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newspaper column

LEP column was epitaph to the ‘wonderful’ Vera Lynn 150 150 mhamer

LEP column was epitaph to the ‘wonderful’ Vera Lynn

Hi folks! I had no idea when I wrote this May @leponline column it would be as an epitaph to this wonderful performer and humanitarian. R.I.P. our Vera!

Jimmy Cricket’s latest newspaper column was devoted to Dame Vera Lynn – just weeks before she died.

Dame Vera passed away on Thursday (18 June) aged 103.

She was known the Forces’ Sweetheart, whose songs helped raise morale in World War Two.

The Queen, Prince Charles and Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney were among those to pay their respects to her.

People knew her best for her wartime anthem We’ll Meet Again.

Jimmy’s column in the Preston-based Lancashire Post on 18 May (above) was all about Dame Vera.

The headline read: Remembering the forces’ WWII sweetheart Vera Lynn.

He tweeted on the day she died: “Hi folks! I had no idea when I wrote this May@leponline column it would be as an epitaph to this wonderful performer and humanitarian.
“R.I.P. our Vera! Performing arts

The BBC reported: “Six weeks ago, ahead of the 75th anniversary of VE Day and during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Dame Vera said simple acts of bravery and sacrifice still define our nation.

“A week later, she became the oldest artist to get a top 40 album in the UK.”

The BBC recalled that Dame Vera had sold more than a million records by the age of 22.

The article added that she “was also remembered for singing The White Cliffs Of Dover, There’ll Always Be An England, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing and If Only I Had Wings.

“The Queen echoed her famous WW2 anthem during a speech to Britons who were separated from families and friends during the coronavirus lockdown in April, telling the nation: ‘We will be with our friends again, we will be with our families again, we will meet again.'”

Paying tribute to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy 150 150 mhamer

Paying tribute to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

 pay tribute to a fellow Irishman, and to the Silver Screen's Stan and Ollie, with a great performance from @Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly

Jimmy Cricket writes about his admiration for a legendary comedy duo in his latest newspaper column.

In the 1 April edition of the Lancashire Post, the popular Northern Irish entertainer reviews a recent film about the careers of Englishman Stan Laurel and American Oliver Hardy.

They acted during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema and became well known during the late 1920s to the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy. Laurel played the clumsy friend of the pompous Hardy.

Jimmy’s column begins: I’ve just come back from doing my one man show at the Slapstick Comedy Festival in Bristol at the Studio adjoining the Old Vic Theatre. The festival was started by a guy called Chris Daniels who just loves visual and silent comedy.

“I did my live set sandwiched between movies of Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy up on the big wide screen. There’s been a resurgence of interest in Laurel and Hardy, mainly due to a biopic of the duo which went on general release in our cinemas recently called Stan and Ollie.

“In fact, I’ve been to see it twice. Well folks, our local Odeon Cinema here in Rochdale only charges a fiver to get in. It’s a moving, tender tribute to one of the funniest double acts ever to grace the silver screen; not only do Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel, and John C Reilly as Oliver Hardy get into the skin of these two lovable clowns, but the ladies that played their wives both give stunning performance as well.

“Nina Arianda plays Stan’s other half and Shirley Henderson is Ollie’s. I had a little inside information on this film. Steve Coogan’s Uncle Bernard takes his grandkids to the same school in Rochdale that I take mine, so I get some tasty nuggets of gossip in the playground.

“I looked at him enviously as he told me about getting the red carpet treatment when he got invited to the premiere of the movie up at the local cinema in Ulverston where Stan Laurel grew up. The only time I get to see a red carpet is when Mrs Cricket hands me the Hoover.”

Read Jimmy’s full column here

 

Charity Christmas CD and Snow White panto treat 150 150 mhamer

Charity Christmas CD and Snow White panto treat

Jimmy Cricket's column in the Lancashire Evening PostJimmy Cricket has been looking back in his latest newspaper column on his recent visit to a top shopping centre – and looking ahead to the pantomime he is starring in, which starts tonight (8 December).

