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The sound of an online bingo caller announcing “Tony’s Den, Number 10,” will soon be a thing of the past as Gordon Brown replaces Tony Blair as Prime Minister and online bingo site Free Bingo UK is all set for the handover.

Free Bingo UK was the UK’s first free online bingo game, and now has a membership of over 40,000 avid bingo fanatics. The site is braced for a change to the traditional bingo call as Gordon Brown moves into 10 Downing Street. From June 26th FreeBingoUK will use the call “Gordon’s Den, Number 10” rather than the current call, “Tony’s Den, Number 10”.

Bingo parlance for ‘Number 10’ has, over the years, included the names of various prime-ministers. In Bingo’s heyday of the 50s it was “MacMillan’s Den”. The traditional bingo calls fell out of favour in the Meccas and Galas around the country in the 80s and ‘Maggies’s Den’ was the final ‘number 10’ to be commonly used in bingo halls.

The resurgence of bingo on the internet, at a time when halls are struggling to get players through their doors with the smoking ban looming, has signalled the re-introduction of the traditional bingo calls.

“Traditional rhyming bingo calls are a barometer of Britain of the ‘40s and ‘50s and are a rich tapestry of British culture,” said Phil Fraser, owner of FreeBingo UK. “When we launched the site, we felt these calls were what many, many people still identified with, as part of the game of bingo. We are delighted have the opportunity to recognise Mr Brown’s new position, whilst bringing our game right up to date.”

The popularity of bingo in the UK over the years has ensured the various calls for each numbered ball have worked their way into the national psyche and there are many slices of history to be found in the list of calls.

For example, the call for bingo ball number one is ‘Kelly’s Eye’ – a reference to the legendary one-eyed Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly, ‘Number 49, PC’ gives a nod to radio police show ‘PC 49’, which was popular in the 1940s and 50s and ‘Number 9, Doctor’s Orders’ refers to a laxative pill known as ‘Number 9’ given out by army doctors in the 1st World War.

Then there is the call “Ghandi’s Breakfast” in reference to Ghandi’s famous peace protest, in which he abstained from food. This call, as bingo players know, for ball number 80, or eight zero…’ate’ nothing!

A full list of UK bingo calls can be found at http://www.whichbingo.co.uk/bingo-news/free-bingo-games-edit...

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