Tag Archives: rochdale

Christmas jam night in Rochdale with Maureen’s Tappers & ‘Elvis Presley’

Great Festive Fun this evening at the, “St Vincent’s Jam Night”, with my fellow act Jim Nicholas and Maureen’s Tappers raising funds for #FrancisHouseCH 

Maureen’s Tappers and an Elvis Presley impersonator were among the acts at Jimmy’s Cricket’s Christmas jam night in Rochdale.

The event, hosted by the famous Northern Irish entertainer and his wife May Marion every couple of months,  takes place in the lounge area of St Vincent’s RC parish centre in his home town of Rochdale.

It started about a decade ago as an opportunity for Jimmy and other performers to try out new routines and is still going strong.

The famous entertainer has nicknamed those who regularly support these evenings as ‘Jimmy’s Jammers’.

At every event,  there is a raffle and the selling of refreshments, with all proceeds donated to a chosen charity.

Francis House Children’s Hospice, which is based in Didsburywas the beneficiary of the December jam night.

Famous funnyman Jimmy, 73, posted on social media: “Great Festive Fun this evening at the “St Vincent’s Jam Night”, with my fellow act Jim Nicholas [aka Elvis Presley] and Maureen’s Tappers raising funds for #FrancisHouseCH 🎭”


Jimmy and May attend ‘a wonderful wedding’

Lexi Hamer and Chris Rodgers
The happy couple Chris Rodgers and Lexi Hamer

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.

Jimmy Cricket's pictures from the wedding

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.

Famous comedian Jimmy tweeted later: “Been to the wonderful Wedding today of #LexiHamer and #ChrisRodgersalongside the father and mother of the bride #MartinHamer (editor of The Cricket Times and Lecturer at Salford University), and #CaroleHamer alongside their family and friends at #StVincentsCatholicChurch and afterwards at the Rochdale Rugby Union Club!”

Parish centre rehearsal for Empire Theatre play

No more Fiffing and Faffing will be staged at the Blackburn Empire Theatre on Sunday 16 September at 7.30pm

Jimmy Cricket used his regular show at a local parish centre to rehearse the staging of his first play.

No more Fiffing and Faffing will be performed at the Blackburn Empire Theatre on Sunday 16 September at 7.30pm.

Appearing with famous comedian Jimmy will be Jonathan Young from The Bachelors, and actor Colin Meredith, who has had several notable appearances in ITV’s Coronation Street over the years.

Tickets cost £10. You can also book by telephoning 01254 685 500. The theatre’s email address is boxoffice@blackburnempire.com.

Read more about the play and book online here.

Jimmy rehearsed part of the play (see photo above right) on his latest ‘Charity Jam Night’ at St Vincent’s Parish Centre in Rochdale on Tuesday 14 August.

The jam nights, hosted by the Northern Irish entertainer and his wife May Marion every couple of months, take place in the lounge area of the parish centre and people can attend for free.

It started more than a decade ago as an opportunity for Jimmy and other performers to try out new routines.

At every event,  there is a raffle and the selling of refreshments, with all proceeds donated to a chosen charity.

The photograph was taken by Bernadette Montgomery.

Katie Mulgrew appears in Coronation Street shows

Katie Mulgrew has been appearing in Coronation Street

Katie Mulgrew, stand-up comedian and Jimmy Cricket’s daughter, has been appearing in Coronation Street.

Well-known Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy, 72, tweeted (above) that Katie was in Monday’s episodes of the popular soap and will appear on Wednesday as well.

She had a talking part in Monday’s first episode (see 18.38 in a rerun of the show here) and appears again in the second one.

Katie, from Rochdale, is also a writer and was recently one of three winners of the Northern Writers Award run by Kudos North, the Manchester-based production arm of Kudos.

Triple header weekend in Wigan, Cannock and Birmingham

Jimmy Cricket and friends at the show in Standish, Wigan

Famous Northern Irish comedian Jimmy Cricket had a busy weekend with three shows in three different counties.

