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‘I enjoyed that Cocker!’ The first time I met Bobby Ball 150 150 mhamer

‘I enjoyed that Cocker!’ The first time I met Bobby Ball

Jimmy Cricket's Lancashire Post column about the late Bobby Ball

Jimmy Cricket remembers the late, great Bobby Ball in his newspaper column for November.

Bobby, one half of the famous comedy double act Cannon and Ball, died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in October aged 76.

The Oldham-born actor and comedian had tested positive for Covid-19.

Bobby had also starred in several popular sitcoms.

They included Not Going Out, Last of the Summer Wine and Benidorm.

In his latest column in the Lancashire Post, Jimmy recalls his first meeting with Bobby and Tommy.

He says: “I first met Bobby Ball at the Candlelight Club in Oldham.

“I had just come off stage and my friend, the singer Jonathan Young, told me that he and his partner Tommy were standing at the bar.

“And they seemed to be enjoying my act.

“Although at that time they had not broken into television, they were a very popular act in the clubs around the country.

‘Brothers in showbusiness’

“I was keen to meet up with them, so I changed quickly and headed for the bar.

“Tommy at the time was engrossed in a conversation with someone, but Bobby Ball shook my hand warmly.

“He said to me: ‘I enjoyed that Cocker, they were a tough crowd, but you got them in the end.

“‘I loved the visual stuff that you did.'”

Jimmy also recalled: “When I found out later Bobby was a neighbour of mine in Rochdale, I rang to tell him that I had written a sketch for him and Tommy in which they played two First Aid Men.

“He invited me to his home where I met his lovely wife Yvonne.

“During our conversation he told me something that really resonated with me.

“He said to me: ‘Jimmy as you develop your on-stage character you’ll die less and less.’

”It was an incredibly insightful thing to say and I treasured the fact that he’d passed his keen knowledge of comedy on to a fellow pro.”

Jimmy finishes his column by saying: “A few months ago before it was offered funding, I tweeted about the Grand Theatre in Blackpool’s future being in doubt.

“Bobby retweeted the message.

“We were brothers in showbusiness trying to save a beautiful theatre for future generations.

“He will be sadly missed by all his friends in the entertainment industry as well as his many fans.”

Stars come out for Francis House returns to Oldham Coliseum Theatre 150 150 mhamer

Stars come out for Francis House returns to Oldham Coliseum Theatre

The latest Stars come out for Francis House show will be held at the Coliseum Theatre in Oldham on Tuesday (9 April).

The Stars come out for Francis House show returns to the Oldham Coliseum Theatre on Tuesday (9 April).

This will be the eighth staging of the event, which raises funds for the Francis House Children’s Hospice in south Manchester.

This year’s line-up features popular comedian Jimmy Cricket, 60s rock band Amen Corner, multi-talented musician and singer Andy Eastwood and Peter Sarsfield’s tribute to Frankie Valli.

The event will be hosted by long-standing hospice supporter and entertainer Jim Nicholas.

Visit here to book tickets.

Oldham show promises a night of ‘fun & frivolity’ 150 150 mhamer

Oldham show promises a night of ‘fun & frivolity’

Jimmy Cricket is appearing at Saddleworth’s @MillgateArts Centre

Jimmy Cricket will be taking his Great Value For A Tenner show to Oldham later in the year.

All proceeds from the family show at the Millgate Arts Centre (Players Theatre) in Saddleworth on Saturday 19 May (7.30pm start) will go to Francis House Children’s Hospice, one of Jimmy’s favourite charities.

Tickets will be £10 and £5 for children.

Millgate Arts Centre is home to a thriving local arts community, providing a base for theatre, film, and chamber concert societies, as well as holding art exhibitions and being available for business or personal lettings.

The official promotion for the laughter show in May says: “The much-loved Irish comedian, Jimmy Cricket, brings his family-friendly comedy show for just a tenner to the Millgate Arts Centre.

“Jimmy will arrive equipped with one-liners galore, a sprinkling of visual comedy and, yes, that ever present letter from his mammy! This is the perfect show for granny and grandchild alike, as there will be giggles aplenty during an evening of fun and frivolity.

“On offer is a comedy master class delivered by a legendary entertainer everyone has come to know.”

Ticket information: Bookings can be made in person, by phone or online. The box office (at Delph Library) is open Tuesdays 2pm–5pm; Wednesdays  2pm–7pm; Thursdays 1pm-6pm and Fridays & Saturdays from 9.30am–1pm. The box office at Delph Library telephone number is 01457 874644. Tickets must be paid for at the time of booking, and we accept payment using all major credit and debit cards. You can select your seats at the time of booking. Tickets are non-refundable.

Book online here

 

Helping out at post office relaunch 150 150 mhamer

Helping out at post office relaunch

Jimmy Cricket with Michael Meacher (right) and others at the relaunch of Royton Post Office

Jimmy Cricket was only too pleased to help out an old friend at the reopening of a post office in Greater Manchester earlier this summer.

The famous Northern Ireland entertainer was invited to the special event in Oldham by Paul Couglan, who is the new franchise owner of the revamped Royton Post Office.

Paul, an acquaintance of Jimmy, already runs a successful post office at nearby Moston in north Manchester.

Also present at the relaunch was Michael Meacher, a British Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Oldham West and Royton since 1997.

Jimmy said: ” I was thrilled to be able to support Paul at the start of his new venture. He has always tried to support me over the years with his new musicals and shows.

“I wish Paul all the best with Royton Post Office and hope it’s a major success.”

The event was featured in the 18 June edition of the Oldham Evening Chronicle (see image above).

60s pop group among acts at fundraiser 150 150 mhamer

60s pop group among acts at fundraiser

Jimmy Cricket performing at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre in aid of Francis House Children's HospiceA show at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre in which Jimmy Cricket appeared raised almost £6,000 for the Francis House Children’s Hospice in south Manchester.

The gala concert in early April also featured the 60s legends The Ivy League and other excellent performances were from female vocalist Julie A Scott, the double act Harris and Day, and the Greater Manchester Police choir.

It was organised by Jimmy and his close friend Jim Nicholas, who was also the host.

A lot of credit must go to the sponsors of the event who were: Barclays Bank, Swan Inn in Dobcross, Chesters coaches, The Old Bell Inn in Delph, Salford Discount Carpets and Beds, Phoenix Financial Services Ltd, and PJD heating, plumbing and gas fitters.

Press the arrow button below to view a slideshow of the concert. Ricky Sandtime Matthews took the majority of the photographs.