Review: Bongo's Bingo XL with Blue at Manchester Central

Bongo's Bingo went one further at the end of March - well, more than one further actually.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 9 April 2019

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In case you’ve never been, let me set the scene for you a little bit. Bongo’s Bingo is everything you’d expect from playing bingo – you know the stuff, numbers, ducks, two fat ladies, lines, prizes and full houses.

Bongo’s is SO much more though and the unique combination of bingo, disco, rave and dance-offs have taken the world by storm, extending from Liverpool into the likes of Dubai, Ibiza and Blackpool.

After so much success you’d think that there isn’t anywhere else that they could go. Well you would be wrong.

The end of March played host to 3 nights of Bongo’s Bingo XL which promised everything to be bigger, better and more satisfying. Oh, and they had Simon Webb and Lee Ryan from Blue performing afterwards!

Held at Manchester Central, it’s clear that they were going full-on XL for these events. Laid out with a dazzling array of tables and benches – it was almost like a Disneyland for Bingo lovers – a Mecca for anyone looking to win a Henry Hoover or throw some Coco Pops over their friends.

The XL shows were a little bit different though. Prizes came in two different sections, with the main bingo element of the game giving you the chance to win bottles of booze, cardboard cut-outs, Henry Hoovers and even a hot tub, while another raffle element gave people the chance to win cold hard CASH MONIES.

With it being XL the prizes were one-step better, with a year’s supply of Coco Pops on offer instead of just a couple of boxes, crates of vodka instead of one bottle and even a holiday as the grand prize in the final game.

By this point I’d already drunk one too many tins of Coors from the trolley-bars that attended the tables so there was no way I could keep up with the numbers but one lucky bloke won the holiday of a lifetime!

When it came to the raffle bit, everyone had a number and if it got called out you were required to go up on stage and answer a simple question in the style of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’.

Once all the bingo fun was over it was time for the real pop-fun to begin. LIVE on stage were Blue legends Simon Webb and Lee Ryan, smashing out hit after hit until they ran out. I’m not entirely sure where Anthony Costa or Duncan James were – but they weren’t missed. Especially not Anthony – I’m still not sure what he ever did in the band anyway.

It’s the end of the night and as people are milling out of the cavernous room, tired from too much dancing, coated in glitter and glow stick, a girl from the end of our table asks for help in moving the hot tub she won from the stage to a taxi waiting outside.

An easy task you’d think – but this thing was HUGE. Not only did it take about 20 minutes to carry out but I didn’t even get to enjoy the warm bubbles as a reward.

Ah well, a fun night was still had – which to be fair – is pretty impossible NOT to have at Bongo’s Bingo.