has now started his summer placement at the parish of Our Lady of the Valley in Lancashire. It covers the Clitheroe and Sabden communities within the beautiful Ribble Valley.

Jimmy added: “Frankie had a placement back in January at this parish for a month and really enjoyed his time there. This time he is only there for a fortnight, before he travels to London where he has been appointed as a voluntary chaplain to the athletes at the Olympic Village during the Olympic Games.

“He then has a bit of time in August, before he returns to St Mary’s College at the start of September.”

Jimmy meets campaigning grocer 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy meets campaigning grocer

Jimmy Cricket and Robin Blair with some of the plants Robin donated to Darlington Civic Theatre

Greengrocer Robin Blair shows Jimmy Cricket some of the plants he donated to Darlington Civic Theatre

Jimmy Cricket met a campaigning greengrocer on a recent visit to Darlington where he will be appearing in a stand-up show.

The famous Irish comedian had a walk around the town and chatted to local celebrity Robin Blair, who was recently awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Robin has donated plants to brighten up the Conservatory Bar plaza at the Darlington Civic Theatre and also regularly provides baskets of fruit in the dressing rooms for visiting entertainers.Jimmy and Robin have a chat during a walk around Darlington

The 67-year-old, who has been a grocer for more than 50 years, received the British Empire Medal for his services to the community of Darlington.

Over the years, he has campaigned to keep markets alive and against too many supermarkets taking away their trade.

Robin, who joined his father John Joseph’s stall officially at the age of 15 but had helped out on it since he was seven, said one of the highlights of his job was putting free fruit baskets in the dressing rooms and receiving messages of thanks – including from Ken Dodd.

Jimmy Cricket is returning to the Civic Theatre in Darlington just months after appearing on the same stage as Baron Hardup in a pantomime version of Cinderella.

This time, he will be doing his usual stand-up and is teaming up with fellow comedy legend Mick Miller.

In addition to the Darlington appearance on Wednesday 11 July, the Jimmy and Mick Show tour also includes Preston, Chester, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Tiniest chapel in the world? 150 150 mhamer

Tiniest chapel in the world?

Jimmy and May visited the Little Chapel

Jimmy and May visited The Little Chapel

Comedian Jimmy Cricket and his wife May visited one of the world’s smallest chapels on a visit to Guernsey.

Jimmy was appearing at the Wayside Cheer Hotel on the island in a show promoted by his good friend Ken Smith, whom he has known for some time.

Ken has been promoting shows for years on the island. His favourite venue is the Wayside Cheer Hotel, even to the point where he decided to purchase it as a going concern when it went up for sale a couple of years ago.

Jimmy and May stayed for a few days at the Wayside Cheer Hotel after the show and had a terrific time on the island.

Jimmy performed in the function room at the Wayside Cheer Hotel

Function room at the Wayside Cheer Hotel

During the visit Jimmy was invited out to lunch by Carol Carlile. Carol wanted to show her appreciation to him as a thank-you for him writing a sympathetic letter to her after the death of her mum, Ivy, in 2010. The letter was read out at Ivy’s funeral.

Jimmy enjoyed eating at the Wayside Cheer Hotel on Guernsey

Jimmy enjoyed eating at the Wayside Cheer Hotel

After lunch, Carol took Jimmy and May on a tour which included The Little Chapel on Guernsey.

The official website for The Little Chapel says: “A work of art and a labour of love, The Little Chapel is possibly the smallest chapel in the world.

“It was built by Brother Déodat who started work in March 1914. His plan was to create a miniature version of the famous grotto and basilica at Lourdes in France. Guardianship of The Little Chapel now rests with Blanchelande Girls College which is run by a Charitable Trust.

“The Little Chapel is beautifully decorated with seashells, pebbles and colourful pieces of broken china and the College has an ongoing programme of repairs and improvements.”

A torchlight procession at The Little Chapel takes place at dusk on the Feast of the Assumption and the Stations of the Cross are said on the first Monday in May each year.

Jimmy and May with Carol Carlile and her husband Mark

Jimmy and May with Carol Carlile and her husband Mark

Remembering a legend 150 150 mhamer

Remembering a legend

Fr Jimmy and Frankie Mulgrew, Jimmy Cricket's son

Fr Jimmy and Frankie Mulgrew, who is training to become a Catholic priest

Jimmy Cricket paid his respects to an inspirational priest on a recent visit to Liverpool.

The Irish comedian was appearing at this year’s Northern Catholic Conference (NCC), which is an annual fixture in Liverpool Hope University’s calendar.

He not only attended the social evening (which is traditionally scheduled for the middle evening of the conference), but he also participated in a special commemoration service to mark the outstanding life of the late Fr Jimmy Collins.

Canon Collins, who was parish priest of St Joseph the Worker in Kirkby for 30 years, died in April aged 94 – just three months short of the 70th anniversary of his priestly ordination. He was known to many as “Fr Jimmy” and “priest of the people”.

His funeral Mass took place on Tuesday 1 May, the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, when a congregation of 2,000 filled Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King.

The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Patrick Kelly, together with Auxiliary Bishop Tom Williams, retired Auxiliary Bishop Vincent Malone and 82 concelebrating priests from across the Liverpool Archdiocese and beyond.

