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Another Redcoats reunion for Jimmy 150 150 mhamer

Another Redcoats reunion for Jimmy

Jimmy with some other former Butlins Redcoats

Jimmy Cricket had his latest Butlins Redcoat reunion when he was appearing at a Pontins holiday village earlier this summer.

Jimmy Cricket with Paul Ogden, another former Butlins Redcoat

The well-known comedian worked as a Redcoat at the Butlins sites in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, and Mosney near Dublin in Ireland during the late 1960s before becoming a household name on television.

He has met up with some of his old colleagues during the decades since then and this was actually the second time he had encountered this particular group of fellow former Redcoats – he also bumped into them the last time he was at Sand Bay Holiday Park in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, a couple of years ago!

The photos are courtesy of Paul Ogden, with whom Jimmy can be seen right.

Above, Jimmy has actually managed to borrow a red coat from one of the group and is pictured alongside them all sharing some comedy banter.

Redcoat is the name given to front-line staff at Butlins holiday camps in the UK. A Redcoat has duties ranging from adult entertainer or children’s entertainer to stewarding. Read more about them here.

Return to panto debut venue – 33 years later 150 150 mhamer

Return to panto debut venue – 33 years later

Jimmy Cricket first appeared in panto at the Charter Theatre in preston in Robinson Crusoe in Outer SpaceJimmy Cricket will be appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Preston's Charter Theatre

Jimmy Cricket will be performing in pantomime later this year at the Charter Theatre in Preston – where he made his panto debut in 1981.

The famous entertainer will be appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (poster below) at the Lancashire venue.

It will be 33 years after the Northern Irish funnyman figured in a version of a contemporary pantomime called Robinson Crusoe in Outer Space (left) when he was described as “Britain’s fastest rising TV comedian”.

Since his first foray into the land of fairytales, Jimmy has featured in 26

 

different pantomime productions over the years, taking in theatres across the UK located in:

Belfast, Glasgow, Nottingham, Bradford, Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Darlington, Billingham, Wolverhampton, Truro, Doncaster, Lichfield, Swindon, Torquay, Southport, Ashton-under-Lyme and Weston-Super-Mare.

On his arrival in Preston, he will be reunited with the creative team who produced last Christmas’s record -breaking version of Snow White at the Forum Theatre in Billingham.

Some of the cast have been retained for the Preston version, which has delighted Jimmy who is looking forward to a happy return to the Charter Theatre.

Green cake with wellies on it! 150 150 mhamer

Green cake with wellies on it!

Jimmy Cricket was presented with an Irish-themed cake when he returned to perform at the Billingham Forum Theatre near MiddlesbroughJimmy Cricket was presented with an Irish-themed cake when he returned to perform at the Billingham Forum Theatre near Middlesbrough.

The famous Belfast-born entertainer appeared in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the North East theatre over the Christmas and New Year period. Sellout crowds watched the pantomime; in fact, the biggest attendances ever for a panto at the venue.

And as he arrived to perform again at the theatre at the start of April, he was greeted with a green cake with a pair of wellingtons on it – Jimmy is renowned in his acts for wearing wellies on the wrong feet!

The cake was made by Stockton resident Yasmin Calvert whose mum, Janet, went to the stage door of the theatre to hand it to Jimmy.Jimmy Cricket appeared in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the North East theatre over the Christmas and New Year period

Jimmy said: “I was overjoyed on receiving it as it’s one of the best that anyone has made for me. I was particularly impressed with the detail of the decoration and amazed at how it was produced all in green!

“A big thank you to Yasmin for the efforts she went to in making this culinary delight for me.”

His comedy show was a triumph as almost 400 people came to see Jimmy on his return.

He invited the Heritage Dance School to perform a  few numbers during the show and added: “I was  very pleased with their efforts as they slotted in really nicely.”

Jimmy pays tribute to panto team 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy pays tribute to panto team

The entire panto cast including Yvonne Patterson who took on the role of Wicked Queen and the dancers from the Stockton Heritage dance studio

The entire panto cast, including Yvonne Patterson who took on the role of Wicked Queen and the dancers from the Stockton Heritage dance studio

Jimmy Cricket with Malcolm Dixon, who played the head dwarf, and whose wife Anita was the production’s stage manager

Jimmy with Malcolm Dixon, who played the head dwarf, and whose wife Anita was the production’s stage manager

Famous funnyman Jimmy Cricket has been reflecting on the successful pantomime in which he starred over the festive season.

The Northern Irish entertainer played the comedy role of Muddles in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Billingham Forum Theatre near Middlesbrough.

Also in the cast was Emmerdale’s Kurtis Stacey (he plays Alex Moss in the soap) who featured in the role of the Wicked Henchman.

In total, a record 30,000 spectators came through the theatre’s doors to watch Jimmy and the cast over several weeks.

And it consistently had excellent reviews from people who see the show during the Christmas and New Year period.

Jimmy said: “I would like to pay tribute to the wonderful cast that had been assembled and express my gratitude to the excellent production team that put the show together led by producer Duggie Chapman.

Jimmy Cricket and Kurtis Stacey

Jimmy and Stacey

“I am also grateful to all the wonderful staff at the Forum Theatre under the watchful eye of manager Derek Cooper.”

