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The day a legend arrived on public transport 150 150 mhamer

The day a legend arrived on public transport

The late American singer and actor Bing Crosby is the subject of Jimmy Cricket’s latest column in the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post.

Well-known entertainer Jimmy recalls when Crosby, “none other than the Old Groaner himself”, used public transport instead of a limousine when he appeared in a show in Preston in the late 1970s.

Crosby’s trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with more than half a billion records in circulation – including probably his best known, White Christmas.

“The reasons why Bing took the train instead of plumping for a chauffeur-driven limo are shrouded in mystery, but my guess is that he was a regular guy who liked mixing with ordinary people,” says Jimmy.

Northern Irish comedian Jimmy  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.

Bing Crosby is the subject of Jimmy Cricket's latest Lancashire Evening Post column

‘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.

Renewing wedding vows 40 years on 150 150 mhamer

Renewing wedding vows 40 years on

Jimmy and May Cricket celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary with all the family

It was a family occasion in more ways than one when Jimmy Cricket and his wife May celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary recently.

Jimmy and May Cricket got married at St Joseph’s Catholic church in Bury on 25 September 1974They got married at St Joseph’s Catholic church in Bury on 25 September 1974 (photo right) and, 40 years and three days later, they renewed their vows at St Mary’s, Sabden in East Lancashire (below left).

And the priest who took the Sabden service was none other than the couple’s younger son, Fr Frankie Mulgrew.

Close family (above) attended the service, which was followed by a special celebratory dinner at the nearby Spread Eagle Inn, Sawley in the Ribble Valley.

Jimmy and May Cricket renewed their vows on Saturday 27 September at St Mary’s, Sabden in East LancashireJoining both Jimmy and May for their special day of celebrations were all four of their children: Dale, Frankie, Jamie and Katie.

Also present were daughter-in-law, Philippa, and son-in-law, Lee.

Jimmy and May’s grandchildren made their presence known during the day as both Tristan and Lorelai participated in this joyous occasion.

Will the ‘real Jimmy Cricket’ please do stand-up! 150 150 mhamer

Will the ‘real Jimmy Cricket’ please do stand-up!

Jimmy CricketJimmy Cricket sign outside Henighans in Bolton

The people of Bolton certainly got the “real Jimmy Cricket” when they watched the Northern Irish entertainer perform this summer.

When funnyman Jimmy arrived before his show at Henighans in the Greater Manchester town, he was amused to see an advertisement board outside the comedy venue saying: ‘The real Jimmy Cricket’!

Jimmy Cricket posterAnd it was undoubtedly the famous comedian himself who delivered his popular and timeless brand of stand-up to an appreciative audience.

The photographs with this story were taken by Jimmy’s friend Trefyln Jones, who popped over to see him before the show.

Trefyln runs a media company in Warrington called
Green Screen Express.

Panto gets perfect lift-off 150 150 mhamer

Panto gets perfect lift-off

Jimmy Cricket gets front page coverage ahead of his latest pantomime at the Charter Theatre in PrestonJimmy Cricket’s latest pantomime received great coverage at its recent media launch.

The famous Northern Irish entertainer will be appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre in Preston – where he made his panto debut in 1981 – over the Christmas and New Year period.

Back then, the Rochdale-based funnyman figured in a version of a contemporary pantomime called Robinson Crusoe in Outer Space when he was described as “Britain’s fastest rising TV comedian”.

Ahead of his 27th pantomime season, Jimmy had top billing (above right) on the front page of the 2 September edition of the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post.

Jimmy Cricket and fellow cast members ahead of his latest pantomime at the Charter Theatre in Preston, featured in the Lancashire Evening Post

Inside the newspaper was a two-page spread (left) featuring photographs of all the cast who had assembled for the media launch.

On his arrival in Preston, he will be reunited with the creative team who produced last Christmas’s record -breaking version of Snow White at the Forum Theatre in Billingham, with some of the cast having also been retained.

Jimmy said: “With the nights drawing in and the leaves starting to turn golden, it won’t be long before it is panto time again.

“So it was great to see the local Preston media receive so well the announcement of Snow White at the Charter Theatre. This has got the show off to a great start and I’m looking forward to my return trip to Preston later in the year when the pantomime season starts fully!”

* Jimmy is writing a monthly column for the Lancashire Evening Post in the lead-up to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre in Preston.

Jimmy to have monthly newspaper column 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy to have monthly newspaper column

Jimmy Cricket gets front page coverage ahead of his latest pantomime at the Charter Theatre in PrestonJimmy Cricket is to write a monthly newspaper column in the lead-up to his latest pantomime season.

The Lancashire Evening Post has commissioned the articles to coincide with the well-known comedian headlining Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at the Charter Theatre in Preston – where he made his panto 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, he thought it was a “very flattering request”.

Jimmy said: “As a result, I did not hesitate to respond positively and am thrilled that my first monthly article is due to be published in the paper’s edition on Monday (22 September).”

He intends to use the article to describe some of the many stories he has collected from more than 30 years of performing in pantomimes.

This includes appearing in many of the major cities and towns across the UK and has also included working with a variety of celebrities from stage and screen.

Added Jimmy: “Hopefully the monthly articles will set the scene for my forthcoming appearance in Snow White at the Charter Theatre at the end of the year.”

Skegness reunion for Jimmy, Theo & Wendy 150 150 mhamer

Skegness reunion for Jimmy, Theo & Wendy

Jimmy with Theo the Mouse and Wendy

Jimmy Cricket met up again with TV characters Wendy Abrahams and Theo The Mouse when they all featured in a summer season spectacle at the beginning of August at the Embassy Theatre in Skegness, Lincolnshire.

The show was part of a series of summer performances at the theatre, which also featured Anita Harris, Stu Francis and The Bachelors (see poster below).

Sunday night Startime at the Embassy Theatre in Skegness starred Jimmy Cricket, Anita Harris, The Bachelors, Theo The Mouse and Wendy

The Embassy Theatre line-up was produced by the theatre impresario Mark Andrews.

Although well-known entertainer Jimmy only headlined the first production, all three evenings featured Wendy, who features in CITV’s Sooty Show, and Theo The Mouse, a children’s character created by Wink Taylor. 

Wendy’s partner, Wink, helps out with Theo The Mouse and is also heavily involved with the latest television version of Sooty, which is broadcast on weekend mornings on ITV1.

Northern Irish comedian Jimmy also met Theo and Wendy when he appeared at St David’s Hall in Cardiff, South Wales, towards the backend of last year.

The Facebook page for Theo The Mouse can be found here.