The son of comedian Jimmy Cricket will on Saturday be ordained a deacon in the Catholic Church.
Frankie Mulgrew discovered he had a vocation to the priesthood after following his father briefly into the world of stand-up comedy.
The 34-year-old from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, will next year be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Salford but must first be made a deacon at a ceremony in St Mary’s College, Oscott, Birmingham.
One of his first jobs as a deacon will be to serve as a chaplain to athletes and volunteers at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
He said his upbringing in a show business family has left him well-equipped to help people buckling under the pressures of publicity.
“It is a chance of a lifetime to be able to minister in that capacity,” he said. “My background is show business.
“I’m a former stand-up comedian and I have an affinity for ministering to people in the public eye because of my background.
“I can appreciate the pressures they go through – the pitfalls, struggles and hurts of people in the public arena.”
His ordination to the diaconate will be at the hands of Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham.
His father, a devout Catholic from Cookstown, Northern Ireland, will be attending along with other members of his family.
Born James Mulgrew, Cricket, now 66, belonged to a generation of comedians who attained fame and popularity without ever telling blue or profane jokes.
He worked his way up through holiday camps before Central Television gave him his own TV show, And There’s More, the name of his catch phrase.
He traded on “Irish logic”, and would read daft letters from his “Mammy” while wearing an outfit of half-mast trousers, dinner jacket, silly hat and wellies marked L and R for left and right, but always worn on the wrong feet.
Here are a few of Cricket’s gems:
“I’m waiting to put the cat out but he hasn’t come in yet …”
“The local butcher died and never left a sausage …”
“I was shopping in Leeds and a woman came up to me and said: ‘Can you see me across the road?’ I said: ‘Hang on, I’ll run over and have a look ….’.”
“And there’s more. I bumped into this fellow carrying one of those grandfather clocks and he said: ‘Why don’t you look where you’re going?’ And I said: ‘Why don’t you wear a wrist watch like everyone else?’….”
“I went to the grocer’s and asked for some chicken. He said: ‘Poulet?’ I said: ‘No, I’ll carry it under my arm.’ …”
“I want a packet of peas I can cook quickly. The last ones took me six hours. It said on the packet: ‘To be boiled separately.’ ”
“My boss said to me: ‘You were supposed to be off sick but someone saw you at the football match.’ I said: ‘That fellow looked like me but it wasn’t me.’ He said: ‘How do you know?’ I said: ‘I was at the football match and I saw him.’ …”
“I had a letter from my Mammy and she said: ‘I was passing your granddad’s grave and the headstone had tilted a bit so I took a wire and tied one end to the headstone and the other to a tree. Since then your grandmother thinks he’s had a phone put in …”