Alex Calder - Jan '08
I was the youngest of James Young and the 16 young
voices that played in the Empire Theatre in Belfast.
I think it was late 50s.
It was called the easter parade from memory and ran
for 3 weeks. I bought my first suit (short pants) with
my wages and was the only kid in Tobergill St to own
one. I remember mostly the rehearsals when James Young
always gave us a fag and falling on my bum on the
first night when the stage rolled forward. I think
the audience thought it was part of the act. It's a
pity I have no photos, nowadays parents would have
it all on video. Good to share some memories of James
Young, after all these, this is the first time.
Valerie - May '07
Hey if you need the words get in touch with william
caulfield as he does all the monologues in his james
young tribute shows
Kieron - Apr '07
Irene, did you get a copy of the words off
Sammy Mc Nally? I know most off by heart but not sure
Carla - Apr '07
I live in Belgium now. Today I bought 2 x 4 cd boxes
of Jimmy Young.
I love it!!!! It's a bit hard to understand it all cause
it's been a few years since I've been to Ireland but
with listening it gets better. I'm just having a good
Irene Orr - Feb '07
Would anyone have the words to "It was Sammy Mc
Nally what done it" ?. If so, I would be grateful
Irene Orr- Jan '07
Would anyone have the words to "It was Sammy Mc
Nally what done it" ?. If so, I would be grateful
for copy. Irene
June Latimer - Aug '06
I am looking for the words to slum clearance a monologue
done by James Young long long ago. Could anyone tell
me where I could get the words thank you June.
Adam Carson - July '06
As a 15 year old I was unable to hear the great James
Young live! I have went to hear William Caufield in
the group theatre and I think that it's excellent that
William is paying a tribute to the comedy genius. I
have collected all the cds and videos which are on sale
and would like to see more dvds, if possible, being
released. I am a great admirer and fan of our Jimmie
and act him for various people myself and it is a dream
of mine to carry on what William Caufield is doing once
he has finished. Every time you listen to the characters
speaking you really get the feeling they are real! That's
how good James was! I would really urge anyone, mainly
the bbc, to search for recordings and re-release them
as people would immidiately start buying, as the material
possible to listen to now isn't enough because I would,
and I'm sure I speak for others, would like to hear
more of the monologues he made the people laugh at as
it would be a great shame for future generations to
forget about James Young and the only solution is to
get the old shows back on the television and on the
The James Young dvd is just a poor copy of the original
videos released years ago as the very best of James
Young vol 1 and 2. somebody is tellin a heap of lies
when they say that all thats left of jimmy is that alone.
Come off it BBC, i can remember the entire run of
James Youngs tv show being broadcast back in the late
80's. do something decent for once, get somebody of
therie backsides and release the show on dvd with the
2 surviving eps of The McCooeys you have at cultra in
Desmond Lapsley - January '06
As a radio producer in Belfast from 1968 - 73, I got
to know James, Jimmie, Young very well. Our friendship
began when when I was asked, as the only bachelor on
the radio production team, to oversee his input into
a Forces' Favourites programme on Christmas Day. All
we had to do was switch on the studio, make sure Jimmie
had contact with the Bush House producers, and then
he dedicated a number of musical items to members of
the Armed Forces who were away from home at Christmas.
I was under a three line whip from my sister to be
back at her house in good time for Christmas Dinner
at 3 p.m., but the Controller, Northern Ireland, Waldo
Maguire, had left his hospitality cupboard unlocked
for all the staff who were working on Christmas Day.
Jimmie was a recovering alcoholic, so didn't touch the
stuff - but I did and once the magic of his humour,
which seemed non-stop, mixed with Waldo's finest Black
Bush, took their effect it was past 6 o'clock.
It was the beginning of a friendship which lasted until
his death. Particularly as events in N.I. got worse
over the years I used to regularly invite Jimmie onto
the morning radio current affairs show I produced just
to tell us a story. The News die-hards in the BBC were
horrified, but the public loved it.
P. Hoey - Sept '05
My first introduction to the James Young story was when
I heard him on the radio in the mornings,prior to heading
off to school. That would have been around about the
early 70s. At that time I was convinced that the man
I was listening to was an effeminate bloke who lived
up the street from my gran. I could not ,ofcourse, convince
my mother of this. Her constant references to it being
James Young merely confused my young-no pun intended-mind.
I remember thinking that it had to be that bloke up
from grans, no matter what mum might have said about
a certain James Young. As I grew a little older I grew
to love the humour of that timeless man. I sometimes
impersonated some of his acts for relatives, although
around the sixteen mark I started to feel a little silly
doing it and it died a death. Rather like James Young
himself in fact at about the same time. What a tragic
untimely loss, for such a well loved star to pass away
at a mere 56 at the peek of his powers.
