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Ireland’s Own: Humour Special edition features our Jimmy 150 150 mhamer

Ireland’s Own: Humour Special edition features our Jimmy

my thanks to journalist Henry Wymbs, for my fun interview for @irelandsown1902 (Ireland's Own) ‘The Humour Special 2024’ edition.

An interview with Jimmy Cricket about his illustrious career is featured in a special edition of Ireland’s Own magazine.

The famous Northern Irish comedian talks about his life and work in the 2024 Humour Special edition of the publication.

Among the highlights, Jimmy reflects on his upbringing, including his dad running an undertaker’s and a pub in his birthplace of Cookstown, County Tyrone.

The family later moved to Belfast, which Jimmy said ended up being a good move for him.

“Dad would take us to the top theatres in town, like the Empire, to see the likes of Norman Wisdom, Billy Dainty and Harry Worth,” says Jimmy.

“Wonderful showmen, whom I had the pleasure of working with so many times.”

Door-to-door salesman

He went on to become good friends with Norman Wisdom, who died in 2010.

Jimmy also recalls in the article that he was living and working in Manchester by the early 1970s.

He worked long days as a door-to-door salesman – “I wasn’t very successful… as everyone I knew had a door!”.

At the same time, he was steadily building a reputation as a comedian.

He met his future wife, May – a professional singer – at a Pontins holiday camp in Morecambe.

my thanks to journalist Henry Wymbs, for my fun interview for @irelandsown1902 (Ireland's Own) ‘The Humour Special 2024’ edition.

“When I bumped into May, she was wearing a Halloween mask – it was love at first fright!”

After the article was published, Jimmy posted on social media: “My thanks to journalist Henry Wymbs, for my fun interview for @irelandsown1902 (Ireland’s Own) The Humour Special 2024 edition.”

Ireland’s Own describes itself as “Ireland’s best-selling and longest-running family magazine”.

It is a full colour, weekly magazine “devoted to all that is best about Ireland and being Irish”.

The magazine is published in Wexford, first appearing in 1902.

Also read: ‘The ultimate feel-good book’ – Jimmy’s autobiography


Autobiography: Buy The Jimmy Cricket Story now! 150 150 mhamer

Autobiography: Buy The Jimmy Cricket Story now!

The Jimmy Cricket Story is the famous comedian's official autobiography

Jimmy Cricket proudly shows off a copy of his official autobiography, which is now on sale.

Memoirs Of An Irish Comedian tells the heart-warming story of Jimmy’s illustrious life and career – told in his own words.

The book can be ordered from online retailer Amazon here.

Jimmy launched the book last week, saying: “It’s here, friends. The story of how it all began.

“From my childhood growing up in Northern Ireland …

“… through the Butlin’s Redcoat days in the sixties,  when every camp  had a custom-built theatre …

“… the Pontins Bluecoat days when I met my good lady May …

” … the northern clubs in the seventies when there was a social club in practically every street corner …

” … and the eighties when the television schedules were dominated by variety shows.

“It’ll strike a chord with older readers and give younger ones an insight into a world that seemed to vanish before our very eyes.

“And there’s more.

“It also gives me a chance to thank publicly some of the people who’ve helped me through life’s journey.”

Warm memories

The page promoting Jimmy’s autobiography on Amazon says: “This book is a personally written account of Jimmy’s 50 Golden Years in showbusiness.

“From holiday camp Redcoat to Bluecoat, then on to his first big break on television, (after many struggles).

“Going on to headline for four of his own series for Central television in the 1980s with Royal Command Performances and TV Variety shows in between.

“Then his BBC Radio 2 series written by the great scriptwriter Eddie Braben in the 1990s which ran for five years called, Jimmy’s Cricket Team.

“As Jimmy says himself in the book: I hope it brings back warm memories for older readers’.

“‘And gives a taste to younger readers of a form of entertainment that seemed to vanish before our very eyes.'”

A reminder that Jimmy’s book is available on Amazon here. 

The paperback is priced at £11.99.

One pound from the sale of every book goes to Mary’s Meals.

The charity supports feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education.

Also read: Mary’s Meals: 20 years serving global communities

From bingo caller to 50 Golden Years in showbiz!

From bingo caller to 50 Golden Years in showbiz! 150 150 mhamer

From bingo caller to 50 Golden Years in showbiz!

Jimmy Cricket is celebrating 50 years in showbiz

Jimmy Cricket has enjoyed a golden career in showbiz – but before that, the comedian was a labourer, waiter, salesman and bingo caller!

The famous funnyman talks about his 50-year career as a high-profile entertainer in his latest newspaper column.

He says that before he became a professional comedian, he worked in the holiday camps as a Redcoat (Butlins) and Bluecoat (Pontins).

However, from each September, Jimmy says he had to have a day job for the winter.

His wife May agreed to give up her singing career so Jimmy could rehearse.

And his showbiz career started to take off when he signed with a top agent.

He also recalls in his Lancashire Post column the problems he encountered for his first gigs.

These included not having his own transport to get to venues!

Jimmy is doing what he describes as a “little five theatres tour” in March as part of the celebrations for his golden anniversary.

They are venues where he has done one-nighters & summer seasons in the past.

Here are those March dates:

Middlesbrough Theatre (Saturday 4 March) go here for tickets.