The popular 72-year-old entertainer was in Greater Manchester on Friday night, Hednesford in Staffordshire on Saturday and then Sunday saw him performing in Birmingham, West Midlands.

Rochdale-based Jimmy was first at the Standish Unity Club in Wigan, before moving on to Hednesford Ex Serviceman’s Club in Cannock, – an event that had been rescheduled due to the bad weather.

The weekend was rounded off by a show at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, a charity evening in aid of Molly Olly’s Wishes.

Golden Wellie award is given to band Level Three

Highlights from Jimmy Cricket's latest jam night in Norden, Rochdale

A band called Level Three are the latest recipients of Jimmy Cricket’s much-coveted Golden Wellie award.

The group formally received the accolade at one of Jimmy’s popular jam nights in Rochdale, which are hosted alternately by the famous comedian and his great showbiz friend Eric Devereaux.

Local, national and even on occasions international entertainers perform for nothing at the monthly event which takes place at St Vincent’s RC Parish Centre in Norden.

Among the entertainers at the jam evening for the latest event on 3 April were Level Three, featuring Eddie, Mike and Dave, who performed on the night and helped to raise money for charity in the process.

The Golden Wellington (known for short as Golden Wellie) is an award 72-year-old Jimmy  created several years ago based on his trademark wellington boots.

Although it is a bit of fun, it has a serious side as Jimmy uses the publicity from the award to acknowledge a good deed or significant contribution to a community.

Jimmy Cricket remembers comedy pals Sir Ken Dodd & Jim Bowen

Rochdale Council's photo of Sir Ken Dodd and Jimmy Cricket

Jimmy Cricket has been remembering comedy friends Jim Bowen and Sir Ken Dodd, who died within a few days of each other.

Liverpool legend Sir Ken, creator of the Diddy Men, passed away last weekend aged 90, having recently been released from hospital after six weeks of treatment for a chest infection.

And broadcaster and comedian Jim, best known for hosting darts-based game show Bullseye in the 1980s and ’90s, died on Wednesday at the age of 80.

Belfast-born and Rochdale-based Jimmy posted a video on Twitter in which he pays a special tribute to Sir Ken (below).

And Rochdale Council also tweeted the photo at the top of this article, saying: “Farewell to a legend – here’s comedy star Sir Ken Dodd with his good friend and Rochdale resident during a town hall dinner to celebrate Jimmy receiving a Papal knighthood in 2015. RIP and thanks for the laughs.”

Jimmy Cricket talking about Sir Ken Dodd

The Universe, the weekly Catholic newspaper, featured a photograph of Sir Ken on its front page (below), saying: “Catholic comedian leads tribute to legendary funnyman.”

And the Rochdale Observer also reported on Jimmy paying tribute to Sir Ken. The story recalled the tale of the stolen concrete wellies – read more about that here.

Read more about Sir Ken.

Jimmy Cricket talks about Sir Ken Dodd in the Catholic newspaper, The Universe

Former deputy headmaster Jim, who lived in North Lancashire, began his career as a stand-up comedian on the club circuit in the 1960s. He became a household name when he began presenting Bullseye in 1981. The Sunday tea time show ran for 14 years.

Jimmy tweeted: “So sad to hear of the passing of another legendary comic and game show host, my friend Jim Bowen, another ⭐️ star in heaven!”

Click here to watch Jimmy’s appearance on Bullseye.

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!”.


Banjo duo, dancers and the three-tenner sketch at Stockport’s The Plaza

Stockport's Plaza Theatre

Jimmy Cricket returned to The Plaza variety theatre in Stockport at the weekend to do his fourth show there.

Other acts included Shep’s Banjo Duo and dancers from the Stockport-based Debut Arts academy.

The famous comedian, 72, had last performed there in January 2016 and was clearly delighted to be back.

Afterwards he tweeted: “Wonderful Sunday afternoon performing alongside Howard and Steve, Shep’s Banjo Duo, Debut Arts Academy, with Ted Doan Manager and actor who took the lead in the, “The 3 Tenner Sketch”, my thanks goes to Stage, Sound and Lighting, Lawerence, Ben and Pam.”

‘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