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Belfast celebs meet at Olympic event 150 150 mhamer

Belfast celebs meet at Olympic event

Jimmy Cricket and Dame Mary Peters in Southport

Jimmy Cricket and Dame Mary Peters in Southport. Photos for this story were taken by Alan at Photos2U

Two Belfast celebrities met up in June at an event to mark the year the Olympic Games returned to London.

Olympic gold medallist Dame Mary Elizabeth Peters and top comedian Jimmy Cricket were at the Southport Theatre for a special dance show to celebrate the Olympic Torch coming to the Merseyside seaside resort ahead of London 2012.

Jimmy was asked to compere the show which was organised by the Liverpool-based Allied Dancing Association.

The event’s other special guest was Dame Mary Peters who won gold medal in the pentathlon in the 1972 Munich Games. She represented Northern Ireland at every Commonwealth Games between 1958 and 1974, winning two pentathlon gold medals, plus a gold and a silver for the shot put.

She was born in Lancashire but lived in Belfast from the age of 11.

Jimmy, who was born in Belfast and has lived in Rochdale for many years, said: “It was a real thrill to meet Mary in Southport as she has been one of the great ambassadors of Northern Ireland over the years.

“Her Olympic triumph in Munich was a tremendous achievement, one which should inspire all our home athletes who are currently getting ready for London 2012.”

London also hosted the Olympic Games in 1908 and 1948. The 2012 Games means it will become the first city to have hosted three modern-day Olympics.

Jimmy Cricket and Dame Mary Peters in Southport

A big step nearer to the priesthood… 150 150 mhamer

A big step nearer to the priesthood…

The service was held at the St Mary’s College chapel

The service was held at the St Mary’s College chapel in Oscott, Birmingham

…that’s not Jimmy Cricket but his youngest son, Frankie Mulgrew.

Frankie has been ordained a deacon and is now just 12 months away from becoming a Roman Catholic priest.

The service was held in the chapel at St Mary’s College, Oscott in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham on Saturday (30 June).

His diaconate ordination means Frankie, who describes himself on Twitter as a trainee priest/ex-comic, is a deacon for the next year and can perform certain functions of the Catholic Church.

Frankie in his robes with his cousin Gavin

Frankie in his robes with his cousin Gavin

And on his Facebook page, Frankie said: “Many thanks all, for your very kind comments…and just to clarify, my little sis jumped the gun with the ‘Fr’ comment…I became a Deacon last sat… (I knew she’d dose off).

“Priesthood is hopefully just a year off.. but I’m still available for weddings, baptisms, funerals…sideline in balloon modelling, etc.”

Frankie’s journey to this point has involved six years of study, with his first 12 months at the English College in Valladolid in north-central Spain to participate in a pre-novitiate year (contemplative foundation).

He then moved to the five years of full study which has got him to this stage. Four of those years were at St Cuthbert’s College in Ushaw, Durham, but it closed a year ago and his studies were transferred to Birmingham.  He has one more academic year to undertake, which starts back in Birmingham in September.

His father, famous Irish comedian Jimmy,  said: “The service was a long one! It was two hours and 15 minutes. It involved 10 other candidates who were also ordained deacons and they were from Birmingham, Nottingham, Hallam and East Anglia, to name a few.

“The service was presided over by Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham. There were in total around 70 members of the clergy there to support the ordination of the 11 candidates, plus sisters and brothers from other religious orders. Add to that family members and friends, and it all meant the chapel was rather full.

Frankie celebrates with his family in a photo taken by Tim Vine

Frankie celebrates with his family in a photo taken by Tim Vine

“The service itself asks for a commitment from the deacon to the church and to the local bishop. It also involves the handing-out of a book of Gospels to the deacon and they also receive their vestments.

“There is also a vow of celibacy taken, so that a full and unencumbered life can be devoted to the ministry of the church.”

Comedian Tim Vine, a very good friend of Frankie, also attended the service to see Frankie being ordained a deacon.

Frankie has now started his summer placement at the parish of Our Lady of the Valley in Lancashire. It covers the Clitheroe and Sabden communities within the beautiful Ribble Valley.

Jimmy added: “Frankie had a placement back in January at this parish for a month and really enjoyed his time there. This time he is only there for a fortnight, before he travels to London where he has been appointed as a voluntary chaplain to the athletes at the Olympic Village during the Olympic Games.

