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panto

The countdown begins to Christmas panto in Leeds 150 150 mhamer

The countdown begins to Christmas panto in Leeds

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

A pantomime which will star famous entertainer Jimmy Cricket is now only five weeks away.

Ever-popular comedian Jimmy, whose last panto appearance was at Preston’s Charter Theatre two years ago, will play the Court Jester in the classic fairytale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

It will be staged at a brand new venue that is being set up in the centre of Leeds for the festive season.

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

The company behind this new venue, Mobile Structures, also supply temporary performance areas to festivals such as Glastonbury and to the Disney company for the presentation of their popular ice shows around Europe.

This Leeds pantomime 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.

* 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.

Returning to Christmas panto? Oh yes he is! 150 150 mhamer

Returning to Christmas panto? Oh yes he is!

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.”

‘Man in wellies & battered hat saves the day’ 150 150 mhamer

‘Man in wellies & battered hat saves the day’

Jimmy Cricket's latest column in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket has been reminiscing about the era of the comedy song and how he hopes he has helped keep it alive.

In his latest column for the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post, the famous entertainer recalls “the many comedy and novelty songs that used to permeate the airwaves in the 50s and 60s”.

He adds: “Commercial radio stations all have playlists now. This means they only play songs that appeal to younger audiences , which companies who advertise with them deem to be possible customers. That’s how the commercial radio stations make their money.

Jimmy Cricket's Light & Shade

“However, you can still hear comedy and novelty songs on BBC radio stations, especially on their request shows.

“However, fear not dear readers.

“Just when you thought the comedy song was a footnote in the history of popular music, along comes the man in the wellies and the battered hat to save the day!

“Yes, my new CD called Light & Shade contains gems like ‘my budgie’s been tweeting for years’ and ‘I got blotto when I thought I’d won the lotto’.”

Light & Shade was officially released on 1 February and is available for £6 at www.jimmycricketshop.co.uk and at Jimmy’s live shows.

In the inside sleeve, Jimmy talks about the history behind the CD, which features a mixture of serious and comedy songs.

Nostalgic flashback: Christmas panto 2010 150 150 mhamer

Nostalgic flashback: Christmas panto 2010

Jimmy Cricket was reminded of a Christmas pantomime past through a series of photographs sent to him recently.

The pictures were from the 2010-11 festive season when the famous entertainer appeared at the Doncaster Civic Theatre in a panto version of Aladdin.

This Christmas show was produced by David Lee of Pantoni Productions and it was he who sent Jimmy the images in the slideshow above.

Funnyman Jimmy said: “It was a nice reminder of the show and its cast, whom I enjoyed working with.”

Since Aladdin there has been a change of scenery for the arts in Doncaster because this pantomime was one of the last before the civic theatre was demolished.

It was replaced by a brand new modern arts centre called Cast and so now only memories remain of what was the town’s main auditorium for a number of years.

* Click on either of the arrow buttons above to view the slideshow.

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.