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Charlie Williams – one of the funniest men to grace a stage 150 150 mhamer

Charlie Williams – one of the funniest men to grace a stage

Hi folks! Paying tribute here to one of the funniest men that ever graced a stage, my friend the great Charlie Williams! #keepvarietyalive

Jimmy Cricket fondly remembered multi-talented trailblazer Charlie Williams in his latest newspaper column.

Writing in the Blackpool Gazette on Tuesday 24 May, Jimmy said Charlie had broken down racial barriers and had successful careers as both a comedian and a professional footballer.

Charlie was born in Yorkshire of Jamaican descent and was the first black comedian to make the big time on British TV.

He found fame on hit 1970s TV show The Comedians and developed the comedy catchphrase “me old flower”.

Others he appeared with on Granada’s The Comedians included Frank Carson, Tom O’Connor and Jim Bowen.

He went on to host the Golden Shot game show.

Previously, he had played professional football for Doncaster Rovers.

Charlie was awarded an MBE in 1966 for his charity work.

He died in 2006 at the age of 78, having been ill for some time with Parkinson’s and dementia.

Jimmy introduced his latest newspaper column on social media by describing his friend Charlie as “one of the funniest men that ever graced a stage”.

His column began: “I’ve been working on an autobiography dear read­er, but who hasn’t during the lockdowns, when we’ve had so much time on our hands?

“I think the trick is to revisit it now that things are back to normal.

Ronald Reagan’s 80 chapters

“To keep fired up, Mrs Cricket bought me a few autobiographies I expressed an interest in.

“The first one was Michael McIntyre and when I got to the end I said to her: ‘Look, Michael’s finished his life story at 23 chapters, I’m up to 29 chapters and I’ve still got a way to go.’

“She said: ‘I know, but he’s in his forties, you’re 76!’

“Ouch!

“I then opened Ronald Reagan’s autobiography: ‘Look!’ I said. “It took Ronnie 80 chapters to finish his.’

“‘Yes’, she said. ‘But he had two jobs. First, he was an actor, and then he became President of the United States!’

Won the nation’s hearts

“You know that got me thinking.

“It’s taking me all my time to make a living out of being a full-time comedian, so I’m in awe of anyone who can climb the lad­der in one job and then go into a totally different occupation and become a resounding success in that one as well.

“Older readers will remember a black comedian, Charlie Williams, who won the nation’s hearts when he came on the television programme The Comedians.

“Charlie’s wonderful Yorkshire accent endeared him to millions of fans.

“In fact, he was breaking down racial barriers way before the woke people came on the scene.

“However, I wonder how many people actually knew that Charlie had an illustrious career as a professional footballer, playing centre-half for Doncas­ter Rovers.

“As soon as Charlie reached retirement, a career in showbiz beckoned and he moved seamlessly from kicking a ball to holding a mic.

“Sadly, he developed Par­kinson’s Disease, but trouper that he was with the help of his friend Neil Crossland, he carried on touring.

“Neil helped him to dress, led him onstage and Charlie did his act sitting on a chair.

“I have a happy memory of them both coming over to my house in Rochdale, and we all swapped showbiz stories over lunch.”

Also read: Little and Large: It was a joy to work with them both

Mary’s Meals: Charity marks memorable milestone 150 150 mhamer

Mary’s Meals: Charity marks memorable milestone

My thanks to #FrFrankieMulgrew and all the Team Members here at headquarters for the invite to Mary's Meals here in the great City of Glasgow for the celebrations of reaching the monumental figure of now providing meals for over 2million children in over 19 countries around the world! #pleasehelpifyoucanJimmy Cricket helped charity Mary’s Meals celebrate passing the great milestone of providing food for two million children.

The famous comedian was in Glasgow earlier this week for the special event.

Mary’s Meals supports feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education.

Jimmy’s comedian-turned-priest son, Fr Frankie Mulgrew, is a long-standing supporter of Mary’s Meals.

Jimmy said on social media: “My thanks to #FrFrankieMulgrew and all the Team Members here at headquarters for the invite to #MarysMeals here in the great City of Glasgow…

“… for the celebrations of reaching the monumental figure of now providing meals for over 2million children in over 19 countries around the world! #pleasehelpifyoucan”

Fr Frankie has previously written two books, with the proceeds from both going to Mary’s Meals.

