Why do these big stories always come when I’m away on my flaky internet connection? Luckily Brett was in there getting the story up in my stead over on his blog. My heart sank when I saw the headline earlier, but due to what the National Bingo Game Association calls ‘considerable challenges’, the 2008 Bingo Caller Of The Year competition has been suspended.
Well, we had wondered what the knock-ons from the Gala decision to leave the National Game would be, and it looks like this is the first casualty. I can only speculate about why they’ve decided to do this, but I’ve heard reports that the NBGA are in debt. Given the nature of the competition being an extra over and above their core business, the decision to save the money on it is not surprising.
Personally I think it’s real kick in the teeth for the nation’s Bingo callers. Being crowned the Caller Of The Year can is more than just a title, it can lead to a exciting new careers and opportunities for the callers who gain win it. Just last night at the 1st Online Bingo Awards we were entertained by Peter Lewis, the 2002 Caller Of The Year who compared and announced the awards, and you just have to look at Brett’s rise to the rank of TV caller for proof of the worth of the award.
But, there we go, there will be no 2008 Bingo Caller Of The Year. I’m really disappointed that the competition is gone, it makes for an exciting and busy Autumn for me. That said, the NBGA say it will return in a bigger and better format in the future. What that means though is yet to be decided or set out. Hopefully they will allow Gala Bingo callers to enter as well alongside the other clubs who remain in the NBGA, but we’ll just have to wait and see.