John Ferguson - July '05
Good to read of a great comedian.
Can anyone help me find a copy of a piece he created
called "Wee Davy"? It was about a child who
wanted to play with his Catholic neighbour, and who
was completely unable to understand sectarian division.
Sharon Emily Beattie - June '05
I just love Jimmy Young! He is just so funny. His shows
have come out on dvd and the characters - well we all
know someone like them! It is a great way to laugh at
ourselves and I wish there was more information on him.
His shows are also a social education for all you young
uns out there about how life used to be!
Maggs - April '05
My dad's looking for a track on one of James Youngs
Lp's, its about the time that he went to the cinema
with a cockerel stuffed down his trousers, and as he
was watching the movie he decided to get it out for
some fresh air, when 2 old ladies over heard him and
one nudged the other and said did you hear that he's
going to get it out, to which her friend said just ignore
these old men they're all the same nowadays it doesn't
matter where they are they'll still get it out, not
sure if thats completely right but its the way my dad
told me it..
Thanks everyone for your help.
I was brought up on James Young when I was a kid and
loved watching his show's and listening to him on records
I too would love to see a re run of all his show's.
Andrew McKinney - February '05
The James Young website www.ourjimmy.com will be back
up again in the next week or so. After writing James
Youngs Biography I needed a bit of a break so I gave
the site a rest for a while.
My interest in James Young has now returned again despite
being a bit annoyed by Emeralds descision to name the
recently re-released DVD "Our Jimmie" therefore
not tying in with the book title.
Having read Jack Hudsons book on James Young I was perfectly
aware of how Jimmy (Jimmie) used to sign his name, however
it looks rather strange in print and as a previous contributor
has mentioned it was only spelt that way to avoid confusion
with the English Jimmy Young. Nevertheless its still
nice to see James Young back on the shelves and hopefully
it will inspire the BBC to get round to digging out
the other material that is still stored in the Archives
YPAM ED, We checked with our colleagues
in archives and they tell us that the only viable material
available on Jimmy Young is the content on the DVD /
VHS currently distributed via Emerald.
Jim Cullen Ontario, Canada - February
I would suggest you try it again. ( www.ourjimmy.com)
It worked for me here in Canada.
William Hume-Nelson - February '05
I have tried to log on to the website mentioned called
www.ourjimmy.com but it can't be found. Can anyone tell
me if the web address has changed. Thank you.
Steve Bennett - February '05
After reading the comments to this article, it is shockingly
sad that so little is available of James work. I am
working with a team researching the contributions made
by significant Northern Irish people to their culture.
My immediate choice of research was James Young. The
man in the middle. I would appreciate any response,
in terms of script, history and anecdotes. A man who
will never be forgotten, even if he hasn't received
the official tribute he merits!
Alan - February '05
I grew up watching repeats of the James Young TV shows,
and was lucky enough to get hold of a couple of his
LP's from an Aunt. Sadly, over the years one of these
has gone missing, but this week I was able to find my
copy of "The Young Ulsterman" and listen to
it for the first time in well over a decade. It's a
great piece of work, I always remembered him as being
very talented at the character stuff, but this album
showcases how great he was at delivering monologues
I must admit I gasped and felt a bit guilty at some
of the words used - I'm sure you know the ones I mean
- but the album stands up as a well-meaning piece of
comedy(/satire?). The likes of Orange Lily invariably
get their comeuppance, and in an amusing and escalating
I'm delighted to learn of the DVD release, and shall
be purchasing it as soon as possible. Would it not be
possible for BBC NI to repeat some of his shows though?
A lot of 70's comedy seems to be side-lined because
the people in charge assume that the public are too
thick to see past the words used and get the actual
meaning. Is this the problem here? Surely the people
of Northern Ireland deserve better local comedy than
Give My Head Peace?
Anyway, I'm desperate to hear more of his comedy albums,
but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any on the
net. I have made a mono encode of The Young Ulsterman,
but am unsure whether such links are allowed on this
site? Please let me know, webmaster, if possible. If
anyone out there has more of his LP's then I'd very
much like to hear from you, my email address is cookdandbombd@REMOVETHISBIThotmail.com
(remove the obvious). Thanks. It's been lovely to read
others memories of this talented local comedian.