He compiled and edited Does God LOL? (LOL is internet slang for Laugh Out Loud), published in 2013.

Sir Ken Dodd, Ricky Tomlinson, Tim Vine and the late Frank Carson were among the famous showbiz names to contribute to the book.

God’s love and power

Fr Frankie also compiled and edited Miracles R Us: Supernatural Miracles In The Catholic Church.

A summary of the book, published three years ago, asks: “Do miracles really happen? Are there miracles in the 21st century just as there were during the life of Jesus?

“This book proves that God’s love and power to traFr Frankie Mulgrew leaves church after saying his first Mass as a Catholic priestnsform hearts and lives is as real today as it was in the time of Jesus.”

It includes a contribution from Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

Fr Frankie (right) was a professional comedian like his dad before being ordained in 2013.

The Salford-based Roman Catholic priest had the stage name of Frankie Doodle as an entertainer.

Also read: Packed show is a family affair for Mary’s Meals fundraiser

 

Picture posted in honour of those lost to Covid 150 150 mhamer

Picture posted in honour of those lost to Covid

The profile picture was in honour of those lost to Covid-19

Jimmy Cricket updated his profile picture on social media to remember those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

The famous comedian uploaded a photograph of him alongside several other well-known celebrities.

They included the late Frank Carson and also fellow funnyman Bobby Ball, who died in October aged 76.

Bobby, one half of the popular comedy double act Cannon and Ball, passed away at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The actor and comedian had tested positive for Covid-19.

Bobby starred in several popular sitcoms.

They included Not Going Out, Last of the Summer Wine and Benidorm.

Jimmy posted the photo on Tuesday 23 March, which marked exactly one year since the first coronavirus lockdown.

Tommy Cannon and Wee Jimmy Frankie also featured on the picture.

The text on the photo said: “In honour of those lost to Covid-19” and “UK national day of reflection.”

A national minute’s silence was held at midday, which parliaments across the UK paused business to observe.

On 23 March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tough restrictions on people’s lives aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19.

Since then, the UK’s official death toll has risen from 364 to more than 126,000.

Also read: Bobby Ball: An original, funny man – we all loved him

Bobby Ball: An original, funny man – we all loved him 150 150 mhamer

Bobby Ball: An original, funny man – we all loved him

Shocked and saddened to hear about my friend Bobby Ball, an original funny man, he made us laugh and cry, we all loved him. With his partner Tommy, Cannon and Ball were one of the finest Comedy Double Acts to grace our stages! Our thoughts & prayers are with Yvonne and his family!

Jimmy Cricket said he was “shocked and saddened” to hear fellow comedian and friend Bobby Ball had died.

Bobby, one half of the famous comedy double act Cannon and Ball, passed away at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Wednesday aged 76.

The actor and comedian had tested positive for Covid-19.

His long-time friend and colleague Tommy Cannon led the tributes to Bobby, saying: “Rock on, my good friend, I can’t believe this, I’m devastated.”

Bobby also starred in several popular sitcoms.

They included Not Going Out, Last of the Summer Wine and Benidorm.

Jimmy said Bobby – pictured right on the photo above – was “an original funny man”.

He added: “He made us laugh and cry, we all loved him.

“With his partner Tommy, Cannon and Ball were one of the finest Comedy Double Acts to grace our stages!

“Our thoughts & prayers are with Yvonne and his family.”

Bobby was born in Oldham on 28 January 1944.

He met Tommy while working in a factory as a welder.

Cannon and Ball – their real names are Thomas Derbyshire and Robert Harper – began their entertainment careers as comedians on the cabaret circuit in the north of England.

Bobby was famous for twanging his braces on stage and saying: “Rock on, Tommy!”

The other famous entertainers on the photo above – including Jimmy of course – are the Krankies, Frank Carson and Paul Daniels.

Also read: Jimmy inspired to write show after seeing success of fellow comedian Bobby Ball’s first steps into writing for the stage

 

Jimmy’s plea to fellow funnymen to help save live comedy 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy’s plea to fellow funnymen to help save live comedy

To all professional comedians, join the challenge to post a photo of you in your job. Just a picture, no description. The goal is to flood social media with our profession. Copy the text and post Performing arts #savelivecomedy

Save Live Comedy
Jimmy Cricket has been encouraging his fellow comedians to help save live comedy.
A survey conducted in June 2020 suggested the comedy industry was on the brink of collapse.
It revealed a third of comedy venues believe they will be forced to close within the next six months.
And over 45% of the industry have seriously thought about leaving comedy because of the coronavirus pandemic.
There are claims it runs the risk of being forgotten by emergency government arts funding.
People are being urged to sign an open letter to the UK government.

