Jimmy Cricket and his wife May recently attended the wedding of some very good friends in their adopted home town of Rochdale.
The marriage of Lexi Hamer and Chris Rodgers took place at St Vincent’s RC Church in Norden, where Fr Paul Brindle celebrated mass, and was followed by a reception at Rochdale Rugby Union Club in Bamford.
Lexi is the daughter of Martin and Carole Hamer, who live in Norden, and Chris is the son of Cathryn and Eric Rodgers, who reside in Shawclough.
More than 100 guests in total attended the buffet meal and the evening celebration.
Jimmy Cricket has been reminiscing about the era of the comedy song and how he hopes he has helped keep it alive.
In his latest column for the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post, the famous entertainer recalls “the many comedy and novelty songs that used to permeate the airwaves in the 50s and 60s”.
He adds: “Commercial radio stations all have playlists now. This means they only play songs that appeal to younger audiences , which companies who advertise with them deem to be possible customers. That’s how the commercial radio stations make their money.
“However, you can still hear comedy and novelty songs on BBC radio stations, especially on their request shows.
“However, fear not dear readers.
“Just when you thought the comedy song was a footnote in the history of popular music, along comes the man in the wellies and the battered hat to save the day!
“Yes, my new CD called Light & Shade contains gems like ‘my budgie’s been tweeting for years’ and ‘I got blotto when I thought I’d won the lotto’.”
Light & Shade was officially released on 1 February and is available for £6 at www.jimmycricketshop.co.uk and at Jimmy’s live shows.
In the inside sleeve, Jimmy talks about the history behind the CD, which features a mixture of serious and comedy songs.
Jimmy Cricket encountered an unusual hotel door during his stay in south Gloucestershire for the 2014 Chipping Sodbury Festival.
The famous entertainer was one of the featured performers for this year’s festival at Chipping Sodbury’s impressive Town Hall.
The organisers of the festival also arranged for Jimmy and his wife, May, to stay overnight at the nearby Moda House Hotel on the High Street in the market town.
Hotel owners Jo and Duncan have a door which is their pride and joy because it has been shipped over from Saudi Arabia. In fact, it cost more for the door to be shipped over to England than for the item itself!
So why the fascination with this attractive feature located within the hotel dining room? Well, Duncan was a hotel manager in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so the door is a keepsake for both him and his wife to remember their time in the country.
One of Sir Alex Ferguson’s favourite entertainers has won Jimmy Cricket’s latest Golden Wellington award.
Eric Devereaux has had a stellar career as a compere and male vocalist, his notable stints during the cabaret heyday of the 60s and 70s including being a host at iconic venues such as Cadishead Conservative club in Salford.
He was good friends with Hughie Green – the legendary presenter of Opportunity Knocks – and was well-known on the Greater Manchester club circuit, with close ties to comedian Bernard Manning and impressionist Mike Yarwood among others.
Eric continues to be one of the favourite performers of Sir Alex, to the point where he has become an annual fixture for the former Manchester United manager’s birthday celebrations each year.
He moved to Norden in Rochdale to retire a few years ago, having been based for most of his life in Failsworth.
Rochdale-based comedian Jimmy presented the June Golden Welly award to Eric for a lifetime in showbusiness during one of jam night concerts which he arranges every other month at St Vincent’s RC Parish Centre in Norden.
Eric is also one of the organisers of an informal northern network of performers who get together periodically to socialise over lunch at the Royal Toby restaurant in Castleton, Rochdale.
The network, known as the Wooden Hut club, has over the past five years attracted the likes of Jimmy, Buzz Hawkins, Smug Roberts, Bernie Clifton, Arthur Bostrum, Freddy ‘Parrot face’ Davies, Johnny Casson, Andy Prior, Graham Grumbleweed and many more notable entertainers.
Jimmy said: “Eric is so deserving of a recognition of his talents and of the wonderful career in showbusiness he’s had over the years.
“I just wanted to acknowledge this in my own way. In fact, the award was only a small part of the evening and the main focus was an interview I conducted with Eric that lasted the entire second half of the concert!
“This chat was a tremendous trip down memory lane. Everyone present was just amazed at the stories Eric told and also wowed by the photos he brought along to prove what a remarkable life story he has and continues to have.”
Jimmy Cricket got a special visit from Irish TV to his home in Rochdale recently.
The Belfast-born entertainer was among several celebrities from around the Manchester area to be filmed as part of a relaunch by the satellite channel.
Irish TV, which is aimed at an audience based in Ireland and the overseas ex-pats market, has a Manchester-based presenter called Martin Logan. Jimmy has previously appeared with Martin on the station.
The channel has just had a relaunch in Dublin which will see Martin present a new programme from Manchester each week.
To mark the occasion, Martin asked some Manchester-based celebrities with an Irish connection to wish the channel all the very best for the future.
So Martin came to Jimmy’s home in late April with his cameraman and they filmed some footage of the funnyman being his usual comical self.
A young man described as having “remarkable ability” by famous entertainer Jimmy Cricket is the May winner of the Golden Wellington award.
