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the comedians

Charlie Williams – one of the funniest men to grace a stage 150 150 mhamer

Charlie Williams – one of the funniest men to grace a stage

Hi folks! Paying tribute here to one of the funniest men that ever graced a stage, my friend the great Charlie Williams! #keepvarietyalive

Jimmy Cricket fondly remembered multi-talented trailblazer Charlie Williams in his latest newspaper column.

Writing in the Blackpool Gazette on Tuesday 24 May, Jimmy said Charlie had broken down racial barriers and had successful careers as both a comedian and a professional footballer.

Charlie was born in Yorkshire of Jamaican descent and was the first black comedian to make the big time on British TV.

He found fame on hit 1970s TV show The Comedians and developed the comedy catchphrase “me old flower”.

Others he appeared with on Granada’s The Comedians included Frank Carson, Tom O’Connor and Jim Bowen.

He went on to host the Golden Shot game show.

Previously, he had played professional football for Doncaster Rovers.

Charlie was awarded an MBE in 1966 for his charity work.

He died in 2006 at the age of 78, having been ill for some time with Parkinson’s and dementia.

Jimmy introduced his latest newspaper column on social media by describing his friend Charlie as “one of the funniest men that ever graced a stage”.

His column began: “I’ve been working on an autobiography dear read­er, but who hasn’t during the lockdowns, when we’ve had so much time on our hands?

“I think the trick is to revisit it now that things are back to normal.

Ronald Reagan’s 80 chapters

“To keep fired up, Mrs Cricket bought me a few autobiographies I expressed an interest in.

“The first one was Michael McIntyre and when I got to the end I said to her: ‘Look, Michael’s finished his life story at 23 chapters, I’m up to 29 chapters and I’ve still got a way to go.’

“She said: ‘I know, but he’s in his forties, you’re 76!’

“Ouch!

“I then opened Ronald Reagan’s autobiography: ‘Look!’ I said. “It took Ronnie 80 chapters to finish his.’

“‘Yes’, she said. ‘But he had two jobs. First, he was an actor, and then he became President of the United States!’

Won the nation’s hearts

“You know that got me thinking.

“It’s taking me all my time to make a living out of being a full-time comedian, so I’m in awe of anyone who can climb the lad­der in one job and then go into a totally different occupation and become a resounding success in that one as well.

“Older readers will remember a black comedian, Charlie Williams, who won the nation’s hearts when he came on the television programme The Comedians.

“Charlie’s wonderful Yorkshire accent endeared him to millions of fans.

“In fact, he was breaking down racial barriers way before the woke people came on the scene.

“However, I wonder how many people actually knew that Charlie had an illustrious career as a professional footballer, playing centre-half for Doncas­ter Rovers.

“As soon as Charlie reached retirement, a career in showbiz beckoned and he moved seamlessly from kicking a ball to holding a mic.

“Sadly, he developed Par­kinson’s Disease, but trouper that he was with the help of his friend Neil Crossland, he carried on touring.

“Neil helped him to dress, led him onstage and Charlie did his act sitting on a chair.

“I have a happy memory of them both coming over to my house in Rochdale, and we all swapped showbiz stories over lunch.”

Also read: Little and Large: It was a joy to work with them both

Can’t find October dates? Come closer! 150 150 mhamer

Can’t find October dates? Come closer!

Jimmy Cricket and Brotherhood of Man

Struggling to find out what your favourite comedian Jimmy Cricket is up to during October?

Well, come closer!

Technical problems mean that the popular events calendar feature on this website has unexpectedly stopped working – unlike Jimmy who has another busy month ahead.

So please accept our apologies and while we try to rectify the problem, here is Jimmy’s schedule in October – events subject to change, of course.

 

Mon 1st

Solihull Arts Centre at 1.30pm

 

Tue 2nd

Sheffield City Hall (Jimmy and Mick)

 

Wed 3rd

Thameside Theatre, Essex (tenner show)

 

Thu 4th

Laugh Inn, Chester (Jimmy & Mick)

 

Fri 5th

Festival Drayton Centre, Market Drayton

 

Sat 6th

Blackfriars Arts Centre, Boston (music and Mayhem)

 

Thu 11th

St Peter’s, Hazel Grove

 

Fri 12th

St Catherine’s, Didsbury

Sat 13th

Walmer Bridge Village Hall

 

Sun 14th

Bucknall Pentecostal Church, Stoke-on-Trent

 

Thu 25th

Laughing Crow Comedy Club, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow

 

Fri 26th

Sherburn WMC, Durham

 

Sat 27th

Acorn Theatre, Worksop

 

Sun 28th

Thwaites Empire Anniversary Show, Blackburn

 

Tue 30th

Victoria Hall, Southborough, Surrey

 

Wed 31st

Victoria Hall, Southborough
From Cinders to stand-up 150 150 mhamer

From Cinders to stand-up

Comedy legends Mick Miller and Jimmy Cricket to team up in Darlington

Comedian Jimmy Cricket is returning to the Civic Theatre in Darlington – just months after appearing on the same stage as Baron Hardup in a pantomime version of Cinderella.

This time around, Jimmy is down to do his usual stand-up and is teaming up with fellow comedy legend Mick Miller.

Jimmy enjoyed his time in Darlington so much at Christmas that he could not wait to get back to the civic theatre. When a date was found over the summer, he did not need think twice about it.

He found the Darlington audiences very warm and receptive, and so he now wants to perform the stand-up for which he is famous.

Mick Miller received plenty of praise and plaudits after his appearance in last December’s Royal Command Variety Performance which was broadcast on ITV.

In addition to the Darlington appearance on Wednesday 11 July, the Jimmy and Mick Show tour also includes Preston, Chester, Sheffield and Manchester. It is even down to visit the world-famous Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August.

Jimmy said: “It is a great thrill to be returning to the civic theatre in Darlington after appearing in the theatre’s pantomime last Christmas.

“I am especially excited as people who came to see the panto will now get a chance to see me perform my stand-up.

“Darlington has a great theatre which is really ideal for us comedians as it has an intimate setting that creates a great atmosphere. The evening in question brings together two fine exponents of the arts of comedy and this is a comedy treat that should not be missed.”

Mick said:  “This date in Darlington kicks off mine and Jimmy’s tour together, and I know we are going to have a barrel of laughs over the different dates.

“But I cannot think of a better starting point than Darlington. If you want a giggle or two, then hop down to the civic theatre because with the two of us on stage, it is going to be madcap fun and laughter all the way.”

* Stay up-to-date with all Jimmy Cricket’s forthcoming shows here