Bridlington Spa Theatre (Sunday 12 March) – go here for tickets.

West Cliff Theatre, Clacton-on-Sea (Sunday 19 March) – go here for tickets.

Lancaster Grand Theatre (Saturday 25 March) – go here for tickets. 

Plaza Theatre, Stockport (Sunday 26 March) – go here for tickets.

Jimmy has been making people laugh as a professional comedian for 50 years – and usually raising money for worthy causes at the same time.

Instantly recognisable for wearing a funny hat and green wellies marked L and R on the wrong feet, he proudly keeps his comedy clean – increasingly rare these days –  which makes him a perfect family entertainer.

His best-known catchphrases include ‘And there’s more!’ and ‘Come closer!’

He is also famed for reading out Letters from his Mammy, which have provided the material for two published books.

Read more about Jimmy’s life and career here.

All his tour bookings and other events can be found here.

Jimmy Cricket has been in showbusiness for 50 years

A return to Pontins for former Bluecoat Jimmy 150 150 mhamer

A return to Pontins for former Bluecoat Jimmy

Had a great afternoon at @Pontins Camber Sands with Ents Manager Matey, Compère Nial and Dave on sound and lighting, alongside the resident Bluecoats, as I was the first to perform on their newly built state of the art showstage!

Jimmy Cricket enjoyed creating a little bit of history at a Pontins on the English south-east coast recently.

The famous entertainment performed a show at the holiday camp at Camber Sands in Rye, an English town near the coast in East Sussex.

He posted on social media: “Had a great afternoon at Camber Sands with Ents Manager Matey, Compère Nial and Dave on sound and lighting, alongside the resident Bluecoats, as I was the first to perform on their newly built state-of-the-art show stage!”

Jimmy is himself a former Bluecoat, having worked at the Pontins holiday camps in Southport and Morecambe in the 1970s.

A busy period in the south west of the UK 150 150 mhamer

A busy period in the south west of the UK

Jimmy Cricket and Jamie Brown

It was a busy weekend for Jimmy Cricket when he did several shows in South Wales and in England’s West Country.

The famous Northern Irish entertainer performed at the Penarth Pier Pavilion, a fully restored art deco pier pavilion in the Vale of Glamorgan, and also at the Babbacombe Theatre in Torquay at the end of June.

Jimmy Cricket with Stephen James

In Penarth he appeared at a comedy night that was organised by fellow funnyman Colin Howarth (who is pictured with Dan Mitchell, another comic, and Jimmy in the bottom photograph).

In the audience was one of Jimmy’s friends, Idris Charles, a former TV producer/director and Welsh language football commentator.

A couple of days later, Jimmy was in the Torbay region with a visit to the Babbacombe Theatre.

When he was there, he bumped into Stephen James (pictured with Jimmy above right) and Jamie Brown (with Jimmy in the top photo), who had come along to see the show.

And the hectic weekend also included a trip for Jimmy to Pontins Sand Bay near Weston-super-Mare in between!

Jimmy Cricket with fellow comics Colin Howarth and Dan Mitchell

Twins get a birthday bash to remember at Pontins 150 150 mhamer

Twins get a birthday bash to remember at Pontins

Jimmy Cricket performs at a birthday party at Pontins near Weston-super-Mare

Jimmy Cricket made it a birthday party to remember for two twin women on a recent trip to the Pontins Holiday Village at Sand Bay near Weston-super-Mare.

Jimmy Cricket with birthday twins Yvonne Alway and Elaine Woolsey BiggsWhile famous entertainer Jimmy was on site preparing for his contribution to the evening’s entertainment programme, he came across the birthday bash that had been organised for Yvonne Alway and Elaine Woolsey Biggs (pictured right).

True to form, Jimmy fully immersed himself in the proceedings, as he always likes a crowd, and his impromptu visit really made the afternoon for these two wonderful ladies.

Jimmy even got out his saxophone and joined in with the two musicians, Mark and Dave, who were there to provide the afternoon’s entertainment for the party.

Thanks to Paul Ogden for some of these photographs – he is pictured below with Jimmy.

Jimmy Cricket with Paul Ogden

Another Redcoats reunion for Jimmy 150 150 mhamer

Another Redcoats reunion for Jimmy

Jimmy with some other former Butlins Redcoats

Jimmy Cricket had his latest Butlins Redcoat reunion when he was appearing at a Pontins holiday village earlier this summer.

Jimmy Cricket with Paul Ogden, another former Butlins Redcoat

The well-known comedian worked as a Redcoat at the Butlins sites in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, and Mosney near Dublin in Ireland during the late 1960s before becoming a household name on television.

He has met up with some of his old colleagues during the decades since then and this was actually the second time he had encountered this particular group of fellow former Redcoats – he also bumped into them the last time he was at Sand Bay Holiday Park in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, a couple of years ago!

The photos are courtesy of Paul Ogden, with whom Jimmy can be seen right.

Above, Jimmy has actually managed to borrow a red coat from one of the group and is pictured alongside them all sharing some comedy banter.

Redcoat is the name given to front-line staff at Butlins holiday camps in the UK. A Redcoat has duties ranging from adult entertainer or children’s entertainer to stewarding. Read more about them here.