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‘It was like the club circuit in the 1970s & 80s’

Jimmy Cricket appeared in the St Pat’s event at the Freckleton Sports and Social Club

Jimmy Cricket felt like he had gone back in time when he performed at a Lancashire venue recently.

The St Pat’s event featured famous entertainer Jimmy alongside the comedian Tony Jo at the Freckleton Sports and Social Club, just outside the city of Preston.

It was a fund-raiser to raise money for the cancer unit at the Victoria Hospital in Blackpool.

The event, which was held on a Sunday afternoon, was packed to the rafters.

Jimmy is performing more and more on a Sunday afternoon and is finding they are a popular time for people to attend a live event.

He said: “What made this afternoon even more enjoyable was that the atmosphere was more akin to the club circuit back in the 1970s and 1980s. I was very impressed with the set-up at this venue in Freckleton.”

Jimmy Cricket appeared in the St Pat’s event at the Freckleton Sports and Social Club

Fund-raiser for Lourdes Easter pilgrimage

Jimmy Cricket was at St Matthew’s Parish Hall in Jarrow in Tyne and WearJimmy Cricket was especially happy to help out at a fund-raising event recently.

The famous entertainer was at St Matthew’s Parish Hall in Jarrow in Tyne and Wear for the special function, which was organised by a lady called Liz Boylan.

It was arranged in memory of Liz’s late husband who passed away last year. She wanted the proceeds of the event to go to the Lourdes Easter pilgrimage. Easter is a special time at the famous shrine in France for young disabled children.

Liz got to know Jimmy’s son, Fr Frankie, when he studied theology at Ushaw College and Durham University a few years ago during his training for the Catholic priesthood.

So it was no surprise that Jimmy bumped into some of Fr Frankie’s friends with whom he trained and who went along to St Matthew’s to support Liz and her event.

Jimmy said: “A big thanks also to all at the Bede’s Well guest house in Jarrow where I and my wife, May, stayed after the show. We both received magnificent hospitality and I cannot praise the owner Paul enough.”

The two photos accompanying this story are of Jimmy and friends at the fund-raising event.

Jimmy Cricket was at St Matthew’s Parish Hall in Jarrow in Tyne and Wear

Book now to see Jimmy in action

Jimmy Cricket's shows in the first part of 2015

The first venue that famous comedian Jimmy Cricket will be visiting for his 2015 shows around the UK is the Plaza Theatre in Stockport on Sunday (25 January).

With the show scheduled for a 3pm start, there is the chance to have Sunday lunch with all the family, then go along to see him and laugh away the calories! Tickets are priced at £10 (£5 for under 16s).

Jimmy embarks on a tour of Northern Ireland with the You Must Be Joking show next week.

When the veteran entertainer visits the charming Lamproom Theatre in South Yorkshire during February, he will feature in a format that will afford the audience an opportunity to ask him a question, as he brings his Audience with show to the Barnsley region.

Jimmy’s trip to the Victoria Theatre in Halifax on 25 March will be part of a Music Hall show that his good friend, Neil Hurst, is organising.

And he is also looking forward to visiting Bexhill-on-Sea, where the team behind the Bexhill Festival of Music are organising the show he will headline in April.

All the other venues on the list shown above right will also present Jimmy’s Value for a Tenner show.

So if you live in one of the regions Jimmy will be visiting during the first half of 2015, do go along and see him in action.

A Christmas & New Year message from Jimmy

Here is a Christmas and New Year message from your favourite entertainer Jimmy Cricket:

Jimmy Cricket's Christmas card features the Only Fools and Horses’ sketch staring regular cast members David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst, plus special Comic Relief guest David BeckhamDear all,

I write this from my dressing room at the Charter Theatre in Preston where I am currently appearing in a pantomime production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. We have had some great audiences in Preston and the show has been great fun to do! (There is still time to come along as the show continues until the 3rd of January).

Another year has gone by and, after spending some time over Christmas with my family, I will start to look forward to what 2015 will bring.

This will be a special year for me as in October I will turn 70! Already there are plans in place on how this milestone will be marked and one of the exciting events will be a special fun run to be arranged at a location within my adopted home town of Rochdale.

There are already several interesting touring commitments lined up for 2015. In the early part of the year I will feature in a comedy show called You Must Be Joking, which has several tour dates around Northern Ireland in late January and early February.