He also acknowledges the fantastic cottage (scene photo below) he stayed at over the duration of the pantomime which was situated within Abbey Hill Cottages and is run by Paul, Smokey and Mary.

Jimmy liked the North East venue so much that he will bring his stand-up comedy show to the Forum Theatre on the afternoon of Sunday 6 April. To book tickets for Jimmy’s return visit with his comedy show, visit the theatre website here.

Jimmy Cricket stayed at a cottage in the countryside during the panto

Festive Liz gets Wellie award 150 150 mhamer

Festive Liz gets Wellie award

Jimmy Cricket with marketing manager Liz CooperA lady who gave Jimmy Cricket and his panto colleagues a great Christmas send-off is the January winner of the Golden Wellie award.

Liz Cooper is the marking manager at the Forum Theatre in Billingham where the famous Northern Irish entertainer appeared in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs over the festive period.

Jimmy said: “Liz went above the call of duty on Christmas Eve and decorated with festive trimmings the dressings rooms occupied by the cast of the pantomime. She was ably abetted in this feat by her daughter.

“In 25 years of doing pantos across the UK, this is the first time that I have encountered the theatre’s staff going to the length of ensuring the cast have a Christmas send-off  and this special gesture certainly got everyone into the Christmas spirit.”

Jimmy, whose festively decorated panto dressing room is pictured below, was so impressed and grateful for what Liz had done that he wanted to acknowledge her efforts by awarding her the Golden Wellington (above).

Jimmy Cricket's panto dressing room

Bingo – it’s Jimmy Cricket! 150 150 mhamer

Bingo – it’s Jimmy Cricket!

Jimmy Cricket with Mark Chanoller, a member of staff at the Top Ten Top Bingo club in Rhyl

Jimmy with Mark Chanoller, a member of staff at the Top Ten Top Bingo club in Rhyl

Jimmy Cricket took a break from his busy pantomime schedule to headline a show at a bingo club just five days before Christmas.

The visit to the Top Ten Bingo Club in Rhyl, North Wales, was on one of Jimmy’s only days off from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in which he had been featuring on Teesside.

During the night, Jimmy was greeted by a supportive crowd as the majority of those who had come for the earlier Christmas games of bingo had decided to stay behind to witness some festive fun from him.

He said: “I was happy to take on this additional commitment as everyone present in Rhyl was in festive spirit and it made for a really nice atmosphere.”

Returning to record-breaking venue 150 150 mhamer

Returning to record-breaking venue

Cast members of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from 7 December to 5 January at the Forum Theatre in Billingham

Cast members of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Jimmy Cricket is to return to the scene of his record-breaking pantomime.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs attracted sellout crowds – the biggest attendances ever for a panto at the Billingham Forum Theatre near Middlesbrough.

It consistently had excellent reviews from people who watched the show over the Christmas and New Year period.

Northern Irish funnyman Jimmy played the comedy role of Muddles in the festive production. Also in the cast was Emmerdale’s Kurtis Stacey (he plays Alex Moss in the soap) who featured in the role of the Wicked Henchman.

Jimmy liked the North East venue so much that he will bring his stand-up comedy show to the Forum Theatre on the afternoon of Sunday 6 April.

To book tickets for Jimmy’s return visit with his comedy show, visit the theatre website here.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was clearly loved by people who went to see it, with many positive comments being posted on the social media website, Twitter.

In addition to those included in previous stories in the Cricket Times section of this website, here are some more plaudits for Jimmy and co.

Vicki Taylor ‏@vickitaylor84
Fab panto at the forum jimmy was great 2nd time I’ve seen him!! @jimmy__cricket @kurtisstaceyKS good fox song!!

Kiana_Horan X ‏@HoranKianaMofo
@jimmy__cricket you were brilliant in Snow White xx

Katie ‏@Katies5SOS
@jimmy__cricket You were amazing on Saturday doing Snow White, such a laugh, hopefully see you next year :)

andrew purvis ‏@jillybear75
@jimmy__cricket the whole family came to see you today in panto and my son who is 5 couldn’t stop laughing at you!!

James ‏@captainjim74
@jimmy__cricket Saw u in Snow White today- me & my 5 year old boy cried laughing together at the same gags!great family show, thanks v much!

Jessica Playfor ‏@jessicaplayforX
@jimmy__cricket had me howlin tonight (despite been front row and practically on the stage ourself)

Jayne wilkins ‏@Jewilkinsboro
@jimmy__cricket @kazbradellie @joannemurphy33 watched you as a kid and laughed , just seen you at forum and laughed , c u on 6th April :) xx

Vickie Gatenby ‏@VickieGatenby
@jimmy__cricket “that cardigan thing”.. “It’s a jumper muddles ;)” haha.. Good show tonight!! Thanks for the high five!! :)

Graeme ‏@graemeblewis
@jimmy__cricket hey muddles!! great performance tonight in Snow White!! Family and I loved it!!

Chris Slasor ‏@theslasor
@victoriaholtom @jimmy__cricket you were fantastic in Snow White at Billingham Forum tonight! Well done, the whole cast were brilliant :)