What do celebrities do when they are not standing in the spotlight looking unreasonably beautiful or center stage showcasing incredible amounts of talent? It’s a question that we never tire of asking. Some celebrities drive fast cars, many take luxury trips, others buy high-end fashion but we have also discovered that some love playing a good game of bingo.
So what’s in it for the celebrities? They can’t possibly be doing it for the money. They aren’t. They do it for the love of the game. Some celebs have indulged in more than a game or two and have even taken it as far as being callers.
James Roderick Moir, more commonly known by his stage name Vic Reeves is an English comedian, actor, artist, musician and television presenter. He also happens to be a huge fan of the game – so much so that he holds the position of spokesperson for an online gaming site.
Eccentric, expressive and gifted with a colourful personality, Vic also features in an advertising campaign. He waits until his wife has presumably left, the coast is clear and there’s not a soul in sight. He then proceeds to dress up in drag before joining the other ladies online. You can be the judge of just how much acting went into this advert. He was a natural.
What do a breast cancer charity, a leopard skin handbag, and bingo all have in common? Robbie Williams. Chart-topping pop star Robbie Williams’ love for the numbers game is no secret. If you scoot over to Youtube, search for his hit “Feel”, resist the urge to listen to the whole song and fast-forward to the 1:09 mark, you’ll see Robbie emerge from a hall. He has also entered live games in Hollywood in which he won a leopard skin handbag and donated to a breast cancer charity to help further and support research.
Once a Middlesbrough defender, David Wheater now applies his trade at Oldham Athletic. He has been a professional football player for more than a decade but it’s clear that his heart doesn’t just belong to the beautiful game. Wheater also enjoys playing, and often goes along to his local club with his girlfriend. Perhaps not the wildest night out and certainly makes him an easy target for banter in the changing rooms, but we’re sure he doesn’t mind at all.
Larger than life reality TV star Sharon Osborne is a wearer of many hats including music manager, X Factor Judge, and wife to Ozzy Osborne. When life is that busy, it comes as no surprise that a little downtime is appreciated and highly valued. The creation of her own website suggests that Sharon is also a lover of the game of chance. If that isn’t enough proof, she has once been heard saying that an extravagant dress she wore on an episode of X-Factor was paid for by her winnings.
Eric Tomlinson, affectionately known as the British comedian Ricky Tomlinson, is the next on our list. He has won numerous awards for his comedic roles, but he also puts in a stellar performance as a bingo caller. His charming Liverpudlian accent is a match made in heaven for calling and can be enjoyed on an interactive game on DVD.
Believe it or not – and you probably should because it’s a well-known fact – the Queen finds immense joy in playing bingo. The Queen particularly enjoys playing with the family on special occasions like Christmas and birthdays.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and why should it? According to the grapevine, Prince William has been seen spending a cheeky fiver on bingo games. Whether or not he has ever had the winning scratchcard remains to be seen but just the thought of us sharing hobbies with royalty is one that makes us smile.
Barack Obama’s Step-Mother
Perhaps not U.K royalty but certainly part of a well-respected lineage, former President Barack Obama’s step-mother is known to harbour quite the affection for the game. It’s become such common knowledge that with a little effort, you can play online and find cards that related to the former president’s speeches. The scratchcards display well-known phrases that he might have said during a speech and when those words are said, you mark your card.
American mega movie star Russel Crowe, famous for his role in Gladiator, is an avid poker player but that isn’t the only game of chance he enjoys. He is also a proud fan and even worked as a caller before stepping into the limelight as an actor. However, true to his sometimes controversial form, he was let go due to taking liberties with phrases that were deemed inappropriate for the game.
Most of us are familiar with the EastEnders pub landlord, Alfie Moon, played by Shane Richie. Richie’s onscreen career took flight from the humble beginnings of a local hall, after which he became a bluecoat at Pontins. We may never know if calling gave Richie his onscreen confidence but one thing is for sure, he still loves the game and can be spotted playing at halls on weekends with his wife.
Antony Cotton is another soapie star on our list who gets paid a pretty penny for being a caller. The man who plays Sean Tully in Coronation Street is always in demand and travels the UK calling in halls nationwide.
It would be an injustice to have Robbie Williams on this list and not include Gary Barlow, who is best known as the lead singer of Take That. A frequent feature on television whether it’s for X Factor or shows like The Graham Norton Show, Gary Barlow used to be a bingo caller too. He certainly has a voice that captivates, so no surprises there.
Supermodel and hugely successful entrepreneur Kate Moss skyrocketed into public consciousness in the 90s. At one point she was even the world’s second highest-earning model so one wonders where she even found time to play her favourite game. Moss and her former husband, Jamie Hince, used to play games with their kids on Saturday night. Sadly, the two split – but Moss reportedly hasn’t lost her love for the game.
Probably the biggest surprise on our list, five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, is no stranger to competition and winning games. A little known fact is that the mercurial footballer was given a DVD game to help him sharpen his English skills. Ever the dedicated professional, he took on the challenge and while polishing his English became a fan. His post-game interviews and press conferences suggest that the endeavour was a success.
We saved the best for last because, without a doubt, Catherine Zeta-Jones is one of the game’s biggest fans – which makes us her biggest fan. She began playing in her childhood and attributes her passion for the game to being raised in Wales. Similarly, Catherine’s adoration could just as easily come from the fact that her parents were able to fund her dance and ballet classes by winning £100,000 on a night at bingo.
This member of Hollywood royalty married Michael Douglas and upon moving to America had to adjust to the 75-ball game. Reportedly, Catherine hosts parties in her home too. We’re still waiting for an invite – must be the mail.
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