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Helping Rochdale priest celebrate diamond jubilee 150 150 mhamer

Helping Rochdale priest celebrate diamond jubilee

Jimmy Cricket, Fr David O'Kane and friendsJimmy Cricket was honoured to be the guest entertainer at a celebratory dinner organised to mark one of his local clergy celebrating 60 years of being a Catholic priest.

On what was a great evening at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall in Rochdale, Fr David O’Kane hosted a dinner to celebrate his diamond Jubilee milestone.

Fr David O'Kane is the parish priest at Sacred Heart in Rochdale

Fr O’Kane has been based at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church for over a couple of decades. During this time he has hosted some charity dinners and concerts which have featured famous comedian Jimmy.

Sacred Heart was in fact one of Jimmy’s former parishes when he first moved into his adopted home town of Rochdale.

This diamond jubilee event was a wonderful occasion with the hall full of parishioners and friends of Fr O’Kane (pictured above).

The second part of Fr O’Kane’s celebration will be a special diamond jubilee Mass to be held at Sacred Heart RC Church on Friday 16 June.

Jimmy and his wife, May, have also been invited to attend this service and, as he has no work commitments on this date,  he is delighted he can attend this occasion as well!

Sacred Heart in Rochdale

It’s Showtime! 150 150 mhamer

It’s Showtime!

A train forms the backdrop for all the performers in Sentimental Journey

A train forms the backdrop for all the performers in Sentimental Journey at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre

A railway station is the nostalgic setting for a variety summer show starring comedian Jimmy Cricket.

The Belfast-born funnyman has since May been appearing in Sentimental Journey to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Entertainers Mike Lee and Barry Moon

Entertainers Mike Lee and Barry Moon

The story goes that a train has broken down at the Royal Hippodrome station  so, while everyone waits for it to be repaired, the station master and “the man from head office” arrange some entertainment to keep people amused.

It transports the audience back to an era when a small company of talented individuals would sing, dance and tell jokes.

For a video slideshow of the performers from the show, visit Jimmy’s homepage here or go to the Wellie Boot channel on YouTube.

The host for the evening is the singer Mike Lee, who plays the train’s inspector, and at the start of the show he bumps into the train’s conductor – none other than the talented impressionist Barry Moon.

Barry Moon sings at the Hippodrome

Barry Moon sings at the Royal Hippodrome

Jimmy Cricket said: “Both Barry and Mike are also the show’s producers and they have done a great job at putting this show together.”

The Showtime Dancers in Sentimental Journey are Nick, Jo, Lauren and Janine.

Also appearing are world-renowned tribute acts Colin Gold and Tracy Lea.

Colin, who starred on ITV’s Stars in Their Eyes, has gone on to become one of the most experienced and acclaimed Billy Fury acts in the world. Halfway to Paradise was one of Fury’s best-known songs.

Tracy Lee and dancers Nick, Jo, Lauren and Janine

Tracy Lee & dancers Nick, Jo, Lauren & Janine

Connie Francis’ greatest hits included Who’s Sorry Now, Lipstick on Your Collar and Stupid Cupid. Tracy also appeared on Stars in Their Eyes, a British television talent show screened on Saturday nights from 21 July 1990 to 23 December 2006 in which contestants impersonated showbiz stars.

Jimmy, Colin and Tracy recently appeared live in Eastbourne on ITV’s breakfast show, Daybreak.

* Performances for Sentimental Journey are at 8.15 each Tuesday and Wednesday night throughout the summer. Tickets cost £12 and £17 – go here for more information.

Enjoying the vintage times 150 150 mhamer

Enjoying the vintage times

Jimmy Cricket and Karl of the Vintage Corporation BandIt was vintage stuff in more ways than one when veteran comedian Jimmy Cricket performed in Maidstone last Saturday.

The famous Irish comedian appeared on stage with the magnificent and very accomplished Vintage Corporation band whose members all come from the Kent region.

Jimmy was also on stage with the band last autumn at the Hawkinge Community Centre in Folkestone. This time it was the Hazlitt Arts Centre in Maidstone.Poster for the show involving Jimmy Cricket and the Vintage Corporation Band

The band, who recreate the sounds of the 60s and 70s, have worked with many comedians, including  Tom O’Connor, Mick Miller, Roy Walker and the Grumbleweeds.

