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Eyes down! Wednesbury bingo caller in with a chance of being named best in the country

A bingo caller from Wednesbury has made it to the finals of a competition to find the best caller in the country.

Benji Bell from Mecca club in Wednesbury has made it to the final of the National Bingo Game Caller of the Year awards
Benji Bell from Mecca club in Wednesbury has made it to the final of the National Bingo Game Caller of the Year awards

Benji Maycock from Mecca in Wednesbury entered the competition because he wanted to make his daughters Daisy and Delilah proud.

Now, the 29-year-old is in with a chance of being crowned National Bingo Game Caller of the Year.

Benji said: "The moment I found out I literally threw my hands in the air with excitement. My little girl's face lit up when I told her.

"Winning the national competition would be the icing on the cake. Representing my company, my club and my family as the nation's caller of the year just sounds unreal.

"What an achievement that would be and yet another chance to show my children hard work does pay off."

Over 200 callers across Great Britain entered the competition this year, but the number has been whittled down to just eight finalists.

The winner will receive £1,000 in cash, while runners-up will receive £500. As well as this, the winner will also act as an ambassador for the competition and industry over the next two years.

"When I first started working for Mecca I had never played bingo before in my life and it was a whole new world to me," Benji said.

"It didn’t take long until I could see the genuine social aspect the customers were getting out of coming into the club.

"I guess from the outside people view it as a place that revolves around money but when you actually communicate with people on a daily basis or even see a party of new members enjoying an evening, you see the good impact on people's lives.

"It's a great feeling to be a part of that, especially with the entertainment we provide other than bingo."

Looking forward, Benji said: "In the years to come I would like to be the face people think about when they think of Mecca Bingo.

"I would like to get rid of the stigma that bingo is just for the older generation and constantly bring in a new crowd of customers that will enjoy Mecca Bingo and the entertainment we provide.

"If I do win I’m going to celebrate with my team at Wednesbury. It’s not a one-man-band most of the time, it’s a joint effort."

The final contestants will be judged on criteria such as knowledge of the game, showmanship skills, and their skills as a caller.

Benji will find out if he has won the trophy on November 13 at Club 3000 Bingo Club in Wigan.

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