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Paying tribute to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

pay tribute to a fellow Irishman, and to the Silver Screen's Stan and Ollie, with a great performance from @Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly

Jimmy Cricket writes about his admiration for a legendary comedy duo in his latest newspaper column.

In the 1 April edition of the Lancashire Post, the popular Northern Irish entertainer reviews a recent film about the careers of Englishman Stan Laurel and American Oliver Hardy.

They acted during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema and became well known during the late 1920s to the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy. Laurel played the clumsy friend of the pompous Hardy.

Jimmy’s column begins: I’ve just come back from doing my one man show at the Slapstick Comedy Festival in Bristol at the Studio adjoining the Old Vic Theatre. The festival was started by a guy called Chris Daniels who just loves visual and silent comedy.

“I did my live set sandwiched between movies of Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy up on the big wide screen. There’s been a resurgence of interest in Laurel and Hardy, mainly due to a biopic of the duo which went on general release in our cinemas recently called Stan and Ollie.

“In fact, I’ve been to see it twice. Well folks, our local Odeon Cinema here in Rochdale only charges a fiver to get in. It’s a moving, tender tribute to one of the funniest double acts ever to grace the silver screen; not only do Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel, and John C Reilly as Oliver Hardy get into the skin of these two lovable clowns, but the ladies that played their wives both give stunning performance as well.

“Nina Arianda plays Stan’s other half and Shirley Henderson is Ollie’s. I had a little inside information on this film. Steve Coogan’s Uncle Bernard takes his grandkids to the same school in Rochdale that I take mine, so I get some tasty nuggets of gossip in the playground.

“I looked at him enviously as he told me about getting the red carpet treatment when he got invited to the premiere of the movie up at the local cinema in Ulverston where Stan Laurel grew up. The only time I get to see a red carpet is when Mrs Cricket hands me the Hoover.”

Read Jimmy’s full column here

 

Return to Bacup theatre for St Patrick’s Day show

JUST £10 FOR ADULTS/£5 FOR CHILDREN Jimmy Cricket - Great Value for a Tenner Comedy Show Featuring Dancers from Dansworks Dance Academy of Performing Arts CIC Sunday 17th March 2019 Book Now - www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/489130 Tickets also available from Wishes Galore, Rochdale Road, Bacup. You pay no booking fee at Wishes Galore! #jimmycricket #comedylegend #livecomedy #familyentertainment #rossendale #rossendalevalleyFamous funnyman Jimmy Cricket is performing again at the Lancashire theatre where he recorded his DVD.

Jimmy Cricket Live – Pull Your Seats Forward was created by the popular comedian’s family company, Wellie Boot Productions, in 2010 at the Royal Court Theatre in Bacup, Lancashire, near Jimmy’s adopted home of Rochdale in Greater Manchester.

And the Northern Irish entertainer returns to the venue on Sunday – St Patrick’s Day – for one of his Great Value for a Tenner comedy shows.

Belfast-born Jimmy produced the DVD in response to the overwhelming public clamour that suggested there was a real demand for a recording of his stand-up entertainment.

Jimmy Cricket Live - Pull Your Seats Forward

The DVD is an hour and 10 minutes long and includes Jimmy’s favourite routines, a phone call and letter from his mammy, his famous Leaving Home poem, his sentimental ballad called I’m Dreaming of a Far off Land and 20 minutes of extras.

Around 8,000 copies of the DVD have been sold, which is particularly impressive as it is not available in retail outlets; it can only be bought via the Go Shopping page on this website or at one of his live shows.

Jimmy posted on social media this week: “Looking forward to my return to the Theatre were I recorded my DVD nine years ago for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations this coming Sunday with Dansworks Dance Academy and a few Irish songs from Mrs C. ☘️

The full details for the show are below:

😁JUST £10 FOR ADULTS/£5 FOR CHILDREN😁
Jimmy Cricket – Great Value for a Tenner Comedy Show
Featuring Dancers from Dansworks Dance Academy of Performing Arts CIC
Sunday 17 March 2019
Book Now – www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/489130
Tickets also available from Wishes Galore, Rochdale Road, Bacup. You pay no booking fee at Wishes Galore!
#jimmycricket #comedylegend #livecomedy#familyentertainment #rossendale #rossendalevalley

Below: watch an interview with Jimmy about his DVD.