The photo at the top of this page is of Jimmy with Karl, the lead singer of the Vintage Corporation Band.

Jimmy had just returned backstage from his usual mad dash to the theatre’s foyer to sell copies of his DVD when Karl bumped into him – which is why he is carrying a box in the photo!

Irish comedian in the headlines… 150 150 mhamer

Irish comedian in the headlines…

Jimmy Cricket in Eastbourne

Jimmy Cricket’s appearance in a family entertainment extravaganza at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne, East Sussex, this summer has hit the headlines.

The loveable Irish comedian features in two big stories about the show.

One is on the Eastbourne Herald website and here is an excerpt from the article:

Over the last few years Eastbourne has begun to finally shake free of its historic tag as a pensioner’s paradise but this summer one corner of the Sunshine Coast will be proudly plonking itself well and truly inside a time warp.

Having opened way back in 1883, the Royal Hippodrome Theatre has played host to stars of the stage as diverse as Peter Sellers, Ken Dodd, Vera Lynn and even escape artists extraordinaire Harry Houdini.

But despite surviving an unfair roasting from Sir Bruce Forsyth, who publicly laid into the venue’s facilities during an interview – he was starring at the Hippodrome when he was called up to compere at the London Palladium – the much-loved theatre has fallen on hard times.

Where once it staged regular shows, attracting sell-out crowds of more than 1,000 all year round, now the bill is limited to the summer months and played out in front of audiences which are often far more modest.

This summer though, the powers that be are hoping for a return to the halcyon days of yesteryear as the venue once again gears up for its summer variety show – the longest running of its type anywhere in the UK.

A Sentimental Journey kicks off on May 1 and runs all the way up until the end of September and boasts an array of acts ready to tread the boards in what promises to be a fun-filled and nostalgia twinged trip back to the 1950s and 60s – a time when variety ruled the world and places like the Hippodrome attracted the biggest stars in the businesses.

The line-up includes a Billy Fury tribute act who blossomed after an appearance on hit TV show Stars in Their Eyes and a team of show time dancers who will no doubt high kick their way through some of the popular numbers from yesteryear.

Comperes Barry Moon and Mike Lee will keep things ticking over with their mix of conversation and comedy while Tracey Lea appears as the much-loved Connie Francis.

Top of the bill and very much the main attraction though is a man perhaps best known for his letters from his mammy and an inability to tell his left from his right.

Jimmy Cricket in Eastbourne

Jimmy Cricket has been charming crowds since first stepping onto a Butlins stage as a 18-year-old red coat back in 1966. England may have been winning the World Cup, but over the sea in the small Irish town of Mosney a young comic was developing a winning formula which would carry him through the next four decades and see him leave an indelible print on the comedy consciousness of all who saw him.

Read the full story here

And Jimmy is also mentioned prominently in a feature on, which says it is “Britain’s biggest and best theatre and performing arts website”.

The story is about Eastbourne’s Royal Hippodrome opening its doors again May with a five-month run of a new summer season show called Sentimental Journey – in which Jimmy will be starring.

Here is a section from the story:

The summer show, which is being produced to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, is a family variety show appropriately called Sentimental Journey. This will take you on a journey back to the time of the coronation (1953) with Stars in Their Eyes contestants Colin Gold as Billy Fury and Tracy Lea, as Connie Francis. The show will also have its own Show Time Dancers and alternating compères Barry Moon and Mike Lee. Headlining is a man who has been described as “one of the greatest front of tabs comedians” and family favourite, Jimmy Cricket.

I had an opportunity to talk to Jimmy about the show and the theatre in which it plays.

“This is the Cinderella theatre in Eastbourne and the fact that it could have closed makes me weep. I’ve gone out on a limb sometimes, when I see other theatres closing, and I have had irate letters back from some councillors asking why I am butting in, but I can’t just stand by and watch them go under.

“I was here three or four years ago. I stood in for Syd Little for a few nights in the summer when he had other commitments, and when I had the greasepaint on and I got the smell of the theatre in my nostrils I knew I wanted to come back. It’s wonderful to be here for a real summer season, with a time-honoured and classic variety show.”

Read the full story here

Photos on this page supplied by Peter Gurr

Jimmy and the rest of the Eastbourne show entertainers

Jimmy and the rest of the Eastbourne show entertainers