Martin Finn, from Atherton near Wigan in Greater Manchester, is 22 years old and suffers from autism, a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people.
Jimmy said: “Martin’s condition is so significant that it prevents him from speaking in sentences.
“However, he has a miraculous talent of not only being able to remember song lyrics after listening to them, but a tremendous vocal gift of being able to sing these songs with great prowess.”
When Jimmy heard about Martin, he invited him to one of his jam nights at St Vincent’s RC parish centre in Norden, Rochdale.
Martin not only wowed everyone present during the evening with his great singing talent, but Jimmy used the opportunity to present him with the Golden Wellington monthly award.
Jimmy added: “There has been much recent interest in Martin. As his parents originally hail from the Ireland, he is about to appear on RTE – Ireland’s national TV channel – and in particular on their flagship chat show called The Late Late Show [the longest-running programme of its kind in the world].
“There is also a fundraising quest currently active to raise enough money for Martin to record his own CD.”
A Demis Roussos impersonation was part of the entertainment when Jimmy Cricket joined up with fellow comedian Alfie Joey.
The Jimmy & Alfie Show took place at the Customs House Theatre in South Shields last month.
Alfie has a real Tyneside connection as not only was he born in the region, he is also the current presenter of BBC Radio Newcastle’s breakfast show.
The show was well-received and Alfie even did an impersonation of Artemios ‘Demis’ Ventouris Roussos, a Greek singer who had a string of international hit records as a solo performer in the 1970s. His most famous single was Forever And Ever which topped the charts in several countries.
Jimmy said: “I was happy to spend some time after the show meeting and greeting those who were in attendance and was thrilled to have a chat with Susan Barnes.” (pictured above right).
Jimmy Cricket got more than he bargained for when he appeared at one of his favourite venues over Easter.
The well-known entertainer did a show at the West Cliff Theatre – where he is also a patron – in Clacton-in-Sea on Easter Sunday.
He has appeared at the theatre many times over the years and on this occasion brought his ‘Audience with’ show, which gives his fans a chance to ask him questions during the interactive part of the performance.
The host of this question-and-answer session was none other than Norman Jacobs – chair of the trust which runs the theatre and a joint winner of Jimmy’s Golden Wellington award for April.
Jimmy said: “I was really thrilled with the questions that were flung at me and thanks to Norman for expertly handling this part of the show on my behalf!”
And a seasonal bonus for Jimmy was when two fans presented him with an Easter egg!
Images with this story are:
Top – Jimmy with the volunteers of the theatre’s Friends groups.
Above right – Jimmy and Norman in action on stage.
Above – Norman, Jimmy and theatre manager Paul George.
Below – A couple of Jimmy’s fans who came along to present him with an Easter egg.
Jimmy Cricket has announced that two theatre volunteers from Essex are the Golden Wellie winners for April.
Norman Jacobs is the chairman of the Tendering Trust which runs the West Cliff Theatre in the seaside resort of Clacton-on-Sea, while Joan Beatton is the principal co-ordinator of the volunteers who support the venue as a friends group.
Jimmy said: “Norman has been the chair of the trust for a number of years and is unwaveringly devoted to the theatre’s survival.
“He is quite a character and appeared on a TV game show lately where he pocketed £10,000 in prize money and used it to fund an adventure to south America.
“Joan is a tireless campaigner for the West Cliff Theatre. She leads the volunteers group from the front, putting in so much time and energy to help keep the theatre alive, vibrant and, most importantly, open.”
The West Cliff Theatre is one of Jimmy’s favourite venues – he has appeared there on several occasions in the past, including headlining the 2006 summer season – and he wanted to recognise the efforts of Joan and Norman in trying to keep it going – hence the Golden Wellington award to both of them.
He made the presentation during his last visit to the theatre on Easter Sunday. Jimmy was appearing in the evening, but earlier in the day he was invited to a lunch with the friends group as a special guest and he used the opportunity to present Norman and Joan with the Golden Wellington.
The legendary Jimmy Cricket is set to join forces with BBC Radio Newcastle’s Alfie Joey for a comedy extravaganza at The Customs House Theatre in South Shields.
For one night only, two of the finest exponents of the art of comedy will bring their contrasting styles to a show that will be bursting with one-liners, gags, stories and the odd punchline or two!
The Jimmy and Alfie Show is on Saturday 10 May. Tickets have been kept affordable, with the top price capped at £14.
Alfie said: “It is a sheer delight to be sharing the stage with a comedy great like Jimmy Cricket.
“By teaming up with Jimmy, we not only complement one another, but we’ll bring different gag-telling approaches to the evening. This means those who can come along will have a real taste of comedy throughout our show at The Customs House.”
Jimmy said: “I’ve worked with Alfie on a number of occasions in the past, including teaming up together a couple of years ago for a show at the ARC arts centre in Stockton-on-Tees. So I was thrilled to be offered this chance to work with him again in South Shields because he is just great fun to be around.
“Why not come along and indulge in a few chuckles in what will be a splendid evening of laughter and frivolity!”