Living in London can be a little overwhelming. There’s so much amazing stuff going on all the time, plus all the museums, parks, restaurants — and the fact that you have to be choosy, because so much of your income goes on living costs.
So I want to share some of my favourite lesser-known London things, because they’re brilliant and therefore deserve to be at least as famous as Madame Tussaud’s, which is rubbish.
First up: Bogan Bingo.
I found out about this via my amazing friend Angel, and the minute I read the description, I was IN:
“The live comedy game show of mullets, mayhem & massive prizes”
If you don’t know the word ‘Bogan’ (you should have watched more Neighbours as a child), it’s Aussie for a particular type of trashy person. The Bogans at Bogan Bingo are retro in the best way: they wear 80s mullets and bandannas, swig from cans and play air guitar to some of the best anthems of the hair rock golden age (think Livin’ On A Prayer, Sweet Child O’ Mine and other things with apostrophes).
The show takes place in a bar, moving around between places like Clapham, Fulham and Camden. Usually I turn up a bit early so I can get some food before the kitchen closes, but you always get to sit with your friends because you register a table name when you book. They also usually clear the tables out after the show and have a retro disco ’til the early hours, which is lucky because no other bar will let you in with bingo marker all over your face (it’ll happen. Trust me).
The comedy is raunchy, ridiculous, and really, really good. Whether or not you’re drinking, you’ll have a great time — if you liked Spinal Tap, you’ll love it. There are rituals: certain numbers mean yelling certain phrases, like “number four, your mum’s a… horticulturalist” and if your bingo card wins, you’d better believe you have to jump up, grab your crotch and yell “BLOODY BINGO” in your best Aussie accent.
The prizes are mostly hilariously crap: a Bogan Bingo poncho (bin bag), a branded dustpan and brush — and an 8-day holiday to Egypt. There’s always one really good one in there, you just have to turn over the correct celebrity from the board of such luminaries as Kylie Minogue, AC/DC and the dog from Neighbours. Whether you win or not, though, if you fancy a bit of Bon Jovi with a lot of balls, Bogan Bingo is for you.
Not a hair rock fan?
The Bogans got in touch recently to mention that they’ve launched a new show alongside Bogan Bingo: BLINGO. It’s still bingo, but with a hip-hop twist instead of the power ballads. I haven’t been to Blingo yet but I’m going soon, so I’ll report back and let you know how awesome it is on a scale of 1 to 11. Having been to the original more times than I can count, I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it.