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opportunity knocks

‘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.

In aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care 150 150 mhamer

In aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care

Jimmy Cricket performing at a show for the David Whitfield Commemorative Society

Jimmy Cricket has performed for the David Whitfield Commemorative Society for the second time this year.

The famous Irish comedian appeared at the Palace Theatre in Mansfield in May and he followed up with another show for the society, formed in memory of 1950s singing star David Whitfield, at the Billingshurst Community & Conference Centre in the town of Billingshurst, West Sussex.

Jimmy Cricket with Vernon Brand

Comedian Jimmy with Vernon Brand

The two principal organisers of the society are Jeffrey Kemp and Vernon Brand, who together form JK Productions.

Part of the proceeds from both shows were donated to the Marie Curie Cancer Care appeal.

Hull-born David Whitfield began his singing career in the city’s working men’s clubs after being de-mobbed from the Royal Navy in 1950 and found fame after taking part in talent programme, Opportunity Knocks, on Radio Luxembourg.

He had a number of songs that topped the charts in the UK and US, including Answer Me, I Believe and Cara Mia.

Whitfield, whose label was Decca Records, was the first male singer to receive a gold disc for one million record sales and the first British artist to enter the US top 10 chart.

The singer died in 1980 at the age of 53, while touring in Australia.

Famous singer remembered 150 150 mhamer

Famous singer remembered

Jimmy Cricket and friends at the Mansfield Palace Theatre

Jimmy Cricket has starred in a charity show organised by a society set up in memory of a 1950s singing star.

The Irish entertainer appeared at the Palace Theatre in Mansfield in a matinee performance which also featured his good friend, magician Freddie Wilkinson.

Also on the show, staged by Jeff Kemp and Vernon Brand who are lead members of the David Whitfield Commemorative Society, was an excellent young singer called Rhiannon and the Johnny Pat Band featuring – as well as Johnny – Terry Bell, Garry Gillyatt and Dave Harvey.

David Whitfield magazine

The society has adopted the Marie Curie Cancer Care organisation as its charity for all fund-raising and a collection was taken at the show.

In the photos with Jimmy are Vernon, Jeff, Betty and Helen.

Hull-born David Whitfield began his singing career in the city’s working men’s clubs after being de-mobbed from the Royal Navy in 1950 and found fame after taking part in talent programme, Opportunity Knocks, on Radio Luxembourg.

He had a number of songs that topped the charts in the UK and US, including Answer Me, I Believe and Cara Mia.

Whitfield, whose label was Decca Records, was the first male singer to receive a gold disc for one million record sales and the first British artist to enter the US top 10 chart.

The singer died in 1980 at the age of 53, while touring in Australia.

Jimmy Cricket and friends at the Mansfield Palace Theatre