When the word ‘Bingo’ is brought up in conversation it’s safe to say that, for many people, the first images that come to mind are something along the lines of this…
However, with rise of online gaming and social networking, you couldn’t be more wrong. The decline in physical Bingo halls across the UK and abroad has been matched with a rise in online alternatives that allow users to take part when and where they want.
Gambling companies let you play with thousands of others any way you wish – on your tablet, on your computer or even on your Smartphone. So essentially, you can be lounging in your favourite chair (or taking a sneaky break from managing accounts) while waiting to hear the balls drop.
Now, literally anyone can play, and not even celebrities are immune to the charms of the game. Here are just a few of the famous faces you may be up against the next time you log on for a quick game of Bingo.
Possibly the most famous avowed Bingo fan on our list, Robbie often played the game while growing up in his hometown of Stoke-On-Trent in Staffordshire, England. The singer is such a massive fan that he even chose to set his video for ‘Advertising Space’ in a real Bingo hall in Blackpool, combining his twin loves for Elvis Presley and Bingo by playing the role of a coiffed mid-event entertainer.
Let’s not forget his former band-mate Gary Barlow’s love of the game. The singer of “Back For Good” has made a regular habit of playing “Barlow’s Bingo” with the members of Take That while on tour. Williams even tweeted his friend in action with Barlow playing a game so long as he’s: “in charge with the balls”. But it’s not just the boys that are enjoying themselves…
Kate Moss and Sadie Frost
Not even the most recognisable ‘It’ girls of the noughties are able to stay away from the game. The pair have been described in the tabloids as ‘growing up’ following years of glitz and glamour and becoming mothers, but you can’t help but wonder, what took the place of those big nights on the town? According to Frost, it was playing Bingo with their friends and family. “We still have a really good time, doing things normal grown-ups do with their children, playing games,” she said. “I had a great time on Saturday night playing Bingo at home with the children.” Lending a new meaning to the term ‘Legs 11’, this quintessentially British past-time (one actually invented by the Italians in the 1500’s, but who’s counting?) has also more than caught on across the pond, proving popular with some equally wild stars.
It’s a little known fact that the famously foul-mouthed Kiwi honed his acting skills as a bingo-caller in New Zealand before embarking upon his career. Unfortunately, the famous bad-boy found it impossible to resist the power he had on-stage, changing all the calls to “less acceptable” alternatives and ending up getting the boot.
Bingo’s loss was society’s gain, with the 22 year landing a role in the musical Bad Boy Johnny (which also ended in an unceremonious firing) before finding his breakout role in Neighbours and 1992’s Romper Stomper. His former sister-in-law even let it slip that he still enjoys the odd game when he can find the time. When the star is travelling across the world “he always checks to see where the local venue is when he moves somewhere new,” she has said.
Even the footballing legend has found himself bitten by the Bingo bug. After being bought a version of the game for Christmas, the player gave up on his Playstation and roped his teammates in to make up the numbers. It may be hard to look at him the same way again, knowing that he could run rings round you on the pitch and then beat your Nan on the books at half time.
The lead singer of the US band Smashing Pumpkins has been known to dot the cards from time to time at Chicago’s Madame Zu-Zu’s teahouse. Corgan puts on Bingo events to help build a sense of community, bringing a guest caller in every night. However, what may start out as a laid-back evening soon becomes tense, as the band’s bassist noted: “It’s really funny to see how excited people get. You’ll hear the ‘ooos’ and ‘ahs’ if you almost have that one last number and then you’re the winner!”. The performer regularly posts pictures from the events on his Twitter feed.
Finally, things have even gotten to the stage where (if Jon Culshaw is to be believed) the game’s influence has reached beyond the depths of time and space. Attracting the attention of The Doctor himself, the famous Timelord has expressed an interest in calling out the two fat ladies if an opening should arise.