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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:

Golden memories: The Osmonds 150 150 mhamer

Golden memories: The Osmonds

Jimmy Cricket has known and worked with many great fellow entertainers across nearly five decades in showbusiness - including the Osmonds

Jimmy Cricket has known and worked with many great fellow entertainers across nearly five decades in showbusiness.

In a special series of monthly articles, Jimmy is taking a trip down Memory Lane to recall some of the special people with whom he has shared the stage.

Our second feature in the series is about The Osmonds, an American family music group with a long and varied history as star performers.

They started their musical careers as children and achieved further success as teen-music idols, going on to produce a hit television show and also perform as solo and group artists.

The group first comprised brothers Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay Osmond. They were later joined by younger siblings Donny – the most famous of all of them – and Jimmy. Their only sister Marie, who rarely sang with her brothers at that time, launched a successful solo career in 1973.

Jimmy, 74, supported the world-famous Osmonds on their pre-Christmas tour around the UK towards the end of 2015.

‘Dream gig’

He was a special guest for the Andy Williams Christmas Spectacular which ran for 15 shows, several of them sellouts.

Jimmy appeared on what was a wonderfully creative and slick show, which featured Jimmy, Jay and Merrill Osmond.

It included a video screen transmitting footage of the late American popular singer Andy Williams and images of Christmas, a set of green Christmas trees around the stage and even snow fell during the finale!

Here, Jimmy remembers the Osmonds in his own special way:

“Touring with the Osmonds was what you would call in this business a dream gig.

“It happened four years ago and the show consisted of Jimmy, Merrill and Jay.

“We did a 15-day tour up and down the country and played to sellout crowds.

“As well as the boys, we had a live band, dancers a  Russian quick-change act and a young English vocalist.

‘Stayed loyal’

“The show was actually a tribute to the great singer Andy Williams, whose Christmas TV specials enthralled American viewers for many years.

“Andy was also the one to give the Osmonds their first break in television when they were just babies.

“Indeed, I did the warm-up for the show and introduced those very appearances to the audiences on a large screen on stage.

“I was always amazed how many of the Osmond fans stayed loyal over the years and came to so many of their shows during that tour.

“It was a pleasure to work with this special showbiz family.”

Also read: Merrill Osmond told me: ‘You’re one of our family’

Click on either of the arrow-shaped play buttons above to watch a slideshow of pictures from the 2015 tour. All the photos were taken during the last tour date at the Winding Wheel concert venue in Chesterfield.

Golden Memories: Norman Barrett MBE

If you have any special memories of the Osmonds or would like Jimmy to feature somebody in our series, you can do this in several ways:

Find out where Jimmy is performing and his other forthcoming shows by viewing all his tour dates on this website.

 

Golden memories: Norman Barrett MBE 150 150 mhamer

Golden memories: Norman Barrett MBE

Norman Barrett, now 85, has worked with all the world's great circuses

Norman Barrett has worked with all the world’s great circuses, including in Blackpool

Jimmy Cricket has known and worked with many great fellow entertainers across nearly five decades in showbusiness.

In a special series of monthly articles starting today, Jimmy takes a trip down Memory Lane to recall some of the special people with whom he has shared the stage.

We begin with Norman Barrett MBE, the veteran British circus ringmaster.

Norman has made many appearances on television, including with Charlie Cairoli – the Italian-English clown, impressionist and musician – in the children’s television series Right Charlie.

Amazing career

He is well known for his act with performing budgerigars.

Norman, now 85, has worked with all the world’s great circuses and spent 25 years at Blackpool Tower Circus during an amazing career.

He was also the ringmaster of the Belle Vue Christmas Circus in Manchester in the 70s and 80s.

He appeared as the subject of This Is Your Life in 1990.

Norman was awarded an MBE in the 2010 New Year Honour’s list.

See Norman in action here.

Here, Jimmy remembers Norman in his own special way:

“I remember seeing Norman on television in the sixties. He was the ringmaster at the famous Tower Circus in Blackpool and he used to pop up at Christmas time.

“As well as introducing specialty acts from all over the world, he played straight man to the famous clown Charlie Cairoli. He got many a custard pie thrown in his face.

“However, Norman did a wonderfully unique act himself.

“He used to train budgies to run up ladders and push tiny bicycles.

“Norman learned to give instructions in different languages, so he used to take his act all over the world. He was particularly popular in Germany.

“Anyone that ever saw Norman’s act never looked at  a budgie in the same way again.

Slapstick kitchen routine

“I did four-week panto run with him at the Southport Theatre a few years back where he played Baron Hardup to my Buttons.

“We did a slapstick kitchen routine in which we were always putting in new stuff.

“So much so that my son Frank who was also in the panto used to say: ‘You guys really live on the edge!’

“What really used to tickle me was when I would visit Norman at his home in Blackpool…

“… You could see all the lights on in the bedroom upstairs so you knew Norman was putting his budgies through their paces to help them get used to the Circus spotlights.

“Thanks for the golden memories Norman.”

If you have any special memories of Norman or would like Jimmy to feature somebody in our special memories  series, you can do this in several ways:

Find out where Jimmy is performing and his other forthcoming shows by viewing all his tour dates on this website.

Journey into the archives 150 150 mhamer

Journey into the archives

Jimmy Cricket performs in the 1985 Royal Variety Performance show

Jimmy Cricket in 1985

Got any old videos or photos of your favourite entertainer?

If you have still pictures or moving footage from down the years of famous Irish comedian Jimmy Cricket – like the Royal Variety Performance clip on the homepage of this website – then we would love to hear from you.

This video from 1985 was sent in by one of Jimmy’s fans and if anybody out there wants to send anything from the archives, then it will also be put online.

The Royal Variety Performance – also known as the Royal Command Performance – is a gala evening held annually in the UK and attended by senior members of the Royal Family, usually the reigning monarch.

Performances showcase a variety of family entertainment, including comedy, dance, singing, magic and other acts, with many of the performers and hosts being popular celebrities.

It is organised on behalf of the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, of which Elizabeth II is patron, with all proceeds donated to the fund.

  • Please email any archive material to jimmy@jimmycricket.co.uk
A thank-you from the past 150 150 mhamer

A thank-you from the past

Pictures from the past

Jimmy Cricket is getting a big thank-you from a charity – three decades later.

The recognition comes after Jimmy appeared in the Hippodrome Theatre’s Pantomime with famous Liverpool entertainer Cilla Black back in the mid-1980s.

He recently received the following email from Matt Adams: “We are holding another charity event in aid of the Young Venturers on December 10th at the Hall Green Conservative Club, Birmingham. These nights raises enough funds to enable us to take a group of disabled children to the Pantomime in Birmingham.

“My parents, who has been raising funds for this charity for over 40 years, write to the stars of the show and asks them if they would be kind enough to spend a few minutes after the show to meet the children.

“We plan to project photos taken from the last 40+ years on the 12ft screen at the club, and whilst going through a few of the photos, I found a few of Jimmy from way back. This photo along with countless others will be projected on the night with a ‘thank you’ message.

“As my Dad always says ‘time is the most important thing you can give to anyone’ and the time Jimmy spent with ‘our’ children certainly made their night.

“I would therefore be grateful if you could thank Jimmy on behalf of us for all the smiles he has made!”