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Comedian Jimmy Cricket is knighted by Pope

By David Young

Published 19/09/2015

Treasure: Jimmy Cricket
Treasure: Jimmy Cricket

Cookstown comic Jimmy Cricket (69) has been made a Knight of the Order of St Gregory The Great.

The award - the highest honour the Catholic Church can bestow - was made under his real name, James Joseph Mulgrew.

The funnyman broke the news of his award on social media late last night, saying: "Overjoyed my local priest Fr Joe visited me earlier and handed me this, a papal knighthood for services to charity."

One follower, a local priest, tweeted his congratulations: "Look forward to you riding your horse thro St Peter's Square!"

Comedian Jimmy was born in the Co Tyrone town in 1945 and now lives in Rochdale, England.

The former Butlin's Redcoat, who left school at 16, has lived in Greater Manchester since the 1970s, building his career in clubs and on stage and screen.

He worked his way up by performing in holiday camps before Central Television gave him his own TV show, And There's More, which is Jimmy's popular catchphrase.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph earlier this year, he recalled his early days in Northern Ireland prior to becoming a national treasure:

"Before I went on stage I did as little as possible, I was a total under-achiever," he said.

"I worked in a box-making factory on the Ormeau Road in Belfast, and then I was a board marker in a bookies. In showbiz one of the nicest things I ever did, though, was a show on Radio 2 in the Nineties called Jimmy's Cricket Team.

"We had some great people working on it, like the guy who wrote the Morecambe and Wise Christmas show.

"It gets repeated every now and again and people still email me and tell me how much they enjoy it. It's a lovely legacy."

Jimmy has four grown-up children. One of them, Frankie Mulgrew, was ordained as a priest in 2012.

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