‘Celebrities’ have been around for years, the phenomenon is nothing new, although perhaps in the early 2000s it has reached saturation point. Back in the previous century the appearance of a celebrity was probably greeted with a bit more awe, as we knew a lot less about them then. The internet has to some extent diluted their uniqueness, but back in the day, celebrity meant a lot more.
Celebrities visiting bingo halls was an opportunity for ordinary folk to come into touch with stars from the ‘little box in the corner of the room’.
In later years, an appearance by Ronnie Corbett would only be of interest to the older generation, but an appearance by him in the 1970s (below) must have been a real coup for Northampton Top Rank Bingo. At the time he was one of television’s biggest stars appearing weekly alongside Ronnie Barker in the ‘Two Ronnies’. Prior to this he had a long history of television appearances, dating back to the days when there was no colour television.
Pete Murray was a household name in the 1970s. Aside from television appearances, he was a prominent BBC disc jockey, and at the time was also in great demand for television adverts. You can tell from Northampton Top Rank’s advert below that his appearance was quite an event. At the time it would have been the nearest thing to a visit by royalty.
Press Clippings Of Celebrity Visits To Bingo Clubs