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Celebrity Virtual Bingo Continues

Since the COVID-19 lockdown came into effect on 23rd March 2020, and land-based bingo halls had to close their doors for the time being, the public has been getting pretty inventive when it comes to finding ways to stay entertained.

Early on, we saw an apartment complex near Dublin, Ireland host what is believed to be the first “balcony bingo” session, and since then, neighbours have been getting together (while keeping to the 2m rule, of course) all over the world to hold bingo and quiz nights, as well as the odd social distancing street party.

People have also been making their own bingo cards to play at home or via live streaming platforms such as Twitch and House Party, the latter of which allow friends to join in remotely.

But, it’s not just the likes of you and me who’ve helped to keep the nation’s spirits high during lockdown with a spot of bingo. Celebrities, events companies, and even bingo operators have become increasingly creative with the ways in which they can help raise funds for charity and make the general population’s home-based social lives that little bit more exciting.

Bongo’s Bingo

Back in early April, Bongo’s Bingo started broadcasting live from The Bungalow with thousands of eager players tuning in to enjoy the much-loved brand’s unique style of entertainment. Although the events have so far been free to join, participants have been encouraged to make donations to the NHS.

Bongo’s has also promised to hold six special events for NHS and emergency services workers when the lockdown is lifted. They will be hosted in different parts of the UK so that as many support staff as possible can take part for free.

Mecca Bingo

Mecca Bingo has been offering people an alternative to online bingo by running weekly Facebook Live quizzes. At the moment, the quizzes are ongoing, so if you’ve yet to take part, it’s not too late.

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They’re free to join and many of the prizes are awarded at random. So, you don’t need to be a genius to have fun.
You’ll also get to see inside Love Island’s Chris Hughes’ home as he’s acting as the resident quizmaster, and you can message him live during the show.

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey

On the other side of the pond, Hollywood actor, Matthew McConaughey hosted a virtual bingo event for seniors via Zoom.

The self-isolating residents of a Texas senior living facility were treated to a round of virtual bingo by Matthew and his family, and according to the facility’s management team, the residents had a wonderful time. They were also able to talk with the Hollywood star “about his family heritage and his favourite drink”.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

More recently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge became bingo callers for a special, one-off virtual visit to a Cardiff care home.

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The royal couple took advantage of their own bingo spinner during their video call from Anmer Hall and could be seen giggling away as they took turns to hold up the balls and announce the numbers.

They’d also clearly been practising their bingo lingo as they manage to remember the call signs for 62 (tickety-boo) and 2 (one little duck).

The lucky winner of the game was Joan Drew-Smith who was congratulated with a rather posh “Yah!” by William. Although Joan (like the Duke and Duchess) clearly has a sense of humour as when she was asked for feedback, she initially said “very good”, but quickly quipped, “wasn’t as good as it should have been”.

Family time in Long Island

Last year, if you’d asked the average Brit what one thing they’d associate with Long Island, they’d probably have said “iced tea”. Yet, just a year later, we reckon many of them would say “bingo”.

It’s all due to one previously unknown family from Long Island, who started hosting virtual bingo games during every night of quarantine. The shows are broadcast via Facebook Live, and each night has a different theme, with the mum (Laura) decorate their homebuilt stage.

Players from around the world have been taking part, and just a few days ago, the Long Island family celebrate their 60th straight bingo night.

Don’t Panic – with Timmy Mallett, Paul Chuckle and more Back in the UK, a Hampshire-based events company called Don’t Panic has been operating weekly virtual bingo nights, and all profits go to NHS charities. So far, the company has raised £2,000, and to raise awareness of the charity events, the host has been inviting various celebrities to record video and donate items to be auctioned.

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So far, there have been video clips from James Buckley (Jay from The Inbetweeners), Paul Chuckle, and the X-Factor’s Wagner. There’s also been a highly sought-after item donated towards the charity auction in the form of a giant pink foam mallet from Timmy Mallet!

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