Bernie - January '05
Any more about "the mc cooeys" I remember
the name but not much else enjoyed all the messages
on Our Jimmy. I saw him with my Ma and Da in the Ulster
Hall. I think a big thumbs up to more of Our Jimmy on
P. R . Mulholland, Australia - December
As a personal friend of James Young I would like to
comment on the recent DVD release which is titled "Our
Jimmie" based on the assumption that this was the
name by which he preferred to be known. The fact of
the matter is that he didn't like being called Jimmy
or Jimmie but always preferred James out of respect
for his parents who always called him by his true name.
During the early part of his career when he was a dramatic
actor he always signed himself as James Young, and only
his closest friends called him Jimmy. With the advent
of the McCooeys, revue shows etc, and the resulting
fame the people of N. Ireland, as they will, were soon
referring to him as "yon comeedgin Jimmy Young".
Always willing to give the public what they wanted he
was soon signing autographs and photo's etc, Jimmy.
Around the mid to late 50's the English radio personality
Jimmy Young, who at that time was better known as a
pop singer with a couple of hit records to his name,
came to Belfast on a promotional tour, and, of course,
a meeting was quickly set up with N Ireland's most famous
son, the result was several appearances together which
were heavily promoted as The Two Jimmy's or Jimmy
Young meets Jimmy Young.
Not long after this Jack Hudson advised Jimmy that it
might be a good idea to change the spelling of the name
Jimmy to differentiate him from the English Jimmy Young,
and as Jimmy still had ambitions of following in Jimmy
O'Dea's footsteps and making it big in England, and
it was such a minor thing anyway, he was only to willing
to comply. From then on he began signing himself Jimmie,
but only as a show of affection to the paying public
and his close friends.On billboards, posters, Rowel
Friers cartoons and newspaper articles he insisted on
being called JAMES Young. It was actually only after
his death when the BBC re-ran his TV shows that they
began calling him Jimmy. In his own mind he was never
Jimmy or Jimmie, but James. I hope this clarifies matters.
Roy Smyth - December '04
I remember going to see Jimmie at the Empire Theatre
in Belfast away back in the early sixties. I remember
him in the Mc Cooeys, what a great oral picture of Belfast
people!!! Wishing everyone a safe and HAPPY HOLIDAY
SEASON, from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Terence Hamill - December '04
I have searched the web looking for James
Young material as I too remember the luxury as a child
in the 70's of being allowed to stay up late to watch
the shows on a Saturday evening.
A double video was released in the 1990's by the BBC,
which I purchased, but with all my work related travelling
and now living in the USA it disaperaed. Anyway it is
long over due for the BBC to have these episodes released
on DVD and I am sure alot of people agree with me in
the Northern Irish ex patriate community.
just as Terence's email landed in, the
BBC Shop told me that the double DVD of Jimmy Young
has just arrived, it currently (dec '04) costs £19.99
. It is only available in region 2 format.
If you have problems locating it, the BBC Shop in Belfast
is happy to process a mail order for you.
You can contact them on 02890 325672 or
email the manager, Steve Boyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ED YPAM Online
Steven Hill - November '04
I recently stumbled over a brief episode of James Young
after an older recording my dad had made on videotape
of a different program from years ago. I said to my
dad how funny this man James Young was, and I was delighted
when he told me that he had two of his videotapes in
his collection. I immediately hunted them out and have
just finished watching the both of them, laughing my
Being only 18, I was obviously not able to see more
of his early work, but I can definitely say he was a
comedy Genius and that it would be amazing to see more
of his work brought on to television, even for a brief
spell, so that his genius could be seen once more.
And as far as favorite characters go, Mrs. O'Chondriac
and Orange Lilly are brilliant!
Honora Cotrotsios - 24 August 2004
I have laughed and cried at James Young. I listened
to his tapes and thoroughly enjoyed everything he did.
I would like to get a dvd so i could actually see him
at work, I live in Delaware, USA so it is difficult
to get DVD’s that work in America. I really enjoyed
this web site and enjoyed reading all the letters about
James Young. Will come back and visit again.
William Caulfield - 24 August 2004
For some five years now, I have been doing a "tribute" show to James
Young called "OUR JIMMY". I have each and every year been amazed
and humbled at the response of the filled to capacity venues on each occasion.
As i stand on stage (and indeed his very stage..the Group) the warmth and
love that comes from the audiences is staggering.
30 years has not diminished the high level of humour in his sketches and the
roar of laughter from the audiences combined with the quiet tear as I do his
monologues is true testimony to the comic genuis he was.
