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One hundred events to celebrate 100 years 150 150 mhamer

One hundred events to celebrate 100 years

Jimmy and May Cricket with musicians at the centenary event

Jimmy and May Cricket with musicians at the centenary event

Jimmy Cricket appeared at an evening to mark the centenary anniversary of the opening of an Edwardian picture house in Suffolk.

The charming Leiston Film Theatre has celebrated 100 years by staging 12 months of special events, which have all been arranged by the venue’s manager Wayne Burns (below right).

The theatre has even welcomed royalty during 2014, as the Duke of Gloucester paid a visit there a few days after famous entertainer Jimmy attended his event.Jimmy Cricket and others at the centenary event at Leiston Film Theatre

Mr Burn’s target was for the theatre to host 100 special events over the course of its centenary year.

The fund-raising dinner attended by Jimmy was part of the schedule of 100 events and was held at the nearby Thorpeness Country Club.

Jimmy was there with his good lady, May, to support and endorse the theatre as a delightful live entertainment venue and hoping for another successful 100 years!

Jimmy, May and others at the centenary event at Leiston Film Theatre

Jimmy, May and others at the centenary event

The day a legend arrived on public transport 150 150 mhamer

The day a legend arrived on public transport

The late American singer and actor Bing Crosby is the subject of Jimmy Cricket’s latest column in the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post.

Well-known entertainer Jimmy recalls when Crosby, “none other than the Old Groaner himself”, used public transport instead of a limousine when he appeared in a show in Preston in the late 1970s.

Crosby’s trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with more than half a billion records in circulation – including probably his best known, White Christmas.

“The reasons why Bing took the train instead of plumping for a chauffeur-driven limo are shrouded in mystery, but my guess is that he was a regular guy who liked mixing with ordinary people,” says Jimmy.

Northern Irish comedian Jimmy  is headlining Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre in Preston – where he made his pantomime debut in 1981 – over the Christmas and New Year period.

Bing Crosby is the subject of Jimmy Cricket's latest Lancashire Evening Post column

‘Nobody tells a budgie joke like Freddie’ 150 150 mhamer

‘Nobody tells a budgie joke like Freddie’

Jimmy Cricket's latest monthly column in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket relived his wedding day 40 years on in his latest column for the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post.

The famous entertainer  is headlining Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre in Preston – where he made his pantomime debut in 1981 – over the Christmas and New Year period.

When the Lancashire Evening Post contacted Jimmy through his website editor Martin Hamer – former digital editor at the LEP – about the idea of a monthly feature in the run-up to the panto, he thought it was a “very flattering request”.

And his most recent column recalls the happy memories from 1974 – and how he celebrated his ruby anniversary.

Jimmy also talks about the pantomime, which will be directed by Freddie ‘Parrot Face’ Davies who found fame in the 1960s on Opportunity Knocks when it was watched by an astonishing 20 million people.

“Nobody tells a budgie joke like Freddie,” laughs Jimmy in his column.

Show included George Formby tribute act 150 150 mhamer

Show included George Formby tribute act

Jimmy Cricket with Miss Helen Watson and the Barbershop Choir called Baby Grand in the show's grand finale

A George Formby tribute act was on a specially arranged lunchtime show headlined by well-known entertainer Jimmy Cricket.

Andy Eastwood does a George Formby tribute act

The extravaganza is hosted annually by the Derby & Nottingham Music Hall Society, but  this year it was organised by Jimmy’s friend, Caroline Fields, who is a very fine female vocalist in her own right.

Also on this year’s show was the multi-instrumentalist Andy Eastwood (right), who performs a great tribute to the late English actor, singer-songwriter and comedian George Formby with his ukulele.

The photos top and below are of the grand finale from the show and feature the other performers from this year’s performance, who were Miss Helen Watson and the 12-member Barbershop Choir called Baby Grand.

The show’s musical accompaniment was provided by David Carter who played the keyboard.

Well-known entertainer Jimmy has known David for a number of years and has worked with him on several different projects.