Skegness awaits return of ‘superstar TV comedian’

The Club Tropicana Friday 26 July, the very welcome return of the very funny TV star Jimmy Cricket, with full supporting show

Jimmy Cricket is back at a top entertainment venue in Lincolnshire in the summer.

The famous Northern Irish comedian, 71, has performed at the Club Tropicana in Skegness previously and returns for a show there on Friday 26 July (8pm start).

Club Tropicana’s website describes itself  as the “East Coast’s finest ‘live’ entertainment venue”.

In anticipation of Jimmy’s latest show at the club in Chapel St Leonards, it talks about “the very welcome return of the superstar TV comedian Jimmy Cricket, with full supporting show from the brilliant Kaiser Monkey Killers and Starlite 19”.

Members get in free, while non-members pay on the door. Table reservations are recommended and tables are served until 8pm. To book a table, call 01754 874444 (option 2).

Find out more details here.

Rod Stewart tribute act & the Eric Morecambe Halls

Lovely afternoon at the Eric Morecambe Halls in Harpenden with the Sarah Andrews Dance Academy who performed in the first half, then received awards for their individual achievements and I was privileged to have been asked to present the awards alongside singer/compère Roger!

Jimmy Cricket had a busy weekend of shows in which he performed alongside a Rod Stewart tribute act and also presented some dance awards.

The famous comedian was at the E57 Club in Birmingham on the night of Saturday 17 November and then the following afternoon, he performed at the Eric Morecambe Halls in the St Albans City district of Hertfordshire.

He tweeted after the first show (photo below): “Great night at the E57 Club with fellow acts, Nathan Singer/Compère, with Rod Stewart tribute Gerry, and also pictured here with Committee member Patrick in front of the poster!”

And the following day, he posted the picture above on social media saying: “Lovely afternoon at the Eric Morecambe Halls in Harpenden with the Sarah Andrews Dance Academy who performed in the first half, then received awards for their individual achievements and I was privileged to have been asked to present the awards alongside singer/compère Roger!”

Great night at the E57 Club with fellow acts, Nathan Singer/Compère, with Rod Stewart tribute Gerry, and also pictured here with Committee member Patrick in front of the poster!

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.

Sales of first live DVD approach 8,000 mark

Sales of Jimmy Cricket’s first live DVD are approaching 8,000.

Jimmy Cricket Live - Pull Your Seats Forward

Jimmy Cricket Live – Pull Your Seats Forward was created by the famous comedian’s family company, Wellie Boot Productions, in 2010.

Belfast-born Jimmy produced the DVD in response to the overwhelming public clamour that suggested there was a real demand for a recording of his stand-up entertainment.

It was filmed at the Royal Court Theatre in Bacup, Lancashire, near Jimmy’s adopted home of Rochdale in Greater Manchester.

The DVD is an hour and 10 minutes long and includes Jimmy’s favourite routines, a phone call and letter from his mammy, his famous Leaving Home poem, his sentimental ballad called I’m Dreaming of a Far off Land and 20 minutes of extras.

The sales figure is particularly impressive as the DVD is not available in retail outlets: it can only be bought via the Go Shopping page on this website or at one of his live shows.

Jimmy said: “Just coming up to 8,000 sales on my DVD, Pull your seats forward. A big thank you to all those people who have bought one. As they’re not on general release, it means those who got one at my show got a handshake and those that went through my website got a personal letter.”

Above is an edited version of a trailer of Jimmy Cricket live at the Royal Court Theatre in Bacup. Journalist and Cricket Times editor Martin Hamer asks Jimmy all about the show in an interview which includes exclusive excerpts from the DVD. The full longer version of the interview can be viewed below.