“Fr Jimmy was a magnificent example of a man who lived life to the full,” says Jimmy Cricket. “He touched the lives of so many people. He has legendary status within his hometown of Liverpool.”

Jimmy’s son, Frankie, who is training to be a Roman Catholic priest and will soon be ordained a deacon, was one of the original members of the group that launched the Northern Catholic Conference a few years ago.

Since that first event, which was held at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool,the NCC has continued to grow since Hope University became its regular venue.

Jimmy Cricket with all the restaurant staff at Liverpool Hope University (a big thank-you to Helen Davis for this photo)

Jimmy with all the restaurant staff at Liverpool Hope University (thanks to Helen Davis for this photo)

When Cricket met tennis… 150 150 mhamer

When Cricket met tennis…

Comedy legend Jimmy CricketJimmy Cricket has been trying his hand at tennis – or an unlikely mixture of tennis and cricket! – ahead of an international sports tournament.

The Aegon International at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne starts on Monday (18 June) and for many top tennis players is an annual warm-up for Wimbledon which begins the following week.

Former world number one Andy Roddick is one of the names appearing at this year’s Aegon International after the 2003 US Open champion was knocked out of the current tournament at Queen’s Club in the second round.

Comedy legend Cricket, who is currently starring in the variety show Sentimental Journey at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre on Seaside Road every Tuesday and Wednesday until 26 September, could not resist a trip to Eastbourne Sports Park to see what happens when Cricket met tennis!

The Irish funnyman larked about for the cameras with his trademark wellies (on the wrong feet of course). His jovial banter lit up the huge all-weather tennis centre  situated at Cross Levels Way, Eastbourne.

Comedy legend Jimmy Cricket

Sentimental Journey is a traditional, family friendly variety show, which has been playing at the delightful ‘hidden gem’ of a theatre since May. Audiences and critics have been enjoying the show and delighting in Jimmy’s hilarious routines which feature an array of ridiculous props, stories and jokes.

And “there’s more” as the cast also includes music from Colin Gold as Billy Fury, Tracey Lea as Connie Francis with comedy from Mike Lee and Barry Moon, plus the Showtime Dancers.

Tickets are priced at £17 – to book call the box office on 01323 412000 or go online here.

Eastbourne Sports Park is a collaborative project between Eastbourne Borough Council, East Sussex County Council, Sussex Downs College, Park College and Sport England.

All photos for this story courtesy of Peter Gurr.

Comedy legend Jimmy Cricket

From Cinders to stand-up 150 150 mhamer

From Cinders to stand-up

Comedy legends Mick Miller and Jimmy Cricket to team up in Darlington

Comedian Jimmy Cricket is returning to the Civic Theatre in Darlington – just months after appearing on the same stage as Baron Hardup in a pantomime version of Cinderella.

This time around, Jimmy is down to do his usual stand-up and is teaming up with fellow comedy legend Mick Miller.

Jimmy enjoyed his time in Darlington so much at Christmas that he could not wait to get back to the civic theatre. When a date was found over the summer, he did not need think twice about it.

He found the Darlington audiences very warm and receptive, and so he now wants to perform the stand-up for which he is famous.

Mick Miller received plenty of praise and plaudits after his appearance in last December’s Royal Command Variety Performance which was broadcast on ITV.

In addition to the Darlington appearance on Wednesday 11 July, the Jimmy and Mick Show tour also includes Preston, Chester, Sheffield and Manchester. It is even down to visit the world-famous Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August.

Jimmy said: “It is a great thrill to be returning to the civic theatre in Darlington after appearing in the theatre’s pantomime last Christmas.

“I am especially excited as people who came to see the panto will now get a chance to see me perform my stand-up.

“Darlington has a great theatre which is really ideal for us comedians as it has an intimate setting that creates a great atmosphere. The evening in question brings together two fine exponents of the arts of comedy and this is a comedy treat that should not be missed.”

Mick said:  “This date in Darlington kicks off mine and Jimmy’s tour together, and I know we are going to have a barrel of laughs over the different dates.

“But I cannot think of a better starting point than Darlington. If you want a giggle or two, then hop down to the civic theatre because with the two of us on stage, it is going to be madcap fun and laughter all the way.”

* Stay up-to-date with all Jimmy Cricket’s forthcoming shows here

‘Promising a night of belly laughs’ 150 150 mhamer

‘Promising a night of belly laughs’

The feature in the North Wales Daily Post by freelance journalist Samuel Evans

The North Wales Daily Post feature by journalist Samuel Evans

A “journey back across the years” awaits Irish comedian Jimmy Cricket on 8 June.

The famous funnyman is appearing at Towyn’s Morton Arms in North Wales next Friday in a show organised by local entertainment entrepreneur Darren Howells.

To mark the event, a feature has been written in the North Wales Daily Post by freelance journalist Samuel Evans.

The story begins…

Jimmy Cricket, renowned for his funny hat, his wellies on the wrong feet and of course letters from his Mammy, is packing his bags ready for a trip to North Wales this summer and a journey back across the years.

“The times might have changed since the 80s but I have embraced everything into my act,” he said. “What you get now is the Jimmy Cricket take on things, and of course I’ll have a letter from my Mammy.”

Full of his favourite material, Jimmy is promising a night of belly laughs when he takes the mic at Towyn’s Morton Arms in June.

Read the full article here