Shame then on BBC NI when the 30th anniversary of his death passed without
William Hume-Nelson - 17 August 2004
Trying to choose your favourite James Young character is very hard, as you
just loved them all, but I think it must be Derek or was it Mrs O'Chondriac
. Saturday night was the one time we knew we would all be in the house to watch
Jimmy on television. He simply was the best and is still loved. I was working
down the Shore road for the Belfast council and was on my way home, for an
unknown reason i turned left onto the Shore road instead of going right which
i should have. I had only walked a few metres when I spotted small crowd and
an ambulance, I thought someone had been shot. I walked on to have a nosey
but it was not a shooting it was our jimmy on the ground and the ambulance
men trying to revive him, with the pads trying to restart his heart. But it
was not to be, the best loved person in Belfast was gone, but one thing is
certain he would not be forgotten. I moved to England the following year (1975)
and now have
a family of 5 and they all have enjoyed watching his video and laughing at
his sketches. They are convinced he got his material from their aunts in Belfast,
ha ha, I hope they don't read this.
Jackie Coulter - 14 July 2004
My memories of James Young was as a young boy, my father was House Manager
of the Harry Baxter Show and I was an usher. It played in the
Town Hall, Portadown, every Saturday night. James used to appear at least once
a month, along with a lot of other long remembered names such as John Davey,
Pat Millar, Frank Carson, Edwin Heath, Ruby Murray, Gloria Hunniford, just
to mention a few. In later years I had the privilage of performing with him
some shows, we had been booked to appear on the same billing.
He was a very nice gentleman with a cultured accent and pleasant to talk with.
Aaron Hill - 11 July 2004
It is about time James Young was back on our screens for 2 new generations
to enjoy and for "older" ones to relive happy memories.
Shame on BBC who seem to be only good at showing the miserable times from our
Michael - 6 July 2004
James Young was a really good person. I have mixed memories
of my childhood in Belfast, most of them bad due to
religious intolerance. James Young crossed the religious
and sexist divides, not only did he make us roar with
laughter, he also helped us to take a look at our very
narrow minded attitudes towards fellow human beings.
James Young, thank you.
Ray Crew - 5 July 2004
Have been trying to get a video of James Young. I watched it at a cousin's
home. Even though I was very down after wife's death I laughed til the tears
came. If I remember right they were on a train trip to Dublin. If anyone
can dig me up a copy I would be very grateful.
I will pay all expenses via visa or money order. Please contact me through
this website if you can help. Thank you.
Stan Sloan - from California
Before leaving for California in 1958, I worked in the Co-Op in Orby Drive
and I used to take Jimmy’s messages up to him in the Braniel. He
always had a bit of a joke to come off with. Always nice to me as a wee
asked “how's yer Ma and Da doing?” like he knew them. I have all
of his LP,s here and a couple of cassettes. Of course if I had my Glentoran
scarf on I'd take a bit of ribbin' from the wee blueman. Great Belfastman.
They should have a statue of him by the City Hall.
Stan sloan ex Castlereagh
His Cherry Valley lady was inspired and timeless. Okay, so Cherry Valley may not be as posh these days - but certainly people from humble beginnings putting on airs and graces and speaking in a plummy, ill-fitting, brittle accent is something that is uniquely Northern Ireland.
Who said we had no class?
Having read the recent contributions on James Young
it brought back my memories of him. Back in the 50's
he and his partner Jack Hudson had a summer revue in
the British Legion Hall in Bangor. The show changed
every week on a Wednesday to facilitate the weekly summer
visitors, mainly Scottish, who then were able to attend
twice in a week. The show was a series of sketches with
some of Jimmy's monologues. He also had musical entertainment
with Marie Cunningham and sometimes Derek Marsden on
the piano. My younger brother's birthday was in August
and for 'his' treat the whole family went to the show
- uncles, aunts, cousins about 14 of us in all. Jimmy
used to read personal messages and greetings from the
stage and of course my brother was thrilled to hear
his name mentioned and be wished happy birthday. He
was only six or seven and I think the adults enjoyed
the show better than he did.
While it is very nice of the BBC to at last acknowledge
the existence of James Young on their web site, it still
falls far short of acknowledging his contribution to
their success during the early seventies.
When is the last time we have seen even a glimpse of
one of his routines on local television? Why are the
BBC so reluctant to cherish one of their local heroes?
Even Thames Television, who sacked Benny Hill because
he became politically incorrect, could still find time
to create a documentary in his honour in later years.
Please, please give James Young the recognition he
deserves. If there was any justice he should have a
large bronze statue outside the City Hall stating his
role as an early precursor on the road to political
will yis for Gods sake "Stop Fightin"!!!
I agree completely. What have
the BBC got against James Young. They seem very
happy to sell his video year in, year out but
yet never seem
to acknowledge his existence on mainstream TV.
Nostalgia television is a big thing now with
all these new digital
channels. Why can't we have a retrospective of
early BBC NI programs. There were a few happy
the 60's and 70's that would be nice to see again.
