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The late, great Paul Melba was one of the finest 150 150 mhamer

The late, great Paul Melba was one of the finest

Sad to hear of the passing of one of showbiz finest comedians and impressionist the great Paul Melba, known for his classy mimicking of the great stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, alongside his acclaimed James Mason voice, amongst others! R.I.P.

Jimmy Cricket described Paul Melba, who has died aged 84, as one of the finest comedians and impressionists in showbusiness.

Paul Melba, whose real name was Francis ‘Frank’ Staunton, passed away on 11 August from heart failure.

The dad-of-three grew up in Huyton on Merseyside and went on to enjoy a  successful career on stage and television.

It included him performing at the Royal Variety Performance and he became friends with some famous celebrities.

He was known for voice impressions of stars such as James Mason, John Wayne, Eric Morecambe, Ken Dodd and Billy Connolly.

Paul also did memorable singing impressions of the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr among many others.

Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy said on social media: “Sad to hear of the passing of one of showbiz’s finest comedians and impressionists the great Paul Melba.

‘Great entertainer and gentlemen

“Known for his classy mimicking of the great stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, alongside his acclaimed James Mason voice, amongst others! R.I.P.”

Jimmy’s post prompted tributes from others.

They included:

:: Met him once lovely talented man Jimmy will be greatly missed!

:: A great entertainer and gentlemen, RIP

:: Thank you, he will be sorely missed #PaulMelba x
Jimmy found out there was a fund-raising appeal in the wake of Paul’s death.
He said: “We’re living in difficult times folks, but if you can help financially, by donating a little for this worthy cause! Paul’s Melba’s Funeral Expenses.”

Paul’s daughter, Kate Richards, 50, organised the fundraiser, saying: “I am so sad to say that my Father passed away peacefully at his home in Spain on the 10th of August.

“Unfortunately his financial circumstances were not great and he left no will.

‘Dad would have been so overwhelmed’

“I am sorry to say that we are struggling to find the money to cremate my Father and need to raise the funds to do this due to our own personal financial circumstances.

“Anything you can donate would help towards easing the financial responsibility which has been placed solely with me.

“Many thanks for anything you can spare.

The target was £3,000 and Kate posted again several days later.

She said: “Thank you so much for all of your help, Dad would have been so overwhelmed.

“We have reached the goal with further donations from The Royal Variety Charity & The Water Rats charity.”

Also read: Lord Alton’s ‘wonderful tribute’ to John Hume

Johnny Vegas to also feature in film 150 150 mhamer

Johnny Vegas to also feature in film

Johnny Vegas is appearing in the Womble film

Famous actor and comedian Johnny Vegas is to appear in the Womble movie, which is being filmed on location in North Wales and also features entertainer Jimmy Cricket. 

St Helens-born Johnny is well known for his appearances in the hit ITV comedy drama Benidorm and also for popping up in adverts for tea brand PG Tips with a stuffed puppet monkey!

His addition to the cast is another major coup for the people behind Womble the movie, as it also includes top comedian Jimmy, 69, who will play himself as a talent contest judge.

The film is about a man called Aloysius Rupert Womble (played by actor and comedian Tom Spencer), who is in his 30s and living with Asperger’s Syndrome in a typical seaside resort town.

Children and adults affected by Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviours.

Aloysius’s dream is to become a stand-up comedian. The film is a week-long snapshot of his life as he goes through the trials of living with a cognitive disorder, while dealing with the injustices forced upon him by society and parts of his community.

Over the seven-day period he prepares for the biggest night of his life – a talent show in his local pub.

The film will feature songs from the Beautiful South’s former lead singer Briana Corrigan and American Pie star Thomas Nicholas, as well as a string of original songs written by songwriters especially for the movie.

My movie debut – as a dream maker 150 150 mhamer

My movie debut – as a dream maker

Jimmy Cricket's column in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket says he is looking forward to his role as a talent show judge on his  forthcoming silver screen debut.

But the famous veteran entertainer insists he will not be like Simon Cowell in The X Factor, telling readers of the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post in his monthly column he will be a “dream maker, not a dream breaker”.

Womble, one of the biggest independent movies to be made in North Wales, is being shot over the summer and will be set for release in 2016.

It is about a man called Aloysius Rupert Womble (played by actor and comedian Tom Spencer) who is in his 30s and living with Asperger’s Syndrome in a typical seaside resort town.

Children and adults affected by Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviours.

Aloysius’s dream is to become a stand-up comedian. The film is a week-long snapshot of his life as he goes through the trials of living with a cognitive disorder, while dealing with the injustices forced upon him by society and parts of his community.

Over the seven-day period he prepares for the biggest night of his life – a talent show in his local pub.

Jimmy says in the Lancashire Evening Post: “Hopefully, the film will be shown in 2016 at the Cannes Film Festival.”