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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 feature, 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.

Back to Blackpool – then it’s the comedy play 150 150 mhamer

Back to Blackpool – then it’s the comedy play

Jimmy Cricket will do a New Year's Eve show at the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool
Jimmy Cricket’s second appearance of 2020 at his favourite Blackpool hotel this week will be his last there until early March.
The popular Northern Irish entertainer next performs at the Lyndene Hotel on the sea front on Wednesday (15 January).
In total, he will make 23 visits to the Lyndene this year.
None of them are in February, so his next appearance in Blackpool after Wednesday is 4 March.
From then onwards, he will do shows twice a month until the end of the year.
This is 74-year-old Jimmy’s FIFTH season at the hotel.
Happy New Year”, from Team @LyndeneHotel
Two or three acts usually perform twice per night, once each in different lounges at the Lyndene.

See all of this year’s dates below and visit the hotel’s website here.

Jimmy’s immediate focus after Wednesday is his comedy play which goes back on the road later this month.

The most recent staging of No More Fiffing and Faffing was in Port Sunlight in October.

The production had a highly successful debut last September at the Blackburn Empire Theatre.

As a result, Jimmy has taken on a tour around the north of England.

The venues so far also include The Met in Bury and the Chorley Little Theatre in Lancashire.

Veteran comedian Jimmy wrote the play and also stars in it. Also performing are Jonathan Young (The Bachelors) and actor Colin Meredith, who has appeared in Coronation Street.

Read more about the next destination for the play in the Cricket Times on Thursday.

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

Returning to what has become my second home working alongside many talented singers and old friends like @MALFORDUK , my thanks goes to Claire @TowerTopEnts and @LyndeneHotel the Manager Paul, and all the Team members for their hospitality and support over the last four years

The 2020 season begins back at the Lyndene Hotel 150 150 mhamer

The 2020 season begins back at the Lyndene Hotel

Jimmy Cricket’s first show of the new year is at the same venue where he rounded off 2019… the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool.
The ever-green Northern Irish entertainer appears there again on Wednesday (8 January) – the first of 23 visits in 2020.
Popular comedian Jimmy, 74, had last performed at the Lyndene – where he has now been appearing for several years – on New Year’s Eve.
May it bring you all good health and happiness from me and Mrs C. x
Happy New Year”, from Team @LyndeneHotel
Two or three acts usually perform twice per night, once each in different lounges at the Lyndene.
Jimmy’s other appearance at the Lyndene in January (he does two shows most months) is on Wednesday the 15th.
Every night of the year

The Lyndene Hotel, perched on the seafront, is one of Blackpool’s unique venues as it welcomes tourists and visitors all year round.

Jimmy Cricket will do a New Year's Eve show at the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool

Its website says that it offers more than 141 fully equipped and tastefully decorated en suite bedrooms.

“The Lyndene Hotel offers superb compered entertainment EVERY NIGHT of the year,” it adds.

Jimmy is embarking on his FIFTH season at the Lyndene Hotel.

See next year’s dates below and visit the hotel’s website here.

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

Returning to what has become my second home working alongside many talented singers and old friends like @MALFORDUK , my thanks goes to Claire @TowerTopEnts and @LyndeneHotel the Manager Paul, and all the Team members for their hospitality and support over the last four years

Happy New Year from Team @LyndeneHotel 150 150 mhamer

Happy New Year from Team @LyndeneHotel

Happy New Year from Team @LyndeneHotel
Jimmy Cricket brought in the New Year at a popular Blackpool hotel.
The ever-green Northern Irish entertainer made his 23rd and final appearance of 2019 at the Lyndene Hotel.
May it bring you all good health and happiness from me and Mrs C. x
Happy New Year”, from Team @LyndeneHotel
He tweeted: “Happy New Year from Team @LyndeneHotel 🥳 🎉🎊.”
Jimmy, 74, added: “May it bring you all good health and happiness from me and Mrs C. x”
Jimmy, 74, has been doing regular shows for several years now at the Lyndene, where two or three acts usually perform twice per night, once each in different lounges at the hotel.
Superb entertainment

The Lyndene Hotel, perched on the seafront, is one of Blackpool’s unique venues as it welcomes tourists and visitors all year round.

Jimmy Cricket will do a New Year's Eve show at the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool

Its website says that it offers more than 141 fully equipped and tastefully decorated en suite bedrooms.

“The Lyndene Hotel offers superb compered entertainment EVERY NIGHT of the year,” it adds.

Jimmy announced earlier this year that he is to spend a FIFTH season at the Lyndene Hotel.

He will do another 23 nights there in 2020, including two Wednesdays in January (8 and 15).

See next year’s dates below and visit the hotel’s website here.