 As David is based in the south east of England and Jimmy in north Manchester, they usually communicate over a great distance, so it was great that they had the chance to meet in person again at the show.

Jimmy Cricket with Miss Helen Watson and members of the the Barbershop Choir called Baby Grand in the show's grand finale

Renewing wedding vows 40 years on 150 150 mhamer

Renewing wedding vows 40 years on

Jimmy and May Cricket celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary with all the family

It was a family occasion in more ways than one when Jimmy Cricket and his wife May celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary recently.

Jimmy and May Cricket got married at St Joseph’s Catholic church in Bury on 25 September 1974They got married at St Joseph’s Catholic church in Bury on 25 September 1974 (photo right) and, 40 years and three days later, they renewed their vows at St Mary’s, Sabden in East Lancashire (below left).

And the priest who took the Sabden service was none other than the couple’s younger son, Fr Frankie Mulgrew.

Close family (above) attended the service, which was followed by a special celebratory dinner at the nearby Spread Eagle Inn, Sawley in the Ribble Valley.

Jimmy and May Cricket renewed their vows on Saturday 27 September at St Mary’s, Sabden in East LancashireJoining both Jimmy and May for their special day of celebrations were all four of their children: Dale, Frankie, Jamie and Katie.

Also present were daughter-in-law, Philippa, and son-in-law, Lee.

Jimmy and May’s grandchildren made their presence known during the day as both Tristan and Lorelai participated in this joyous occasion.

Watch TV programme from 1986! 150 150 mhamer

Watch TV programme from 1986!

Jimmy Cricket on And There's More

Fans of famous entertainer Jimmy Cricket are in for a real treat – an airing of the first episode of his TV series from the 1980s.

And There’s More was filmed for Central Television at their studios in Lenton Lane, Nottingham – sadly no longer there – and transmitted in June 1986.

Now, nearly 30 years later, the programme is being broadcast on Jimmy’s YouTube channel and also on the homepage of this website.

But you will have to be quick as the video will be taken down tomorrow at 5pm (Friday).

Jimmy said: “It showed what great comedy actors and impressionists Rory Bremner and Jessica Martin were; what a good stand-up comedian my friend Adrian Walsh was; and what a good sport Chinese actor Hi Ching was. The show’s special guest was actress and winger-songwriter Hazel O’Connor.”

The series was produced and directed by Tony Wolf and the associate producer was Paula Burden – whose father was the famous music hall comedian Albert Burden.

* Because of technological problems, we were unable to upload the video as hoped yesterday. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Panto gets perfect lift-off 150 150 mhamer

Panto gets perfect lift-off

Jimmy Cricket gets front page coverage ahead of his latest pantomime at the Charter Theatre in PrestonJimmy Cricket’s latest pantomime received great coverage at its recent media launch.

The famous Northern Irish entertainer will be appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre in Preston – where he made his panto debut in 1981 – over the Christmas and New Year period.

Back then, the Rochdale-based funnyman figured in a version of a contemporary pantomime called Robinson Crusoe in Outer Space when he was described as “Britain’s fastest rising TV comedian”.

Ahead of his 27th pantomime season, Jimmy had top billing (above right) on the front page of the 2 September edition of the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post.

Jimmy Cricket and fellow cast members ahead of his latest pantomime at the Charter Theatre in Preston, featured in the Lancashire Evening Post

Inside the newspaper was a two-page spread (left) featuring photographs of all the cast who had assembled for the media launch.

On his arrival in Preston, he will be reunited with the creative team who produced last Christmas’s record -breaking version of Snow White at the Forum Theatre in Billingham, with some of the cast having also been retained.

Jimmy said: “With the nights drawing in and the leaves starting to turn golden, it won’t be long before it is panto time again.

“So it was great to see the local Preston media receive so well the announcement of Snow White at the Charter Theatre. This has got the show off to a great start and I’m looking forward to my return trip to Preston later in the year when the pantomime season starts fully!”

* Jimmy is writing a monthly column for the Lancashire Evening Post in the lead-up to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre in Preston.