Anyone that has ever played bingo knows just what a great game it is! The hollering, the chattering, the mischievous chuckles and the “shushing” are all part and parcel of in-person bingo. However, many people mistakenly believe that the game is something reserved solely for elderly folks. Happily, online bingo has turned that notion on its head.
The truth is that bingo and pop culture have always been intertwined, and we don’t see that changing any time soon. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some ways in which bingo and pop culture have become intertwined, from the history of the game and its appearance in radio, TV shows, and films, to the celebrities that love to play it.
When we think of pop culture nowadays, many of us think about TikTok, Instagram, celebrity-inspired cosmetic ranges, and you name it. But, the one thing you’ve got to remember is that pop culture, by its very nature, is always relevant to “right now”. And back when bingo first burst onto the UK stage, pop culture was wildly different from what it is today.
It was the 1960s and the UK had just introduced the Betting and Gaming Act. The “Swinging Sixties” was a decade that shook Britain – in the best of ways (some might say we needed it). After the black, white and greys of the 1950s, the 1960s were nothing but technicolour! And bingo was a big part of this movement. Bingo halls were filled to the brim with loud, excited players revelling in their newfound sense of freedom, and if that’s not one of the best examples of pop culture being enhanced by the beautiful numbers game, we don’t know what is!
Fast-forward to today, and the internet and our smartphones are probably the most prominent pop culture icons. Where does bingo fit into today’s pop culture, then? Well, online bingo games can now be played in the palm of your hand, can’t they? Just like before, bingo has kept up with the current times and now people can play online bingo from their smartphones, laptops, tablets and PCs. That’s another fine example of bingo and pop culture!
If you’re a fan of BBC Radio 1, then you’ll know all about presenter Scott Mills and Innuendo Bingo. This is a game that involves the DJ playing clips from other TV shows or radio, the content of which can be somewhat misconstrued – mostly in naughty ways. There’s a celebrity guest with a mouthful of water and they need to try not to laugh at the various clips they listen to, or they will squirt their opponents with it. It might not be the traditional bingo that we’re used to, but it’s a fun and entertaining game with a bit of a bingo twist.
While there aren’t many TV shows about bingo, there are plenty of entertainment shows that use bingo in one way or another.
The most famous of these is probably Bob’s Full House, which was televised on BBC1 between 1984 and 1990. The premise of this quiz show came straight from the bingo hall. Contestants each got separate cards and had to answer the questions correctly to light up the different numbers. In round one, players needed to light up all four corners; round two involved the middle line, and round three was the full house. There were always prizes for the winner and consolation hampers for those that were going home with nothing. Result!
Another bingo-based show that comes to mind is Lucky Numbers. ITV televised this show between 1995 and 1997, and it was presented by former bingo caller (and EastEnder) Shane Richie. The concept was pretty much exactly the same as Bob’s Full House, except for the ending. The final round was a cash dash that saw the winner gamble as much of their cash as they wanted to land a five-in-a-row on a 25-square game board, to win even more.
Then we have Eyes Down, a two-series sitcom that centred on Ray Temple (played by Paul O’Grady). Ray was a Liverpudlian bingo hall manager who hated the job, players, staff and pretty much everyone and everything else. This hilarious show focused on the staff at the bingo hall, such as the cook, the number checker, the cleaner and the repairman.
There are so many pop culture references when it comes to bingo in movies that we certainly won’t be able to name them all. However, some of the best movies about bingo or that had great bingo scenes in them, include the following. How many have you seen?
Of course, celebrities are the be-all and end-all of pop culture, and they pretty much dictate what’s hot and what’s not. Luckily, celebrities seem to agree with us that bingo is pretty much up there on the pop culture charts. These are just some of the most famous people who enjoy a spot of regular bingo:
As you can see, bingo is undoubtedly one of the coolest games around and has been part of pop culture since its very beginning. At Lucky Pants Bingo, you can get your hit of vogue with our online bingo games, as well as play slots online and Slingo games! We have an endless array of amazing games to keep you entertained once you register with us.
/ 29 November 2021