Jimmy’s promotion of his new charity Christmas CD continued at the Intu Trafford Centre on the outskirts of Manchester.

Jimmy Cricket’s new Christmas CD is in aid of the Francis House Children’s Hospice

The popular 71-year-old comedian was invited to perform some tracks from the CD, entitled Santa bring my wellies back to me,  on the stage area of the Orient section of the mall.

Volunteers and staff from the Francis House Children’s Hospice – the very worthy cause Jimmy’s CD is in aid of – were also present.

In his December column for the Lancashire Evening Post, Jimmy says: “I had a very enjoyable time doing my couple of numbers up on the stage and then rushing down to the stall to help our wonderful volunteers sell CDs for those who wanted to take home the experience.”

* The new charity Christmas CD is available to buy from this website through a PayPal facility or in person directly from the hospice.

‘Mouth-watering treat for all ages’

Jimmy will play the Court Jester in the classic fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the White Rose Theatre in Leeds City centre from 8 December to 1 January.

The White Rose Theatre is a new 1,400-seater arena, erected in a large marquee complex located within the premises of the Tetley contemporary arts gallery and near the city’s main train station.

This first evening performance on Friday 9 December will be a special charity preview of the show, where three local charities will stand to benefit greatly as all ticket sales will be shared out between them.

The panto also features reality TV celebrity Scotty T, who won this year’s Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5 and will play the role of Prince Charming.

Actors Louis Emerick (from Last of the Summer Wine and Brookside fame) and Tupele Dorgu (who has featured in Coronation Street and Hollyoaks) will play the roles of the Royal Tax Collector and the Wicked Queen respectively.

And there will be cameo performances from children’s TV programme Rainbow’s George and Zippy, plus a recorded sequence starring Jimmy’s very good friend and fellow comedian Ken Dodd.

In his Lancashire Evening Post column , Jimmy says:  “This year we’ll have the new heartthrob from television Scotty T as the Prince.

“Also Geoffrey and Zippy from Rainbow will be helping me to give the wicked queen her comeuppance and we’ll even have the great Ken Dodd appear on video within the magic mirror.

“Yes, a mouth-watering treat for all ages.”

* The show will run from 8 December 2016 to 1 January 2017 and tickets are now on sale –  visit www.whiterosetheatre.com or ring 0113 870 7769.

Jimmy Cricket will star in a pantomime production of the classic fairytale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Leeds over Christmas and New Year

Keith Harris: ‘Great showman – we salute you’ 150 150 mhamer

Keith Harris: ‘Great showman – we salute you’

Jimmy Cricket appeared on Keith Harris’s holiday laughter show (with Orville and Cuddles) at the Royal Opera House in the summer of 1982

Jimmy Cricket has been paying tribute in his latest newspaper column to ventriloquist Keith Harris, who died last month.

Keith, who, with his puppet duck Orville, became a regular feature of Saturday night TV in the 1980s, was 67.

He entertained generations of children with his sidekick Orville, a bright green duck who wore a nappy and spoke in a high-pitched voice but couldn’t fly. He also gave life to the popular puppet Cuddles the monkey, whose catchphrase was ‘I hate that duck!’

In addition to fronting The Keith Harris Show on BBC One, he (and Orville) gave private performances at birthday parties for Prince William and his brother Harry, at the request of Diana, Princess of Wales.

His 1982 single, Orville’s Song, was a top five hit, selling more than 400,000 copies.

In his May column for the Preston-based Lancashire Evening News, Jimmy says: “Most ventriloquists that are successful discover one dummy that tickles people’s funny bone, but Keith was blessed with two.

“In 1983, holidaymakers were still visiting our summer resorts en masse and Keith’s show was a sellout from start to finish.

“Keith Harris – you weren’t just a superb ventriloquist, you were a great showman and producer.

“We salute you.”