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‘The consummate showman’ 150 150 mhamer

‘The consummate showman’

Review of Jimmy Cricket and May Marion from 4 February at the Clwyd Theatre Cymru in Mold, Flintshire, North Wales

Jimmy and May appeared at the Clwyd Theatre Cymru in Mold, North Wales

“Jimmy’s 40-plus years in the business shone through, endorsing him, if endorsement was needed, as the consummate showman.”

Comedian Jimmy Cricket received a magnificent reception and much acclaim when he appeared at the Clwyd Theatre Cymru in Mold, Flintshire, North Wales, with his wife, singer May Marion.

Above is a review from The Evening Leader newspaper which enthused: “The audience left delighted and Mold Methodist Church was better off to the tune of £1,600 towards its renovation plans.”

Joined on stage by a local councillor 150 150 mhamer

Joined on stage by a local councillor

Comedian Jimmy Cricket with sisters Katie and Rebecca who attended his show at St Joseph's Parish Centre in Heywood

Jimmy Cricket with sisters Katie and Rebecca who attended his show at St Joseph's Parish Centre in Heywood

Rochdale comedian Jimmy Cricket was joined on stage by a local councillor at a recent charity show.

The Irish funnyman was performing at St Joseph’s Centre in Heywood to help raise money for the Roman Catholic parish.

Counc Peter Rush, who represents the Heywood North ward and ran the town’s Albany Hotel on Rochdale Road East for a long time, went on stage to join Jimmy and his wife May and their good friend Eric Devereaux, a well-known singer on the North West entertainment scene.

Jimmy also had his picture taken alongside sisters Katie and Rebecca who were in the audience.

Their mum Nicola told Jimmy: “We had an amazing time on Friday night at St Joseph’s. We hope that you will come again very soon to do another show. Take care and keep entertaining.”

Teaching a fellow showbiz star to juggle 150 150 mhamer

Teaching a fellow showbiz star to juggle

Jimmy Cricket has been teaching Ray Quinn how to juggle

Jimmy Cricket has been teaching Ray Quinn how to juggle

Veteran Irish comedian Jimmy Cricket has been giving juggling lessons to actor, dancer and singer Ray Quinn.

The pair appeared in the pantomime Cinderella at the Darlington Civic Theatre which finished on Sunday 15 January.

Jimmy, who played Baron Hardup, said he enjoyed working with all the cast during the six-week showing of the panto.

“We got Cinderella to the ball!” laughed Jimmy this week.

“I have found a great friend in Ray Quinn and you can see me teaching him to juggle on YouTube.”

The juggling video can also be found on the homepage here on Jimmy’s website and on Ray’s own official site.

Jimmy added: “There must have been about 65 panto shows in all as there were often two a day. It was very intensive but thoroughly enjoyable.”

Ray Quinn, who was Prince Charming in the Darlington panto, is engaged to theatre star Emma Stephens who played Cinderella.

They first met when they starred together in Grease in London’s West End several years ago.

Former Brookside actor Ray shot to fame when he finished runner-up to Leona Lewis in the 2007 series of The X Factor and two years later he won ITV’s Dancing on Ice with professional ice skater Maria Filippov.

“Ray’s a good-looking guy. He’s got a terrific voice and dances very well too. I think he could very easily become the next Michael Bublé [Canadian singer and actor]. Ray, Emma and the rest of the cast were great working colleagues,” said Jimmy.

View a musical slideshow of Jimmy and his fellow panto stars on his YouTube channel.

Jimmy and his wife May have just moved house though they still live in Rochdale.

He explained: “We have downsized but only gone around the corner to a lovely cottage overlooking Healey Dell Nature Reserve.”

“The move means we have been offline for a while and have fallen a bit behind with our email and Facebook, but I can assure everybody that they will receive replies to their queries and orders in the next few weeks.”

Celebrities support toy giveaway 150 150 mhamer

Celebrities support toy giveaway

A special photo call was staged to mark the toy giveaway. Photo by Ian McClelland

A special photo call was staged to mark the toy giveaway. Photo by Ian McClelland

The festive pantomine in which Jimmy Cricket is currently starring has been well-received by the critics.

Cinderella is on at the Civic Theatre in Darlington until Sunday January 15.

The cast features Jimmy, who plays Baron Hardup alongside Dancing on Ice star Ray Quinn and former Emmerdale actress Deena Payne.

Recent good reviews of the show can be found at The Stage website and Whatsonstage.

Jimmy and other panto stars agreed to take part in a special photo call to mark a toy giveaway for underprivileged children.

The event was sponsored by a local Darlington car dealership called Jennings Ford and also involved the Salvation Army.

