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Lancashire Post

The tall Texan who saved the day in Rochdale 150 150 mhamer

The tall Texan who saved the day in Rochdale

My Feb @leponline column folks, here I tell how at the very last minute, the Texan @AndrewJBoyer with his great voice, saved the Remembrance Day Concert at the Rochdale Town Hall for me and my fellow performers, which was in aid of the Lord Mayor, Billy Sherrin's Charities!

Jimmy Cricket has recalled the story about a Texan who came to the rescue in an English town.

Let’s hear it for the wee man is a musical which Jimmy created a few years ago.
It is about Northern Ireland’s only recipient of the Victoria Cross, submariner James Magennis.
The musical was performed in front of 300 people in aid of the Mayor of Rochdale’s charity appeal on Remembrance Day last year.
However, as Jimmy recounts in his latest Lancashire Post column, a week before the event, the singer playing the title role pulled out.
So Jimmy and wife May frantically began looking for a replacement and even put a plea out on social media channel Facebook.
And just a few days before the concert at Rochdale Town Hall, a Texan called Andrew J Boyer called them.
Andrew J Boyer will play war hero Jim Magennis in Jimmy Cricket's musical at Rochdale Town Hall on Remembrance SundayAndrew (pictured left) is a 24-year-old piano-vocalist from Dallas who had just moved to Salford.
He has been a performer for almost a decade, and sings and plays the piano from time to time on cruise ships.

The musical tells the courageous story of Magennis who joined the Royal Navy aged 15.

He won the UK’s highest military honour for his bravery onboard a midget sub that attacked the Japanese cruiser Takao on 31 July 1945.

His job was to attach six mines to the enemy vessel in the risky covert operation in Singapore Harbour.

Jimmy and @RochdaleMayor Coun Billy Sheerin having a good old yarn about the James Magennis play

Jimmy with Bill Sherrin, the Mayor of Rochdale

However, he ran into difficulties and faced grave danger.

But he persisted with the mission before returning to the sub exhausted.

King George VI recognised his heroics by awarding him the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry.

Magennis continued his service until 1949 when he returned home with his wife Edna Skidmore and their four sons.

In 1952, he lost his job and was forced to sell his VC medal.

However, an anonymous benefactor later returned it to him on the condition he did not sell it again.

Blue plaque

Magennis spent the rest of his life in Yorkshire working as an electrician before dying of cancer in 1986 aged 66.

His heroics were commemorated in 2018 with a special blue plaque in his honour.

Belfast-born Jimmy, who has lived in Rochdale for many years, wrote both the words and the music for the play.

It also featured actor Charles Lawson, actress and singer Sue Devaney and comedian Jimmy himself.

Find out where Jimmy is performing and his other forthcoming shows by viewing all his tour dates on this website.
My chance meeting with ‘courageous’ BBC journalist 150 150 mhamer

My chance meeting with ‘courageous’ BBC journalist

Here is my November LEP column where I tell of my chance meeting with this wonderful courageous lady @OrlaGuerin in Manchester Airport on my way to New York this summer!

Jimmy Cricket has been recalling the moment he met a BBC TV news reporter on his way to catch a plane.

The famous entertainer was travelling to the United States to attend his daughter Jamie’s wedding earlier this year.

In his latest Lancashire Post column, Jimmy tells about his encounter with news presenter Orla Guerin.

He posted the image above and an accompanying comment on Twitter about his November column.

Jimmy said: “I tell of my chance meeting with this wonderful courageous lady @OrlaGuerin in Manchester Airport on my way to New York this summer!🎭

Orla Guerin MBE is an Irish journalist currently working as a BBC International Correspondent based in Istanbul.

Jimmy says: “How many times have we looked at our television screens and heard those dulcet Irish tones calling out from some war-ravaged part of the globe?

“Shining a light on injustice, holding dictators to task and giving a platform to the oppressed and downtrodden?

‘Spoke with affection’

“Now here she was standing opposite me uttering these immortal words ‘what’s your surname again?’

“Yes readers, I was face to face with BBC correspondent Orla Guerrin. And she couldn’t have been nicer.

“We weren’t in a life-threatening situation now, although going through security at Manchester Airport can be quite stressful.

“Orla was a delight.

“She smiled and, after she’d retrieved her belongings from the security belt, Mrs Cricket took a photograph of the two of us.

“Then, later on in the airport lounge, we talked about comedy and the entertain industry.

“She spoke with affection about the entertainers from her hometown in Dublin that we both knew.

“Then she was off to Istanbul for another assignment and we were off to New York for our daughter Jamie’s wedding.”

My football song intended to inspire Rochdale FC 150 150 mhamer

My football song intended to inspire Rochdale FC

Jimmy Cricket writes about football chants in his latest column in the Lancashire Post

Jimmy Cricket writes about football chants in his latest newspaper column.

The June article in the Lancashire Post begins: “The other morning I was eating my breakfast and it was going, snap crackle and pop, which surprised me. It was a kipper.

Then for some reason football songs came into my head. You know the ones fans sing to cheer on their favourite team. I don’t mean the things they chant like, ‘What a load of rubbish’, or, “There’s only one ‘insert coach or manager’s name here.’

No I mean the songs they adopt from other sources. Take the jazz classic, When the Saints Go Marching In, Manchester United fans have changed it to, When The Reds Go Marching In. West Ham fans have hijacked an old Music Hall song called, I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles, and wait till you hear this:

My son, who is a catholic Priest, (he calls me dad and I call him father), was given a a treat a few weeks ago when one of the parishioners in Salford invited him to Liverpool’s ground Anfield, to watch them take on Leicester City.

He said when the home crowd broke into, You’ll Never Walk Alone, the emotion was palpable. When my other son Dale, took his family to Portugal recently they went to see Sporting Lisbon play and the home fans were singing My Way.

