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Search for a Star success signalled start of something special 150 150 mhamer

Search for a Star success signalled start of something special

Next @leponline article chatting about the past and the wonderful television showcase 'Search For A Star' which featured newly discovered talent from the cabaret and club scene (where they came to see you perform live for the audition) #keepvarietyalive

Jimmy Cricket’s big breakthrough into showbusiness came when he won a TV talent show called Search for a Star.

The Northern Irish comedian says he had previously spent eight gruelling years performing on the North of England club circuit.

“It was a tough, bruising apprenticeship,” Jimmy tells readers of his latest newspaper column in the Lancashire Evening Post.

London Weekend Television’s Search for a Star featured newly discovered talent from the cabaret and club scene.

And winning one of the programme’s heats in 1980 put Jimmy in the national spotlight.

He appreciated the significance of the timing, “breaking into televison in the 1980s when glamorous and dazzling variety shows dominated the schedules”.

Jimmy was later given his own series on Central Television in the mid-1980s called And There’s More.

It included the first TV appearance by the impressionist Rory Bremner.

Watch Jimmy’s first television appearance on Search for a Star here. (Warning: there may be advertisements.)

Read details here of the 1980 Search for a Star heat, which Jimmy won.

World’s poorest communities

In the LEP column, Jimmy also talks about his recently released aut0biography, which is now on sale.

Memoirs Of An Irish Comedian tells the heart-warming story of Jimmy’s illustrious life and career – told in his own words.

The paperback costs £11.99 and is available at online retailer Amazon here.

One pound from the sale of every book goes to Mary’s Meals.

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

Also read – Autobiography: Buy The Jimmy Cricket Story now!

From the archives: 1983 Children’s Royal Variety Performance 150 150 mhamer

From the archives: 1983 Children’s Royal Variety Performance

Hi folks editing footage, and here's my little contribution to the 3rd Children's Royal Variety Show, (this idea was the creation of Rod Hull), at the end, how many artistes do you know? Alongside the great advocate of Variety, David Bell #keepvarietyalive

The third Children’s Royal Variety Performance featured many top entertainers, including our very own Jimmy Cricket.

Jimmy has been reliving the star-studded show from nearly 40 years ago by making his own performance available online.

He posted on social media: “Hi folks we’re editing some footage and here’s my little contribution which was recorded at the 3rd Children’s Royal Variety Performance.

“This idea was the creation of Speciality Act Rod Hull, which raised a lot of money for the NSPCC over the 13 years.

This one was staged by LWT – can you name all the Variety Artistes at the end of the clip in the line-up?

“Alongside the great advocate of Televised Variety, the sadly missed David Bell #keepvarietyalive”

Also among the performers in March 1983 were Russ Abbot, Kim Wilde, Jeremy Beadle, Stu Francis, Keith Chegwin, Dustin Gee and Maggie Philbin.

Princess Margaret was the royal guest.

The replies to Jimmy’s post included:

Stewart: I remember Dustin Gee doing a gig at Haslingden Cricket Club many years ago.

Gildas: Well worth watching , would love to see the full show (see below).

Gary: Love it

Michelle: Brilliant

Simon: Brilliant and still funny!

Pete: That’s when variety was at its best. Lovely to see.

Rod: Jimmy Cricket you are brill. Total pro.

Paul: Really fab Jimmy.

Dom: Love it Jimmy. Well done pal.

Watch Jimmy’s performance below.

Watch the full show here

Also read: ‘Great privilege’ to be in 1984 Royal Variety Show