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!”.
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 enjoyed a trip to the National Waterways Museum in Cheshire recently.
The famous entertainer, 72, visited the historical venue in Ellesmere Port while appearing in panto at the town’s civic theatre just before Christmas.
He posted some photographs of his visit on social media channel Twitter and said: “Been round this wonderful nostalgic interactive archive library study, through our historical past, which is part of organisation based here at Ellesmere Port.”
The Boaty Theatre Company tweeted: “We met the lovely yesterday at the National Waterways Museum, thank you for taking time out to hear about our projects! Good luck in Dick Whittington! :)”
The museum’s collections and archives focus on the Britain’s navigable inland waterways, including its rivers and canals, and include canal boats, traditional clothing, painted canal decorative ware and tools.
It is one of several museums and attractions operated by the Canal & River Trust, the successor to The Waterways Trust.
Jimmy Cricket has praised the sets for the pantos he is appearing in over the festive season.
Famous Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy plays Professor Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington, which opens in his adopted hometown of Rochdale on Friday (22 December).
Ellesmere Port Civic Centre staged the show until Wednesday and Rochdale’s Gracie Fields Theatre will now host it up to New Year’s Eve (22-31 December).
The panto also features The Chase’s Mark Labbett (also known as The Beast), who plays King Rat.
Jimmy tweeted that the sets were “some of the best I have worked with over the years!”.
The pantomime in which Jimmy Cricket is performing this festive season had its first show this weekend.
Famous Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy plays Professor Fitzwarren in that old favourite Dick Whittington in both Ellesmere Port and his adopted hometown of Rochdale.
Ellesmere Port Civic Centre will stage the show until Wednesday (20 December) and Rochdale’s Gracie Fields Theatre from Friday until New Year’s Eve (22-31 December).
The panto will also feature The Chase’s Mark Labbett (also known as The Beast), who plays King Rat.
All the cast members had a pre-panto lunch at The Flying Horse pub restaurant in Rochdale town centre. The venue was the Rochdale, Oldham & Bury pub of the year 2016.
Jimmy Cricket retweeted a social media post about the press launch of the panto in which he will be appearing over the 2017 festive season.
The famous Northern Irish entertainer will be playing Professor Fitzwarren in that old favourite Dick Whittington in both Ellesmere Port and his adopted hometown of Rochdale.
The details for both pantos are below:
The panto will also feature The Chase’s Mark Labbett (also known as The Beast and can be seen in the middle of the photo at the top of the page), who will play King Rat.
Ellesmere Port Civic Centre will stage the show from 16 to 20 December and Rochdale’s Gracie Fields Theatre from 22-31 December.
Jimmy’s retweet on the press launch is below: