CELEBS WHO STARTED AS BINGO CALLERS
Who would’ve thought that some of the people who’ve uttered the phrases “Two little ducks” and “Knock at the door” over the years would go on to become some of the best-known celebrities on the planet?
Well, it might surprise you to hear that a number of the celebrities that we know and love today were once humble bingo callers.
From Kian of Westlife fame to Simon Webbe from Blue, these guys were fine-tuning their vocals early on as bingo callers, and even Russell Crowe was calling out numbers before Hollywood came a-knocking.
We’ve rounded up the celebrities that have acted as bingo callers in the past, including soap stars, TV presenters, singers, and mega film stars!
Back in 1992, Take That spectacularly smashed their way into the UK Top 40 with a cover of Tavares’ “It Only Takes a Minute”.
Soon, everyone knew the names of the five fresh-faced lads from Manchester, and although Gary Barlow was better known for writing the group’s music and lyrics than breakdancing, Gary’s solo career continues to see him pull in the crowds.
But, before fame came calling, Gary admits to being a bingo caller when he was “first starting out”.
His love of the game has continued ever since, and he used to host sessions of “Barlow’s Bingo” backstage on Take That tours, and he even celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary by holding a bingo party for his wife, friends, and family.
The dashing star of Hollywood blockbusters like Gladiator, Cinderella Man, A Beautiful Mind, Robin Hood, and Les Misérables is globally renowned for his acting chops, but he used to have a different career entirely.
Just in case you’re thinking that you already know that Russell Crowe used to perform as a rock singer, we’re referring to his other vocation of bingo caller.
Back in the 80s, Russell acted as a bingo caller on Slipper Island off the coast of Auckland. However, as the star is famous for liking a joke and not holding back with his opinions, it doesn’t surprise us in the least to hear that he got the sack for being rude, as well as inventing offensive bingo calls.
Luckily, just a few weeks later, Danny Abineri came along and hired Russell for a touring version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Simon Webbe is known not just as a singer-songwriter, but also as a music manager.
He, of course, shot to fame with the boyband Blue who he featured alongside Duncan James, Lee Ryan, and Antony Costa.
The group originally formed in 2000 and clocked up three studio albums, all of which took the Number 1 spot in the UK charts.
According to Simon, he was once “Britain’s youngest bingo caller” when he worked in a bingo club in Small Heath, Birmingham at the tender age of 18. He even hosted one of the club’s national games and reckons he was “lucky for people” as the Small Heath club won several of the national games.
Continuing with the boyband-bingo theme, we present to you Mr Kian Egan, one-fifth of the Irish singing sensation, Westlife.
With his baby face and floppy blonde hair, posters of Kian were plastered across many teenage girls’ bedrooms in the late 90s.
However, it took a while for opportunity to come knocking at the door of his home in Sligo, Ireland, and so Kian started out doing other jobs, including a stint as a bingo caller.
These days, Kian is married to ex-Hollyoaks actress, Jodi Albert, and the couple have three children together.
Shane Richie has taken on more TV, stage and film roles than we can keep up with, but his most memorable include being the face of Daz washing detergent’s “Doorstep Challenge”, playing Alfie Moon in Eastenders, and appearing in the 2020 season of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!
Before Shane became a bluecoat at Pontins, he worked as a caller in his local bingo hall, and several players claim to have spotted him enjoying bingo games with his wife in recent years.
We’d love to know whether Shane ever added any Cockney rhyming slang to his bingo calls! 67 – Stairway to Heaven would take on a whole new meaning if it included ”apples and pears” instead of stairs.
Okay, so maybe he didn’t start as a bingo caller, but the American actor and film producer, Matthew McConaughey, has called the balls very recently! He has proved his acting versatility time-and-again through his portrayals of dramatic characters in movies like Killing Joe and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generations versus comedy castings in The Wedding Planner and Failure to Launch.
His ability to switch roles so easily is probably why Matthew was asked to host a bingo game for elderly isolating Texans during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
While the movie industry had to take an unexpected time-out, Matthew hopped on Zoom to entertain the residents of The Enclave with a hilarious game of bingo followed by Q&As, accompanied by his mum, wife, and kids.
At Foxy Bingo, we’ve worked with a range of famous faces over the 15 years that we’ve been in biz, including Katie Price, Joey Essex, Nikki Graham, Jim Bowen, Lauren Goodger, and Heather Graham, all of whom were unknown at one stage.
Who knows, maybe one day our very own Foxy, one of our chat hosts or even one of our players will be the next big thing in Hollywood or the music industry!
In the meantime, everyone can have loads of fab fun when they play at Foxy Bingo, where the bright lights of Foxy’s bingo rooms are always on and there are superb side games and promotions to enjoy 24/7. So jump into a fab world of Bingo.