“He then has a bit of time in August, before he returns to St Mary’s College at the start of September.”

Joker Jimmy performs in joker’s club! 150 150 mhamer

Joker Jimmy performs in joker’s club!

Jimmy Cricket and friends at the Joker's Workingmen's Club in Selston

Jimmy Cricket performed last month in the aptly named Joker’s Workingmen’s Club in Selston, Nottinghamshire.

The Irish comedian appeared on 10 March in a pre-St Patrick’s Day celebration where he “had a wonderful time”.

Gerry Molumby, one of the organisers, is well-known within the Irish community and is hosting a celebratory event in tribute to film star Maureen O’Hara at the Irish Embassy in London in June.

  • Watch a slideshow of all the photos relating to this event – supplied by Gerry Molumby – at Jimmy’s flickr pages here.
  • Jimmy Cricket and friends at the Joker's Workingmen's Club in Selston
    Jimmy Cricket and friends at the Joker's Workingmen's Club in Selston
    Jimmy Cricket and friends at the Joker's Workingmen's Club in Selston

    Meeting a magician 150 150 mhamer

    Meeting a magician

    Danny Lee Grew with Jimmy and, left, Norman Jacobs, chairman of the charity which runs West Cliff Theatre

    Danny Lee Grew with Jimmy and, left, Norman Jacobs, chairman of the charity which runs West Cliff Theatre

    Jimmy Cricket was treated to a magic trick by a fellow entertainer at an Essex theatre.

    Danny Lee Grew, a London-based magician, performed a piece of magic involving a sponge to the delight of famous Irish comedian Jimmy and Norman Jacobs, chairman of the charity which runs the West Cliff Theatre in Clacton-on-Sea.

    Danny was one of the first performers to entertain at the new Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London. He entertained a 5,000-strong crowd with his close-up magic and also performed for many celebrities throughout the day.

    He is the resident magician for Marvin’s Magic at Hamleys toy store and Harrods of Knightsbridge, and was a Bluecoat entertainer at Pontin’s Holiday Park in Prestatyn, North Wales.

    Celebrities other than Jimmy who have seen Danny’s magic include musician Peter Andre, pop band Madness, Duncan Bannatyne of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den and players from West Ham United Football Club.

    Visit Danny’s website here

    Video of the trick can be seen on the homepage of this website.

    Teaching a fellow showbiz star to juggle 150 150 mhamer

    Teaching a fellow showbiz star to juggle

    Jimmy Cricket has been teaching Ray Quinn how to juggle

    Jimmy Cricket has been teaching Ray Quinn how to juggle

    Veteran Irish comedian Jimmy Cricket has been giving juggling lessons to actor, dancer and singer Ray Quinn.

    The pair appeared in the pantomime Cinderella at the Darlington Civic Theatre which finished on Sunday 15 January.

    Jimmy, who played Baron Hardup, said he enjoyed working with all the cast during the six-week showing of the panto.

    “We got Cinderella to the ball!” laughed Jimmy this week.

    “I have found a great friend in Ray Quinn and you can see me teaching him to juggle on YouTube.”

    The juggling video can also be found on the homepage here on Jimmy’s website and on Ray’s own official site.

    Jimmy added: “There must have been about 65 panto shows in all as there were often two a day. It was very intensive but thoroughly enjoyable.”

    Ray Quinn, who was Prince Charming in the Darlington panto, is engaged to theatre star Emma Stephens who played Cinderella.

    They first met when they starred together in Grease in London’s West End several years ago.

    Former Brookside actor Ray shot to fame when he finished runner-up to Leona Lewis in the 2007 series of The X Factor and two years later he won ITV’s Dancing on Ice with professional ice skater Maria Filippov.

    “Ray’s a good-looking guy. He’s got a terrific voice and dances very well too. I think he could very easily become the next Michael Bublé [Canadian singer and actor]. Ray, Emma and the rest of the cast were great working colleagues,” said Jimmy.

    View a musical slideshow of Jimmy and his fellow panto stars on his YouTube channel.

    Jimmy and his wife May have just moved house though they still live in Rochdale.

    He explained: “We have downsized but only gone around the corner to a lovely cottage overlooking Healey Dell Nature Reserve.”

    “The move means we have been offline for a while and have fallen a bit behind with our email and Facebook, but I can assure everybody that they will receive replies to their queries and orders in the next few weeks.”