Tag Archives: showbusiness

Sharing some nostalgia on my great friend Phyllis

Sharing some nostalgia here with my great friend and personal manager Phylis Rounce who was with me when Variety was King on Television and out there with live performance!

Jimmy Cricket has been reminiscing on social media with some photographs relating to theatrical agent Phyllis Rounce.

In addition to managing Jimmy, Phyllis also looked after the careers of other stars such as Rod Hull and Emu, and Tony Hancock.

Hull was a comedian, best known as a popular entertainer on British television in the 1970s and 1980s. He rarely appeared without Emu, a mute, highly aggressive arm-length puppet modelled on the Australian flightless emu bird.

Hancock was a high-profile comedian and actor during the 1950s and early 1960s, enjoying major success with his BBC series Hancock’s Half Hour, first broadcast on radio and then on television.

Famous entertainer Jimmy posted the pictures above recently, adding: “Sharing some nostalgia here with my great friend and personal manager Phyllis Rounce who was with me when Variety was King on Television and out there with live performance!”

Speaking in his monthly column in the Lancashire Evening Post last summer, Jimmy said that Phyllis – known as Phil to her friends – was an “exceptional manager who went the extra mile for her artistes”.

He described her as “one of the all-time great theatrical agents in the world of showbusiness”.

Jimmy’s LEP column: My tribute to a great agent

Jimmy Cricket's June column in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket has been paying tribute to “one of the all-time great theatrical agents” in his latest column in the Lancashire Evening Post.

The 72-year-old comedian recalls the career of Phyllis Rounce, who also managed the likes of Rod Hull and Emu, and Tony Hancock.

Rod Hull was a comedian, best known as a popular entertainer on British television in the 1970s and 1980s. He rarely appeared without Emu, a mute, highly aggressive arm-length puppet modelled on the Australian flightless emu bird.

Hancock was a high-profile comedian and actor during the 1950s and early 1960s, enjoying major success with his BBC series Hancock’s Half Hour, first broadcast on radio and then on television.

Jimmy said Phyllis – who was known as Phil to her friends – was an “exceptional manager who went the extra mile for her artistes”.

He added that she “had a love affair with showbusiness that started during the Second World War.

“She realised the part entertainment could play in boosting soldiers’ morale and keeping their spirits up on the way to the front.

“How lucky was I to be guided by a lady with such a caring nature and such creative vision.”

On social media channel Twitter, Jimmy said the June column in the Preston-based LEP was his “dedication and tribute to one of the all-time great theatrical agents in the world of showbusiness”.

Jimmy Cricket agrees digital download deal

Jimmy Cricket has agreed a deal with Townsend Records
Jimmy Cricket has formed a new partnership with an independent record store, whose clients include singer-songwriter Noel Gallagher, entertainer Mike Harding and folk band Houghton Weavers.

The well-known Northern Irish comedian has agreed for Townsend Records, who are based in Great Harwood near Blackburn in Lancashire,  to exclusively provide and manage a new digital store, where downloads of all four of his CD titles can be obtained – both as a full album or as individual tracks.

This means that his two comedy CDs – Best of Jimmy Cricket and Jimmy Cricket – Bee in his Bonnet – and his two music CDs, Jimmy Cricket – I’m dreaming of a far off land and Jimmy Cricket – Light & Shade, are now available to purchase in a digital format online.

Each individual track can be downloaded at a cost of 99p each, with each full album priced at £9.99 per download.

Jimmy’s new online store can be found at http://jimmycricket.tmstor.es/

Keith Harris: ‘Great showman – we salute you’

Jimmy Cricket appeared on Keith Harris’s holiday laughter show (with Orville and Cuddles) at the Royal Opera House in the summer of 1982

Jimmy Cricket has been paying tribute in his latest newspaper column to ventriloquist Keith Harris, who died last month.

Keith, who, with his puppet duck Orville, became a regular feature of Saturday night TV in the 1980s, was 67.

He entertained generations of children with his sidekick Orville, a bright green duck who wore a nappy and spoke in a high-pitched voice but couldn’t fly. He also gave life to the popular puppet Cuddles the monkey, whose catchphrase was ‘I hate that duck!’

In addition to fronting The Keith Harris Show on BBC One, he (and Orville) gave private performances at birthday parties for Prince William and his brother Harry, at the request of Diana, Princess of Wales.

His 1982 single, Orville’s Song, was a top five hit, selling more than 400,000 copies.

In his May column for the Preston-based Lancashire Evening News, Jimmy says: “Most ventriloquists that are successful discover one dummy that tickles people’s funny bone, but Keith was blessed with two.

“In 1983, holidaymakers were still visiting our summer resorts en masse and Keith’s show was a sellout from start to finish.

“Keith Harris – you weren’t just a superb ventriloquist, you were a great showman and producer.

“We salute you.”

Will the ‘real Jimmy Cricket’ please do stand-up!

Jimmy CricketJimmy Cricket sign outside Henighans in Bolton

The people of Bolton certainly got the “real Jimmy Cricket” when they watched the Northern Irish entertainer perform this summer.

When funnyman Jimmy arrived before his show at Henighans in the Greater Manchester town, he was amused to see an advertisement board outside the comedy venue saying: ‘The real Jimmy Cricket’!

Jimmy Cricket posterAnd it was undoubtedly the famous comedian himself who delivered his popular and timeless brand of stand-up to an appreciative audience.

The photographs with this story were taken by Jimmy’s friend Trefyln Jones, who popped over to see him before the show.

Trefyln runs a media company in Warrington called
Green Screen Express.

Another Redcoats reunion for Jimmy

Jimmy with some other former Butlins Redcoats

Jimmy Cricket had his latest Butlins Redcoat reunion when he was appearing at a Pontins holiday village earlier this summer.

Jimmy Cricket with Paul Ogden, another former Butlins Redcoat

The well-known comedian worked as a Redcoat at the Butlins sites in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, and Mosney near Dublin in Ireland during the late 1960s before becoming a household name on television.

He has met up with some of his old colleagues during the decades since then and this was actually the second time he had encountered this particular group of fellow former Redcoats – he also bumped into them the last time he was at Sand Bay Holiday Park in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, a couple of years ago!

The photos are courtesy of Paul Ogden, with whom Jimmy can be seen right.

Above, Jimmy has actually managed to borrow a red coat from one of the group and is pictured alongside them all sharing some comedy banter.

Redcoat is the name given to front-line staff at Butlins holiday camps in the UK. A Redcoat has duties ranging from adult entertainer or children’s entertainer to stewarding. Read more about them here.

Here comes the bride…

The happy couple doing the first dance played to music from the two DavidsRochdale-based Jimmy Cricket crossed the Pennines to attend his niece’s wedding reception at the end of August.

Lindsay and Chris actually got married at Lake Garda in Italy, but on their return to Leeds they wanted to have a celebration for all their family and friends who could not make the ceremony.

The evening’s entertainment at Morley Rugby Club was provided by Lindsay’s brother and Northern Irish-born Jimmy’s nephew, David, who sang and played the keyboard alongside David Tattersall, a singer and guitarist.

They created delightful harmonies and the repertoire they chose for the occasion was a fine array of modern and classic pop songs.

The happy couple thanked everyone for their attendance, with a special mention to both their mums who, over the course of the night, looked after their one-year-old daughter, Brooke.

Above, the happy couple have the first dance of the evening to music performed by the two Davids and, below, Jimmy with wife May and the newly weds.

Jimmy Cricket with wife May and the newly wed couple