I never saw him on stage but having an old LP record
of his from the 60s I still chuckle etc., from listening
to it 30 + years on. Likewise tho' without any recordings
I recall the McCooey's and often wish that tape recorders
had been more obtainable when the shows were transmitted.
I sometimes see Jimmy available on tape but not the
It is a shame that there are no
recordings of the McCooeys available to purchase.
As far as I know, only a few programmes from
are now left. These are kept in safe keeping at
the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra,
in Co Down.
I borrowed one of these and copyright regulations
allow us to play just under a minute from it.
So go to www.bbc.co.uk/ni/yourplaceandmine/A783533
and have a listen. It'll hopefully make you chuckle
as well as bringing back some good memories.
I remember as a wee lad we would
listen to James on the radio. I loved The McCooeys
and especially remember the line, "Our Ernie's like
Nelson Eddy." I never saw him in person but
he lived just up the Castlereagh Rd. from us and
Stan has a few of his records. They are timeless
comedies and will never grow old.
I was glad to see people talk
about some of the great things about N.I. James Young
was surely one of these. My mum took me to see
"the wrong foot" when I was a teenager and when she
comes home she tries to get videos of him. They're
funny even after all this time.
I now live in New Zealand. My
uncle sent me a James Young tape just before he died.
It has the story about the lion up at Belfast
was a student in Belfast when James Young held concerts
in the Ulster Hall. I am gald he is being remebered
in this way, he was a brave commentator about
situation-- On the tape is also the poem about the
man who died-- the famous last line For if we
love one another
there is no heaven or hell!! Thankyou.
SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT THE ONLY
FAMOUS THING TO COME OUT OF BELFAST WAS THE TITANIC!
I BEG TO DIFFER. FOR BELFAST PEOPLE THAT TITLE
GO TO "OUR JIMMY". WELL THAT MIGHT BE A MISNOMER, BECAUSE
JIMMMY NEVER ACTUALLY "CAME OUT"OF BELFAST! THAT IS
NOT A SEXUAL CONOTATION BY THE WAY! JIMMY KNEW HIS LIMITATIONS.
HE WAS STRICTLY BELFAST! HE KNEW WHAT MAKES US TICK.
HE UNDERMINED THE BIGOTRY, THE HATRED & THE MISTRUST.
HE SAID THINGS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN MORE SERIOUSLY,
BUT THEY WERE USUALLY LAUGHED OFF! JAMES YOUNG WAS A
BORN AND BRED BELFAST PSYCHOLOGIST. (I HOPE I SPELT
THAT RIGHT!)I DON'T KNOW WHAT RELIGION JIMMY WAS & I
DON'T KNOW WHAT SEXUAL PERSUASION HE WAS! BUT HE
ALL OUR'S!!! GOD BLESS OUR JIMMY
A tribute to James Young is long overdue. A monument
yes or a website of his scripts and yarns for children
and adults to share and enjoy in the future. He was
a marvelous character who helped us take ourselves less
seriously. What a gift and talent.
We also need an inspirational website of Ulster People
as role models for our young people instead of our present
set of sinister people. People like: Ferguson, Dunlop,
Blair Mayne, Willie John, Mike Gibson. The list is endless
and would serve to project our community more fairly.
One of my favourite memories as a child was staying
up late at the weekend to watch James Young's television
show which was called "Saturday night". I recall that
the only problem with the show was that Jimmy didn't
appear enough in it, and kept getting interrupted by
local singers and dancers ( I always hated Canticle,
the vocal group). In recent years this early experience
led me to, firstly design a web site dedicated to Jimmy
(www.ourjimmy.com - it includes a detailed biography
as well as downloadable audio clips from his albums)
and now write his autobiography which will be published
this autumn. Here are the transmission dates for Jimmy's
show which I tracked down during my research....
- 14th October 1972
- 21st October 1972
- 28th October 1972
- 4th November 1972
- 11th November 1972
- 18th November 1972
- 25th November 1972
- 2nd December 1972
- 9th December 1972
- 16th December 1972
- 6th January 1973
- 13th January 1973
- 20th January 1973
- 16th March 1973 (St Patrick's Day Special)
- 17th March 1974 (St Patrick's Day Special)
I would like to get the ball rolling and push BBC NI to release all the material
they have on Jimmy onto DVD, in time for the anniversary of his death next year.
If anyone agrees please join this conversation board.
For more info on James Young visit www.ourjimmy.com,
the only website dedicated solely to Belfast's Greatest
Comic Actor. It includes a detailed biography as well
as downloadable audio clips from his albums.
Share your James Young memories and stories by filling in the form below.