Allen Musa calls bingo for Buckingham Bingo at their Preston club. He’s one of the finalists in the 2007 Bingo Caller Of The Year competition following his winning of the north west regional height. Playing Bingo caught up with Allen for a quick interview about how he got into the competition, and bingo calling, and bingo in general.
Playing Bingo: How did you first become a bingo caller?
Allen Musa: Believe it or not I’ve always wanted to be a bingo caller from the age of twelve, so soon as I was eighteen, I applied for a job in my local bingo fifteen years later here I am.
Playing Bingo: What spurred you on to enter the 2007 NBGA Bingo Caller Of The Year competition?
Allen Musa: The chance to represent Preston and the thrill of the competition was too big an opportunity to miss.
Playing Bingo: How do you fancy your chances, going forward to the 2007 NBGA Bingo Caller Of The Year final?
Allen Musa: I have said from the start it’s the taking part that counts, the winning is the added bonus but the bookies have me at 6-1.
Playing Bingo: Why do you think so many Mecca Bingo callers have made it to this year’s final?
Allen Musa: Having worked for Mecca for many years the standard of callers is high and Mecca has always had a strong line up in this competition every year.
Playing Bingo: What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you when calling the numbers?
Allen Musa: A woman going into labour right in front of me!
Playing Bingo: What would be your top tip to offer a new bingo caller just starting out in the job?
Allen Musa: Have respect for the customers and above all else just be yourself.
Playing Bingo: Do you enjoy a game of bingo yourself?
Allen Musa: I do, but this year has been really busy for me so I haven’t had much of a chance to play.
Playing Bingo: What do you enjoy about the game?
Allen Musa: The things that people say when they don’t win and the feeling you get when you’re waiting for one number.
Playing Bingo: How much of an effect has the smoking ban and the introduction of the 2005 Gambling Act had at your club?
Allen Musa: As expected it would be the revenue that we make that would suffer i.e. intervals and party bingo etc. But people will adapt to the change and with the gambling act means we can now play for massive super jackpots.
Playing Bingo: What do you think the future holds for the bingo industry?
Allen Musa: As mentioned with the introduction of the new million pound game there is light at the end of the tunnel, the bingo industry is here to stay and people will get used to not being able to smoke.
Playing Bingo: If you weren’t calling bingo, what would be your ideal job or profession?
Allen Musa: With a gob like mine it would have to be something to do with the public!