All this is leading up to a secret I want to share with you: Many moons ago when I first arrived in my adopted town Rochdale, the local football were languishing at the bottom of their division and I, like a lot of club comics at the time did jokes chronicling their ineptitude.

Things like, I rang Rochdale Football Club and asked them what time was the kick off this coming Saturday. The voice at the other end said, ‘What time can you make it?’, and there’s more. The steward saw two guys climbing the wall at Rochdale Football Club. He shouted, ‘Hey, you two get back in and watch the match!’

‘Many happy memories’ of the late Barry Chuckle 150 150 mhamer

‘Many happy memories’ of the late Barry Chuckle

Jimmy remembers the late Barry Chuckle in his October column in the Lancashire Post

Jimmy Cricket has paid tribute to the late Barry Chuckle in his latest newspaper column.

Barry, one half of the comedy duo, the Chuckle Brothers, whose main catch phrase was  “To me, to you”, died in August this year aged 73 following a short period of ill health.

The popular and likeable entertainer, whose real name was Barry Elliott, most famously starred in ChuckleVision with his brother Paul on the BBC between 1987 and 2009.

In his October column in the Lancashire Post, comedian Jimmy recalls when he performed alongside Barry and Paul in panto.

He writes: “The untimely death of Barry Chuckle in August has prompted a cherished memory of working in pantomime with him and his brother Paul 28 years ago. It was 1990, the Darlington Civic.

“The subject was Cinderella and the boys played Brokers’ Men while I played Buttons. Now wait for this readers, it was a 10-week season. These days most pantos don’t last half that long.

“I got particularly close to Barry because we both stayed in a hotel near the theatre, whereas Paul and his wife rented a cottage a few miles away. As well as loving comedy, something else bonded Barry and I together – food. Let me explain, folks.

“When you’re away from home working in a long run, one of the top priorities is getting a decent meal. Oh yes, you can get a good hearty breakfast in your hotel in the morning, but as the day progresses the hunger pangs start kicking in around tea time, especially in panto, where you have lots of matinees as well as evening performances.

“Barry found the answer to our problems when he discovered Crombie’s. Crombie’s served delightful home cooked grub and, in a sea of fast food establishments, it was an oasis. There we would hold court discussing the joys and perils of showbusiness and generally putting the world to right.

“Yes Barry, you and your brother have given us all so much fun over the years, and you personally have given me so many special happy memories of the meal and laughs we shared together.”

Read the full article at https://www.lep.co.uk/news/column-jimmy-cricket-tribute-to-barry-chuckle-1-9392112

 

Jimmy’s LEP column: My tribute to a great agent 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy’s LEP column: My tribute to a great agent

Jimmy Cricket's June column in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket has been paying tribute to “one of the all-time great theatrical agents” in his latest column in the Lancashire Evening Post.

The 72-year-old comedian recalls the career of Phyllis Rounce, who also managed the likes of Rod Hull and Emu, and Tony Hancock.

Rod Hull was a comedian, best known as a popular entertainer on British television in the 1970s and 1980s. He rarely appeared without Emu, a mute, highly aggressive arm-length puppet modelled on the Australian flightless emu bird.

Hancock was a high-profile comedian and actor during the 1950s and early 1960s, enjoying major success with his BBC series Hancock’s Half Hour, first broadcast on radio and then on television.

Jimmy said Phyllis – who was known as Phil to her friends – was an “exceptional manager who went the extra mile for her artistes”.

He added that she “had a love affair with showbusiness that started during the Second World War.

“She realised the part entertainment could play in boosting soldiers’ morale and keeping their spirits up on the way to the front.

“How lucky was I to be guided by a lady with such a caring nature and such creative vision.”

On social media channel Twitter, Jimmy said the June column in the Preston-based LEP was his “dedication and tribute to one of the all-time great theatrical agents in the world of showbusiness”.

What is Syd of Little and Large fame doing now? 150 150 mhamer

What is Syd of Little and Large fame doing now?

Jimmy Cricket's April column in the Lancashire Post

Jimmy Cricket devoted his latest monthly column in the Lancashire Evening Post to a man who was one half of a famous comedy double act.

Well-known Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy talks in the 30 April edition of the Preston-based newspaper about Syd Little who formed a great show business partnership with Eddie Large.

Syd was the straight man in the Little and Large act, while Eddie Large was generally the funny guy. They had a TV series and appeared in theatres and pantomimes for many years before they split when Eddie had serious health problems.

Syd now performs on cruise ships, most notably on the QE2 (which was retired from active Cunard service on 27 November 2008), and also runs a restaurant in his hometown of Fleetwood in Lancashire called The Steamer with his wife Sheree.

Jim Bowen: Jimmy Cricket pays newspaper tribute 150 150 mhamer

Jim Bowen: Jimmy Cricket pays newspaper tribute

Jimmy Cricket paid tribute to Jim Bowen in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket remembered the late Jim Bowen in his most recent monthly newspaper column in the Lancashire Post.

Broadcaster and comedian Jim, best known for hosting darts-based game show Bullseye in the 1980s and ’90s, died on 14 March at the age of 80.

And Jimmy told some nostalgic anecdotes about his good friend’s life and career in the 26 March edition of the Preston-based paper.

It included the time when presenter Eamonn Andrews arrived on a train to present Jim with the famous Big Red Book on This is Your Life.

Former deputy headmaster Jim, who lived in North Lancashire, began his career as a stand-up comedian on the club circuit in the 1960s. He became a household name when he began presenting Bullseye in 1981. The Sunday tea time show ran for 14 years.

And Jimmy recalled how he threw some darts for charity on Bullseye, while Jim did a sketch with him on his own television show And There’s More.

Click here to watch Jimmy’s appearance on Bullseye.