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Val Doonican

Blackpool Big Night Out: Relive it on BBC’s iPlayer 150 150 mhamer

Blackpool Big Night Out: Relive it on BBC’s iPlayer

Blackpool Big Night Out in on BBC's iPlayer

Jimmy Cricket and a host of other top entertainers have featured in a special programme about Blackpool – and you can catch it on iPlayer.

The 74-year-old Northern Irish comedian has performed at the popular Lancashire seaside resort many times over the years.

In the BBC documentary, he talks fondly about his feelings for the coastal town.

Blackpool is described as the beating heart of British entertainment.

The Lancashire coastal town launched the careers of Morecambe and Wise, attracted stars as big as Frank Sinatra and is still the spiritual home of the likes of the late Sir Ken Dodd, Cannon and Ball and many more.

Jimmy Cricket is among those interviewed on Blackpool Big Night Out

Jimmy tweeted: “Hi folks, here is a link to the BBC’s nostalgic look at this great seaside resort.”

He says on the programme about Blackpool: “I remember arriving and seeing the trams.

“There were people advertised on the trams, like Cilla Black and Val Doonican.

“And you think, you’ve arrived when you’ve got your name on a tram – this is incredible.

Blackpool Big Night Out on BBC's iPlayer“I remember once doing the south pier and actually saw my name on a tram.

“I thought ‘I must get on here!'”

The programme went out on BBC Two on Monday 27 April 2020 at 9.45pm.

You have just 11 days left (until 27 May) to watch on the BBC iPlayer.

Watch it here

Jimmy features about three quarters of the way through the hour-long programme.

Also read: From the archives – Norman Wisdom and Ernie Wise

Jimmy Cricket is seen performing on Blackpool Big Night Out

A pleasure working for showbiz legend & friend 150 150 mhamer

A pleasure working for showbiz legend & friend

Always a pleasure working for showbiz Legend and friend, Mr Johnny Manns, (in conjunction with Barbara Lindsey), alongside my other friend and musical arranger David Carter, with fellow pro’s Con and Dec, “The Bachelors” tonight at the Ivy Leaf Club!

Jimmy Cricket worked again recently with someone he describes as a “showbiz legend”.

The Northern Irish comedian was performing on a show at the Ivy Leaf Club in Whittlesey, Peterborough on Friday 19 October, which was organised by Johnny Mans and his production team in association with Barbara Lindsey.

Jimmy, 73, posted on social media: “Always a pleasure working for showbiz Legend and friend, Mr Johnny Mans, (in conjunction with Barbara Lindsey), alongside my other friend and musical arranger David Carter, with fellow pros Con and Dec, “The Bachelors” tonight at the Ivy Leaf Club!”

Johnny is the third generation of a showbiz family with his grandfather being a Yorkshire comedian and his grandmother a dancer with the Tiller Girls, a popular dance troupe famous for their high-kicking routines and who once counted former House Of Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd as a member.

His mother also became a Tiller Girl, as well as being a pantomime producer and a dance school teacher. Johnny’s six sisters were professional dancers, one of them touring with Arthur Lucan (Old Mother Riley) and another in Kirby’s Flying Ballet.

Johnny performed in his mother’s pantomime productions from the age of eight and after several years he developed his own comedy act and became one of the famous Carroll Levis discoveries, appearing on television from the Aston Studios in Birmingham.

Over the years Johnny appeared in theatres with star names of that era, including the famous American comedy duo The Bernard Brothers.

He also worked with Derek Roy, Jimmy Young, Marty Wilde, Ronnie Hilton and for a while joined the holiday camp world, first as a Redcoat and then a short spell as a Bluecoat, becoming an entertainment manager at the age of just 21.

The world of clubland also beckoned and he performed throughout the UK. After five summer seasons in Jersey in various productions, he eventually turned his hand to producing his own shows, being an agent and manager and also a concert promoter.

Since the early 1980s, he has been a prominent name in the entertainment world, having managed major stars such as Sir Norman Wisdom, Anne Shelton, Max Bygraves, Danny La Rue, Nicholas Parsons, Jon Pertwee and many other celebrities.

He has also produced and promoted shows for big names such as Des O’Connor, Cilla Black, The Platters, Bob Monkhouse, Val Doonican, Suzi Quatro, Little & Large, Tom O’Connor, John Inman and Dame Vera Lynn.

In 2009 he took over Encore magazine, printed every two months for the entertainment industry.

Charity is also a major part of Johnny’s life and over the past 40 years he has been involved with many fundraising organisations, including the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund (now the Royal Variety Charity), the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and the British Heart Foundation.

Johnny, who is also a family man, has produced shows at Buckingham Palace in the company of several members of the Royal Family.