It’s fair to say bingo calling is an art. As a bingo caller you’ve got to work the room, keep everything in order, draw the balls, and, of course, remember the many, many bingo calls. It’s a job that has been made easier by online bingo sites, with hosts now only really required to monitor the chat rooms and ensure chat games and the community are enjoyed and run as smoothly as can be.
Over the years the role of the bingo caller has gone on to be a stepping stone for many stars and some celebrities you’d never believe have a history of bingo calling. So prepare to be wowed as we run down five celebrities who were callers before they were famous…
Shane Richie is perhaps best known for his time as Alfie Moon on Albert Square, and we’d be amazed if Alfie himself didn’t love a game of slingo bingo in his spare time. However, it was the actor Richie who started his career as a bingo caller. It was a role that saw the entertainer in him come out, moving on to become a bluecoat at Pontins before being spotted and becoming a popular UK entertainer, actor, and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here star.
Anthony Cotton is one of Coronation Street’s longest standing residents and actually played a bingo caller in the soap during his early days. Cotton himself is no stranger to the game and his time on the Street playing a caller is even led to have seen an increase in bingo players around the Manchester area.
Gary Barlow is one of the UK’s most successful pop stars, being the leading man in Take That as well as forging a successful solo career and TV career of his own. Many would describe the northerner as a national treasure, and it would be hard to disagree.
Before stardom arrived though he did a bit of bingo calling and that’s never left him, often hosting star-studded bingo nights in order to raise money for charitable causes.
It’s quite difficult to imagine a man who has played gladiators, outlaws, and hard men as a bingo caller, but before Hollywood came calling Russell Crowe made ends meet as a bingo caller, travelling across Australia picking up calling jobs.
Rumour has it that Crowe has also been fired as a bingo caller due to some inappropriate rhyming down the microphone. We think he may need to revisit the big book of bingo calls.
If there’s one man we’d love to see call bingo, it’s Vic Reeves. Throw in Bob Mortimer and you may just have the most hilarious set of callers around. Vic has endorsed the game on a number of occasions and a bingo night with Reeves couldn’t be any more whacky.
The comedian has of course gone on to produce some of the most iconic TV shows around, including Shooting Stars, House of Fools, and even a brief cameo in Coronation Street.