Despite a busy schedule, Jimmy, Ray – who plays Prince Charming – and Deena (Fairy Godmother) took time out from the busy rehearsals to offer their support to the appeal.

Jimmy poses with a child in the theatre foyer after one of the panto performances

Jimmy poses for a picture with a child in the theatre foyer after one of the panto performances

Last year about 7,000 children and 2,000 families across the North East of England were supported with presents and a further 1,000 individuals received food over the Christmas period.

For the past 13 consecutive years, Jennings Motor Group has supported the appeal by using its branch network across the region as drop-off points for staff and members of the public.

Ray Riaz, general manager at Jennings Ford’s Yarm Road dealership in Stockton, said: “We were delighted that the cast of this year’s pantomime could help out with the appeal. The Salvation Army does an absolutely amazing job helping those in the local community, not just at Christmas time but all year round.”

Anyone wanting to buy tickets for the panto should ring 01325 486 555 or visit the website at Darlington Civic Theatre and Arts Centre.

Jimmy gives his autograph in the theatre foyer after one of the panto performances

Jimmy gives his autograph in the theatre foyer after one of the panto performances

Meet the Wooden Hut Club 150 150 mhamer

Meet the Wooden Hut Club

Members of the Wooden Hut Club

Members of the Wooden Hut Club

November saw the latest gathering of the informal showbiz fraternity group that Jimmy Cricket attends, which is lovingly called the “Wooden Hut Club”.

Conveniently for Jimmy, the location where this get-together takes place is in Rochdale. It was felt Rochdale was well placed on the M62 between Manchester/Cheshire and Yorkshire for his showbiz pals to get to. After the first ‘do’ was successfully held at the Royal Toby Hotel restaurant on Manchester Road in Castleton, the club have met there ever since.

This gathering has been meeting on and off for last four years and, as you can see from the photo, there was a large number who attended the last lunch showing it is well supported. This is probably because it is a rare chance for showbiz professionals to come together and catch up with the industry news – and of course reminisce about old times.

Some of the individuals in the photo with Jimmy are: Buzz Hawkins from ‘The Bradshaws’, ‘The Comedians’ producer Johnnie Hamp, impressionist Johnny More, BBC radio producer Steve Garner, comedy script writer Phil Collinge, the wife of former BBC radio comedy producer Mike Craig, Treflyn Jones from Target television and entertainer Eric Devereaux.

Jimmy’s friend Patti Gold celebrates 60th birthday 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy’s friend Patti Gold celebrates 60th birthday

Jimmy, his wife May (right) and good friend Patti

Jimmy, his wife May (right) and good friend Patti

Jimmy Cricket recently attended the 60th birthday of a good friend of his, the former singer Patti Gold.

The bash was hosted at Patti’s local golf club in Wakefield called Higher Lane Golf Club.

Patti and Jimmy go back a long way and although Patti has now left the business, her husband is still heavily involved and is an excellent musical director called Stuart Gold, who used to be the main musical director at the legendary Batley Variety Club and has worked with some of the most famous singers and entertainers in the country.

Patti actually featured in Jimmy’s first television series on ITV of “And There’s More” way back in the mid 1980s as one of the supporting cast members. Alongside Patti was impressionist Rory Bremmer. This was Rory’s first break on television before he launched himself on a bigger platform.

Jimmy said: “I really enjoyed myself at Patti’s party and am thrilled I have been able to keep in touch with her for all these years.

“Although Patti left the business a number of years ago to work in IT, interestingly enough she has recently taken a job working in a dance and drama school, so she is re-introducing herself slowly back into the world of arts and entertainment!”

A thank-you from the past 150 150 mhamer

A thank-you from the past

Pictures from the past

Jimmy Cricket is getting a big thank-you from a charity – three decades later.

The recognition comes after Jimmy appeared in the Hippodrome Theatre’s Pantomime with famous Liverpool entertainer Cilla Black back in the mid-1980s.

He recently received the following email from Matt Adams: “We are holding another charity event in aid of the Young Venturers on December 10th at the Hall Green Conservative Club, Birmingham. These nights raises enough funds to enable us to take a group of disabled children to the Pantomime in Birmingham.

“My parents, who has been raising funds for this charity for over 40 years, write to the stars of the show and asks them if they would be kind enough to spend a few minutes after the show to meet the children.

“We plan to project photos taken from the last 40+ years on the 12ft screen at the club, and whilst going through a few of the photos, I found a few of Jimmy from way back. This photo along with countless others will be projected on the night with a ‘thank you’ message.

“As my Dad always says ‘time is the most important thing you can give to anyone’ and the time Jimmy spent with ‘our’ children certainly made their night.

“I would therefore be grateful if you could thank Jimmy on behalf of us for all the smiles he has made!”