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Mammy’s Letters saved the day at two big shows 150 150 mhamer

Mammy’s Letters saved the day at two big shows

Jimmy Cricket's column in the Lancashire Evening Post in October 2016

Jimmy Cricket’s much-loved Mammy’s Letters haven’t just been entertaining for audiences – they have also come to the rescue on more than one occasion.

The famous comedian, 70, recalls two of those times in his Lancashire Evening Post column for October.

He says the first was when he was appearing in the Royal Children’s Variety Show in London, which was being recorded to be televised on Christmas Day in 1986 and included Princess Margaret in the audience.

Jimmy had just finished his three-minute act and was heading for the wings when a “very distraught” stage manager indicated to him that the set behind the curtain wasn’t ready for the next performance, which was to star well-known actors Jan Francis and Paul Nicholas.

So he did one of his ever-popular Mammy’s Letters and timed it to perfection; just as he finished, the curtain started opening behind him.

And he also told of the time he was playing panto at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham when there was a power cut, which plunged the theatre and half the city into darkness.

“As the torch-wielding usherettes led the audience quietly down the aisles and out the exit doors, I reached for my pocket. This time in a loud voice – as all the mikes were off, of course – I said: ‘Dear son, I’m cutting down on electricity. I’m only going to plug the electric clock in when I want to know the time!’ said Jimmy.

“As I could hear little pockets of laughter emanating from the stalls, it gave me a warm glow to know I was helping to keep things calm in what can be a scary situation, especially for the children there that night.”

* Jimmy has produced a new Christmas CD in aid of the Francis House Children’s Hospice. It is priced at £5 and available for purchase from either the hospice direct or from the shop on this website.

Johnny Vegas to also feature in film 150 150 mhamer

Johnny Vegas to also feature in film

Johnny Vegas is appearing in the Womble film

Famous actor and comedian Johnny Vegas is to appear in the Womble movie, which is being filmed on location in North Wales and also features entertainer Jimmy Cricket. 

St Helens-born Johnny is well known for his appearances in the hit ITV comedy drama Benidorm and also for popping up in adverts for tea brand PG Tips with a stuffed puppet monkey!

His addition to the cast is another major coup for the people behind Womble the movie, as it also includes top comedian Jimmy, 69, who will play himself as a talent contest judge.

The film is about a man called Aloysius Rupert Womble (played by actor and comedian Tom Spencer), who is in his 30s and living with Asperger’s Syndrome in a typical seaside resort town.

Children and adults affected by Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviours.

Aloysius’s dream is to become a stand-up comedian. The film is a week-long snapshot of his life as he goes through the trials of living with a cognitive disorder, while dealing with the injustices forced upon him by society and parts of his community.

Over the seven-day period he prepares for the biggest night of his life – a talent show in his local pub.

The film will feature songs from the Beautiful South’s former lead singer Briana Corrigan and American Pie star Thomas Nicholas, as well as a string of original songs written by songwriters especially for the movie.

My movie debut – as a dream maker 150 150 mhamer

My movie debut – as a dream maker

Jimmy Cricket's column in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket says he is looking forward to his role as a talent show judge on his  forthcoming silver screen debut.

But the famous veteran entertainer insists he will not be like Simon Cowell in The X Factor, telling readers of the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post in his monthly column he will be a “dream maker, not a dream breaker”.

Womble, one of the biggest independent movies to be made in North Wales, is being shot over the summer and will be set for release in 2016.

It is about a man called Aloysius Rupert Womble (played by actor and comedian Tom Spencer) who is in his 30s and living with Asperger’s Syndrome in a typical seaside resort town.

Children and adults affected by Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviours.

Aloysius’s dream is to become a stand-up comedian. The film is a week-long snapshot of his life as he goes through the trials of living with a cognitive disorder, while dealing with the injustices forced upon him by society and parts of his community.

Over the seven-day period he prepares for the biggest night of his life – a talent show in his local pub.

Jimmy says in the Lancashire Evening Post: “Hopefully, the film will be shown in 2016 at the Cannes Film Festival.”

The time I nearly met a footballing legend 150 150 mhamer

The time I nearly met a footballing legend

Jimmy Cricket talks about how he nearly met the late Sir Tom Finney in his latest Lancashire Evening Post newspaper column

Jimmy Cricket recalls in his latest newspaper column the time he nearly met a footballing legend.

The well-known comedian says in the Lancashire Evening Post that he was asked to do the corporate entertainment a few years ago at Deepdale, home of Preston North End for whom Sir Tom Finney made 473 competitive appearances, scoring 210 goals.

Tony Jo, a friend and fellow comedian, said during the evening that he would go and get Sir Tom so Jimmy could meet him.

However, Sir Tom was not feeling too well and had to go home early.

Jimmy recalls: “My big moment to meet a remarkable man and footballer, who had done so much for his home town of Preston, had gone.”

Sir Tom, who scored 30 goals in 76 appearances for England, died 12 months ago aged 91.

 

The show must go on… despite a bomb next door 150 150 mhamer

The show must go on… despite a bomb next door

Jimmy Cricket's latest column in the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket has recalled the time that a pantomime in which he was starring went ahead despite the fact that a bomb had been planted next to the theatre.

The famous entertainer was appearing in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Grand Opera Theatre in Belfast at the time.

Looking back at the incident in 1992, Jimmy told the Lancashire Evening Post in his latest column for the Preston-based newspaper: “With the help of great architects and engineers, we got the theatre ready just in time for the pantomime, even though we had to get ready and change in portakabins!

“The fact the people from Northern Ireland didn’t want the terrorists to succeed meant we did sellout business all the way through.”

Thanks to Ted Robbins for theatre sofa! 150 150 mhamer

Thanks to Ted Robbins for theatre sofa!

Jimmy Cricket's Christmas column in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket talked in his latest newspaper column about how a gift to a theatre from an old friend helped him to relax in between panto performances during the festive season.

The famous Irish comedian said that when he first arrived at the Charter Theatre in Preston for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, he noticed a reclining sofa in his dressing room.

And he told readers in his most recent Lancashire Evening Post monthly column that he discovered it had been bequeathed by fellow entertainer and old chum Ted Robbins.

Jimmy also describes how BAE Systems employees and their families took over the first Saturday matinee performance of the pantomime.

He included a Christmas letter from his Mammy in his column, in which she talked about who gets what on the festive turkey and a nephew being arrested for picking blackberries in a computer shop.

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.