I am also teaming up with the male vocalist Michael George for a couple of theatre dates in May and I make a welcome return during 2015 to the Warner Leisure Hotels circuit for the first time in several years.

Of course, I will also be touring my own stand-up show throughout the year and venues already lined up for 2015 include: Stockport, Preston, Barnsley, East Kilbride, Horsham, Nelson and Soham.

Over the last few weeks I have just finished recording a new comedy music CD called Jimmy Cricket – Light and Shade and this will be available to purchase early in the New Year.

Finally, it only remains for me to wish all readers a very happy and peaceful Christmas and a great start to the New Year!

Jimmy Cricket (17 December 2014)

Christmas carol service with a difference

Jimmy Cricket is starring in a Christmas carol service with a comedy twist.

The difference between this carol service, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio Lancashire at noon on Christmas Eve, and a conventional one is that this version features comedians who intersperse the music and singing with sprinklings of humour.

The BBC Radio Lancashire carol service includes Jimmy Cricket, Steve Royle, Danny Pensive and Tony Vino

Also involved with famous entertainer Jimmy is BBC Radio Lancs comedian and presenter Steve Royle, alongside comics Danny Pensive and Tony Vino.

The carol service was recorded at the Roman Catholic church in the East Lancashire town of Clitheroe where Jimmy’s son, Fr Frankie Mulgrew, is based.

Fr Frankie did a reading alongside the Parish Priest at St Michael and St John’s RC Church, Fr John. Pictured is the front page of the order of service.

It includes all the classic carols one would expect for such a service, like Ding Dong Merrily on High, Silent Night and We Three Kings.

Jimmy will be listening to the programme on Christmas Eve – in between his 10:15am and 1:30pm performances of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre in Preston.

The panto, which opened last week and runs through to 3 January,  is a straight transfer from a hugely successful show, which was hosted at the Billingham Forum Theatre in Stockton-On-Tees last year.

Tickets are very affordable for all the family and the show schedule has a range of options, including morning, afternoon and early evening performances.

For more details and to book online, please visit the theatre’s website.

Packed show is a family affair

Jimmy Cricket and Fr Frankie appeared in the Clitheroe Advertiser

Jimmy Cricket and his second son, the newly ordained Fr Frankie Mulgrew, played to a fullhouse in aid of charity recently.

Like his famous dad, Frankie is also an entertainer and went under the stage name of Frankie Doodle during his show business days.

Jimmy Cricket's wife, May Mulgrew,
Jimmy’s wife, May

He was ordained a Catholic priest in an ordination service at Salford Cathedral last summer, but still does the occasional comedy gig in aid of charity.

Jimmy, his wife May Mulgrew – who is a professional singer under the stage name of May Marion – and Fr Frankie all appeared in the concert at the end of January which was a fund-raiser for the charity Mary’s Meals.

It is an organisation which supports school feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education.

The event was hosted at the community hall connected with the parish church where Fr Frankie is based – St John’s Catholic Church in Clitheroe.

Jimmy, who was born James Mulgrew, said: “The show played to a fullhouse, with 70 people having to be put on a waiting list for returned tickets!

“A magnificent total of £2, 250 was raised from the night for Mary’s Meals.”

The image above shows a story published in the Clitheroe Advertiser newspaper published on 6 February about the show.

Comics join forces for family show

The South Shields Gazette article on the Jimmy and Alfie ShowJimmy Cricket is teaming  up with fellow comedian Alfie Joey for a performance in South Shields this spring.

Northern Irish entertainment legend Jimmy and BBC Radio Newcastle breakfast presenter Alfie pair will feature in the aptly named ‘Jimmy and Alfie’ show at the Customs House Theatre on Saturday 10 May.

The South Shields Gazette recently published a newspaper article (right) about the gig, entitled “And there’s more for the whole family”.

Jimmy said: “A big thanks to senior reporter Vicki Newman for this great write-up.”

The newspaper’s website also has a story about the show in which Alfie  – who can also seen in BBC Two sitcom, Hebburn – says: “Jimmy and myself became pals in quite an unusual way.

“I had trained to become a priest and left to become a comedian, and his son, the comedian Frankie Doodle, was a comedian and gave it up to become a priest. He’s Fr Frank Mulgrew now.

“People said we’d been through the same thing, just in the opposite direction, and we got talking, and I realised who his dad was.

“I ended up being invited to Jimmy’s 60th birthday party and became a family friend, and we’ve done a few gigs before, but this will be the first one that’s just me and him.”