‘Elvis Presley’ performs at special birthday party

Great night celebrating Carolyn Topham’s, “Special Birthday”, @TheBrassBandClub Clitheroe with family and friends and with my thanks to fellow act Jim Nicholas for his Elvis impersonation!

Jimmy Cricket teamed up with “Elvis Presley” for a special birthday party in Lancashire recently.

The famous entertainer performed at the Billington & Whalley Brass Band Club in Clitheroe, along with good friend and Elvis impersonator Jim Nicholas.

Jimmy, 72, posted on social media channel Twitter afterwards: “Great night celebrating Carolyn Topham’s “Special Birthday” @TheBrassBandClub Clitheroe with family and friends and with my thanks to fellow act Jim Nicholas for his Elvis impersonation! 🎭

* Jimmy’s first play, No more Fiffing and Faffing, is being staged at the Blackburn Empire Theatre tomorrow (Sunday, 16 September) at 7.30pm.

Read more about the play here.

 

Comic-turned-priest Fr Frankie’s inspiring story

Frankie Mulgrew, the younger son of comedian Jimmy Cricket, followed in his father’s footsteps in comedy – until a battle with depression ultimately led to him becoming a priest.

Frankie was captivated by a love of the stage and entertainment as a child and was a stand-up comedian known as Frankie Doodle.

But he suffered with depression around the age of 18 and it led him eventually to become a priest after realising the healing power of the Catholic religion.

Fr Mulgrew, 41, has told his inspiring story to the Lancashire Evening Post newspaper, where dad Jimmy has a monthly column.

See the full article here

Also read: Father Frankie makes mum & dad very proud 

Frankie Mulgrew

Frankie Mulgrew

Fr Frankie Mulgrew

 

The Chase’s ‘Beast’ Mark Labbett is a gentle giant

Jimmy Cricket's February column in the Lancashire Evening Post was about Mark'The Beast' Labbett from ITV's The Chase

Jimmy Cricket’s latest column in the Lancashire Evening Post was about Mark ‘The Beast’ Labbett from TV’s The Chase.

Famous Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy performed with Mark in pantomime in Ellesmere Port and Rochdale during the last festive season.

Mark  is a ‘Chaser’ on the ITV teatime game show The Chase, which is hosted by Bradley Walsh.

He began the role in 2009 and he has since appeared on the American version as their sole Chaser in 2013 as well as being one of six Chasers in the Australian series. He has also appeared in several other television quiz shows and is a regular in quizzing competitions.

His TV nickname ‘The Beast’ is a reference to both his stature (he’s 6ft 6in tall) and his surname – Labbett sounds like the French ‘la bête’, meaning ‘the beast’.

In his February LEP column, Jimmy told how during the time the panto was in Rochdale, Mark hosted a weekly quiz in The Flying Horse Hotel in the town and then in Ellesmere Port, ended up calling out a few games of bingo at a nearby Mecca hall!

On both occasions, Mark declined a fee and instead arranged for himself and the cast to have a meal courtesy of the two venues.

Added Jimmy: “All thanks to big Mark, our gentle giant with the big heart!”.

 

‘I was thrilled to perform in panto in Rochdale’

Jimmy Cricket tweeted he was thrilled in appear in a pantomime in his adopted hometown of Rochdale

Jimmy Cricket said he was thrilled in appear in a pantomime in his adopted home town of Rochdale.

Famous Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy played Professor Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington in both Ellesmere Port and in Rochdale.

Ellesmere Port Civic Centre staged the show until 20 December and Rochdale’s Gracie Fields Theatre from 22-31 December.

The panto also featured The Chase’s Mark Labbett (known as The Beast), who played King Rat.

Jimmy tweeted: “What a thrill it was to play panto in my adopted home town of Rochdale, at the Gracie Fields Theatre. I ‘d like to thank all my friends and neighbours for supporting their local Theatre.”

The 72-year-old comedian also posted his thanks to everyone involved in the production of the panto, including his “wonderful” fellow cast members.

Jimmy Cricket tweeted his thanks to everyone involved in the panto