Dabber's Social Bingo, the venue dubbed "London's best loved alternative bingo hall" is on the hunt for its 2023 'Next Top Bingo Caller'.
Applications are open now for the contest, with the top prize being £1000 (sponsored by Malibu), a 12 month contract with the venue and a luxury hotel stay. The entry form closes on 17th March.
The organisers explain: "Dabbers and showbiz go hand in hand - performers front and centre of the Dabbers bingo experience. The brand that reinvented bingo has regular nights hosted by top comics including Tony Law, Marcel Lucont, Olaf Falafel, Eleanor Conway, Thanyia Moore, Aurie Styla and Javier Jarquin and lots more favourites. Indeed, the company has comedy and performance at the heart of everything it does, and the team visit The Edinburgh Festival every year to scout for new talent to keep their events as raucous and fun as they can possibly be.
"The competition is a way to search for new callers who the team might not otherwise come across, and sometimes Dabbers catches them just as they make a bid for stardom. Last year, comic Dan Tiernan made it to the semi-finals and later that year went on to win the BBC New Comedy Awards 2022."
2022's finalists were character comedians Kitty Cassis (Aimee Cooper), Edgar and Jaynine (Lorna Rose Treen - double winner at Funny Women Awards 2022 - and Jonathan Oldfield), Ferrari Roché (Stephanie Ware) and winner, Crudi Dench (Matt Stallworthy, comedian and drag performer).
Of her 2022 victory, Crudi says: "Winning Dabbers Next Top Bingo Caller has allowed me to explore a whole new passion of bingo calling, put my hosting skills to the ultimate test, interact with brilliant audiences, connect with other fabulous performers and £1000 towards my wig budget." (Crudi Dench 2022 interview.)
This year's competition which will be held via a series of heats at Dabber's HQ in Houndsditch EC3 (four minute walk from Aldgate tube station), beginning in March and culminating with a grand final in July. Each heat will be hosted by stand-up comic Sikisa with a judging panel made up of agents, festival bookers and journalists.
The organisers say: "Those who enter don't need to be professional performers but it's crucial that they have a unique talent that will wow an audience of keen bingo fans, be that comedy, incredible dance moves, or just the talent and charm to grab the attention of a room full of people as you revamp bingo calling and put your own spin on the classic tradition.
"Comics, magicians, drag artists, cabaret artists, burlesque performers and more are all encouraged to apply for a chance to follow in Crudi Dench's footsteps and win Dabbers Social Bingo Next Top Caller, 2023."
The competition is open to those over the age of 21. Entries should be submitted via the dabbers.bingo website, before midnight on 17th March 2023. You should submit a showreel as part of the application ("It doesn't have to be professionally filmed - the team just want to see your style").
The heats - each featuring 5 performers, 2 of whom will go through to the semi-finals - take place on March 26th, April 2nd, April 16th, April 23rd. The semi-finals are May 14th and May 28th and the final is 2nd July.