Before the fame: from Bingo callers to celebrity status

*Collaborative post.

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When was the last time you saw your local Bingo caller up on the big screen? Or traipsing the cobbles of your favourite evening soap? Although it’s a somewhat unlikely career progression, there are actually a lot of current celebrities who started out on the stage at their local Bingo hall, calling out the numbers. That’s right, you’re not the only one who enjoys playing online Bingo and fun filled nights down at your local brick-and-mortar location!

Read on to find out more.

Gary Barlow

Before the days of playing huge venues and penning songs for other famous singers, Gary Barlow actually began his career as a Bingo caller. It seems that he was always a big fan of the game, and still is, as the Take That star continues to host his own regular Bingo nights, as well as organising a few for the crew when he goes on tour, aptly dubbing it “Barlow’s Bingo”. Not only that, for his 10th wedding anniversary Barlow got all his family and friends together for a big game of Bingo, reminiscing about his past life on the stage at his local Bingo hall. Let’s just hope that they liked the classic game nearly half as much as he does!

Speaking on his life before he found his fame, Barlow confessed: “I used to be a Bingo caller when I was first starting out. I used to love reading out the numbers. We have bingo nights backstage on the Take That tour to help everyone relax”.

Russell Crowe

Another unexpected ex-Bingo caller and world-famous actor, Russell Crowe’s first-ever job was actually in a Bingo hall back in Australia, calling out the numbers. Bingo is far cry from his current career, with Crowe bagging an Oscar for his starring role in the film Gladiator, however, it gave him his first taste of being on stage and entertaining a large audience. The star has also mentioned his passion for the game in several interviews, not shying away from discussing his early career move. Despite his affinity for the game, Crowe was sacked from his job at the Bingo hall for coming up with, and frequently using, his own rude versions of traditional calls. Oh, what a naughty boy!

Shane Richie

Shane Richie is best known for his time on Albert Square as EastEnders favourite Alfie Moon, with his character facing several trials and tribulations throughout his time on the show. The character is famous for his cheeky remarks and cockney slang dialect, so it’s quite easy to see how these traits would lend themselves to Richie’s time as a Bingo caller. Following his Bingo career, Richie also did a stint as a classic bluecoat at the go-to family-holiday destination, Pontins. Wherever Richie goes, and whatever he does, it’s clear to see he’s a born entertainer!

Anthony Cotton

Another soap star who’s found his place in the Bingo community is Coronation Street’s Anthony Cotton – who plays Sean Tully on the show. However, this time, Bingo calling came after he’d found fame. Cotton even called the numbers in an episode of the show, getting the chance to demonstrate his passion for the game.

Speaking on his side job, Cotton said: “I love bingo. My character was a caller for a while, so I’ve done my fair share of visits to bingo halls. An audience is an audience – it doesn’t matter if it’s in a theatre or a bingo hall.”

 

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