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

Returning to what has become my second home working alongside many talented singers and old friends like @MALFORDUK , my thanks goes to Claire @TowerTopEnts and @LyndeneHotel the Manager Paul, and all the Team members for their hospitality and support over the last four years

New Year’s Eve date at Blackpool’s Lyndene Hotel 150 150 mhamer

New Year’s Eve date at Blackpool’s Lyndene Hotel

Jimmy Cricket's next show at the lyndene is on New Year's Eve

Jimmy Cricket’s last show of 2019 at his favourite Blackpool hotel is on New Year’s Eve.

It will be the popular comedian’s 23rd appearance this year at the Lyndene Hotel on the sea front.
His latest visit there was on Wednesday night (18 December) – see photos above.

Jimmy tweeted: “Great festive fun with the audiences here at the @LyndeneHotel tonight while catching up with old friends.”

The famous entertainer has been doing regular shows at the Lyndene for the past few years.

Several acts usually perform twice per night, once each in different lounges at the hotel.

Superb entertainment

The Lyndene Hotel, perched on the seafront, is one of Blackpool’s unique venues as it welcomes tourists and visitors all year round.

Jimmy Cricket will do a New Year's Eve show at the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool

Its website says that it offers more than 141 fully equipped and tastefully decorated en suite bedrooms.

“The Lyndene Hotel offers superb compered entertainment EVERY NIGHT of the year,” it adds.

Jimmy announced earlier this year that he is to spend a FIFTH season at the Lyndene Hotel.

He will do another 23 nights there in 2020, including two Wednesdays in January (8 and 15).

See next year’s dates below and visit the hotel’s website here.

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

Returning to what has become my second home working alongside many talented singers and old friends like @MALFORDUK , my thanks goes to Claire @TowerTopEnts and @LyndeneHotel the Manager Paul, and all the Team members for their hospitality and support over the last four years

Three December dates at the Lyndene Hotel 150 150 mhamer

Three December dates at the Lyndene Hotel

Jimmy Cricket has three dates at the Lyndene Hotel in DecemberJimmy Cricket is back at his favourite Blackpool hotel three times in December.

The famous entertainer has been doing regular shows at the Lyndene for the past few years.

Several acts usually perform twice per night, once each in different lounges at the hotel.

Jimmy is next there on Wednesday (11 December), a week later (18 December) and then for the last time this year on New Year’s Eve.

Superb entertainment

The Lyndene Hotel, perched on the seafront, is one of Blackpool’s unique venues as it welcomes tourists and visitors all year round.

Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool

Its website says that it offers more than 141 fully equipped and tastefully decorated en suite bedrooms.

“The Lyndene Hotel offers superb compered entertainment EVERY NIGHT of the year,” it adds.

You can see all of Jimmy’s Lyndene dates for 2019 below.

Jimmy Cricket's Lyndene Hotel dates in 2019

Jimmy announced earlier this year that he is to spend a FIFTH season at the Lyndene Hotel.

See next year’s dates below and visit the hotel’s website here.

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

Returning to what has become my second home working alongside many talented singers and old friends like @MALFORDUK , my thanks goes to Claire @TowerTopEnts and @LyndeneHotel the Manager Paul, and all the Team members for their hospitality and support over the last four years

Derby show is latest in busy Christmas schedule 150 150 mhamer

Derby show is latest in busy Christmas schedule

My thanks to organiser Steve at the Irish Club in Derby, it was great to catch up with the members and friends from my last few visits there to this wonderful city!
The Irish Club in Derby was the latest show during Jimmy Cricket’s busy Christmas season.

Saturday’s event was the fifth of 12 in just under five weeks for the well-known funnyman.

Jimmy Cricket enjoyed his show at the Irish Club in Derby during his busy Christmas season.
Jimmy, 74, tweeted: “My thanks to organiser Steve at the Irish Club in Derby.
“It was great to catch up with the members and friends from my last few visits there to this wonderful city!🎭
His next destinations include Rochdale (3 December), Bolton-by-Bowland (6 December) and Blackburn (8 December), the latest a recent addition to the schedule.
And then on 11 December, Jimmy is back at his favourite Blackpool hotel.

The famous entertainer has been doing regular shows at the Lyndene for the past few years.

Several acts usually perform twice per night, once each in different lounges at the hotel.

Superb entertainment

The Lyndene Hotel, perched on the seafront, is one of Blackpool’s unique venues as it welcomes tourists and visitors all year round.

Its website says that it offers more than 141 fully equipped and tastefully decorated en suite bedrooms.

“The Lyndene Hotel offers superb compered entertainment EVERY NIGHT of the year,” it adds.

You can see the rest of Jimmy’s Lyndene dates for 2019 below.

Jimmy Cricket's Lyndene Hotel dates in 2019

Jimmy announced earlier this year that he is to spend a FIFTH season at the Lyndene Hotel.

See next year’s dates below and visit the hotel’s website here.

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

Returning to what has become my second home working alongside many talented singers and old friends like @MALFORDUK , my thanks goes to Claire @TowerTopEnts and @LyndeneHotel the Manager Paul, and all the Team members for their hospitality and support over the last four years