Does God laugh out loud?

Does God LOL? Compiled by Frankie Mulgrew, son of Jimmy CricketThe comedian-turned-priest younger son of entertainer Jimmy Cricket has had a book published about God and humour.

Frankie Mulgrew, whose stage name was Frankie Doodle, compiled and edited Does God LOL? (LOL is internet slang for Laugh Out Loud), which went on sale recently.

Fr Frankie Mulgrew leaves church after saying his first Mass as a Catholic priest

Ken Dodd, Ricky Tomlinson, Tim Vine, Jo Brand, Milton Jones and the late Frank Carson are among the famous showbiz names to have contributed to the book, which is priced at £7.99 (and is available at all good bookshops and websites, including Amazon).

The foreword was written by top theologian Tom Wright and there are cartoons from Dave Walker, Simone Lia, Mike Kazybrid and Robert Duncan.

All proceeds from sales of the book will go towards the charity Mary’s Meals, an organisation which supports school feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education.

Fr Frankie (above right), who was ordained a Roman Catholic priest at Salford Cathedral last month, dedicated the book to his dad – “for introducing me to one of God’s greatest gifts” – when he celebrated his first Mass, and presented him with a special copy.

Does God LOL? develops a theme around whether the Almighty has a sense of humour, with an impressive array of well-known comedians, actors and performers – including Jimmy Cricket as well of course – all giving it some serious thought.

The book is published by Darton, Longman & Todd.

* Does God LOL? is clearly in demand: The popular Amazon website reported on 4 August that it had “only nine [copies] left in stock (more on the way)”, though there appears to be good availability again now (as of 11 August) – and it is currently available at just £5.99.

Remembering a legend

Fr Jimmy and Frankie Mulgrew, Jimmy Cricket's son
Fr Jimmy and Frankie Mulgrew, who is training to become a Catholic priest

Jimmy Cricket paid his respects to an inspirational priest on a recent visit to Liverpool.

The Irish comedian was appearing at this year’s Northern Catholic Conference (NCC), which is an annual fixture in Liverpool Hope University’s calendar.

He not only attended the social evening (which is traditionally scheduled for the middle evening of the conference), but he also participated in a special commemoration service to mark the outstanding life of the late Fr Jimmy Collins.

Canon Collins, who was parish priest of St Joseph the Worker in Kirkby for 30 years, died in April aged 94 – just three months short of the 70th anniversary of his priestly ordination. He was known to many as “Fr Jimmy” and “priest of the people”.

His funeral Mass took place on Tuesday 1 May, the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, when a congregation of 2,000 filled Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King.

The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Patrick Kelly, together with Auxiliary Bishop Tom Williams, retired Auxiliary Bishop Vincent Malone and 82 concelebrating priests from across the Liverpool Archdiocese and beyond.

“Fr Jimmy was a magnificent example of a man who lived life to the full,” says Jimmy Cricket. “He touched the lives of so many people. He has legendary status within his hometown of Liverpool.”

Jimmy’s son, Frankie, who is training to be a Roman Catholic priest and will soon be ordained a deacon, was one of the original members of the group that launched the Northern Catholic Conference a few years ago.

Since that first event, which was held at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool,the NCC has continued to grow since Hope University became its regular venue.

Jimmy Cricket with all the restaurant staff at Liverpool Hope University (a big thank-you to Helen Davis for this photo)
Jimmy with all the restaurant staff at Liverpool Hope University (thanks to Helen Davis for this photo)

Why Jimmy is so fond of Midlands town

Sutton Coldfield Observer preview of Jimmy's latest performance in the town
Sutton Coldfield Observer preview of Jimmy's latest performance in the town

Jimmy Cricket is to appear in a charity show in a town which has a special place in his heart.

The famous Irish comedian is performing at the Falcon Lodge Youth and Community Centre in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, West Midlands, on Friday 30 March.

It means Jimmy will also be able to see his youngest son, Frankie, who is training to be a Roman Catholic priest at nearby Oscott College.

He told the Sutton Coldfield Observer: “I love that neck of the woods. I was there in November for a Help the Heroes night and I’m really looking forward to returning, both to perform and to see my son.”

The profits from the show will go to the Carpenter’s Arms Community Centre which is operated by the Sutton Central Churches Trust.

For tickets to the show, ring the Falcon Lodge centre on 0121 378 1555.