The Save Comedy Live website says it believes that comedy is art and should be treated as such.

It asks for several things, including that comedy is treated on a par with the rest of the performing arts sector by government and funding bodies.

This includes having the same access to the Cultural Rescue Package.

It also requests a clear timeline for reopening venues without social distancing, taking into account official guidance.

‘Flood social media’

The fear is that if live comedy industry is not supported immediately, the sector will risk disappearing as an art form.

Famous Northern Irish funnyman Jimmy tweeted: “To all professional comedians, join the challenge to post a photo of you in your job.

“Just a picture, no description. The goal is to flood social media with our profession. Copy the text and post Performing arts#savelivecomedy.”

Jimmy accompanied the words with the post above right featuring himself, Frank Carson, Duncan Norvelle, Norman Collier and Paul Adams.

The Live Comedy Association said: “British live comedy is in crisis – let’s #SaveLiveComedy!
“1) Sign the open letter to the UK government & arts funders at savelivecomedy.co.uk
“2) Tweet a memorable live comedy experience with the hashtag #SaveLiveComedy.”
British live comedy is in crisis - let’s #SaveLiveComedy!
Jimmy Cricket’s LEP column: My celebrity blunders 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy Cricket’s LEP column: My celebrity blunders

Well folks! Have you ever accidently put your foot in it! ???? ???? Here's a fun loving look at a couple of little blunders I had along the way in the world of showbusiness!
Jimmy Cricket reveals in his latest LEP column some blunders he has made in relation to fellow celebrities.
Well folks! Have you ever accidently put your foot in it! ???? ???? Here's a fun loving look at a couple of little blunders I had along the way in the world of showbusiness!
In the 19 August edition of the Lancashire Post newspaper, the Northern Irish entertainer recalls when he failed to recognise two well-known actors.
Jimmy highlighted his article on social media by tweeting: “Well folks! Have you ever accidentally put your foot in it!????????Here’s a fun-loving look at a couple of little blunders I had along the way in the world of showbusiness!????
He says he had once been talking to the late great Andrew Sachs, who played Manuel in the classic comedy Fawlty Towers.
It was only when somebody shouted in their direction “look, it’s Manuel!” that Jimmy realised.
And he admits: “I’m ashamed to say it didn’t dawn on me.
Ground-swallowing moment
“Of course, I apologised profusely. He, to his eternal credit, let me off the hook by replying ‘why should you recognise me dear fellow when I’m not in my working clothes’.”
Jimmy continues: “My next ground-swallowing moment involved a star from Coronation Street.
“A gentleman called Gerry Kelly hosted an Irish TV chat show and he flew over to Granada Studios in Manchester to record an episode.
“I found myself sitting beside none other than Jim McDonald.
“If you remember, Jim was married to Liz on the street. And, as we were both from Northern Ireland, we had a rare old time chin-wagging.
“Now, for some reason, I’d got it into my head that his first real name was Jim as well as his Corrie Street character. Wrong!
“After a few minutes, he leaned over and said ‘it’s just a character, my real name’s Charlie’.
Jimmy says he himself sometimes got mistaken for another famous Irish comedian – the late Frank Carson – on numerous occasions.
 
Dana, Ken Morley and the late Frank Carson feature in nostalgic Twitter post 150 150 mhamer

Dana, Ken Morley and the late Frank Carson feature in nostalgic Twitter post

One of the photos included Jimmy Cricket and Frank Carson

Jimmy Cricket and the late Frank Carson were among several celebrities featured in a social media post recently.

The message on Twitter included several photographs and said: “When visited Ross’s Court, Belfast, 25 yrs ago, with Frank Carson, Dana, Gerry Anderson, Mary peters and ken Morley (Reg from coronation street).”

Northern Ireland comedy legend Frank Carson passed away in early 2012.

Jimmy Cricket, Dana and the late Frank Carson featured in the Tweet