Caller Of The Year 2019

Donna Kunyo from Club 3000 Middleton Crowned 2019 Champion 

Donna Kunyo from Club 3000 Bingo has been crowned Bingo Caller of The Year 2019, in the National Bingo Game's 'Caller Of The Year' competition.

NBG Caller of The Year 2019 - Winner Donna Kunyo
Caller of The Year 2019 - Donna Kunyo, from Club 3000 Bingo, Middleton

Caller of the year

Following a twelve year break, the iconic National Bingo Game Caller of The Year competition made a popular return for 2019, with the National Final held on Sunday 24th November at Buzz Bingo, Great Park in Birmingham.

The competition, which bought all bingo clubs together to celebrate what callers do best, saw over two hundred initial entrants from across Great Britain, all wanting to take home the coveted title of Bingo Caller of the Year and claim the £1,000 top prize.

The initial two hundred entrants were whittled down to just 6 National Finalist: 

NBG Caller of The Year 2019 - All Finalists

L-R: Christopher Graham, Donna Kunyo, Rhys Evans, Michael Farley, Jason Davies and
Bob Manwaring

The National Final saw bingo customers and supporters travel from across the UK to attend the event and enjoy the 'best in the business'. Upon arrival guests were treated to lunch and a glass of bubbly as they settled in, ready to watch each finalist be put through their paces, as they each took command of the audience, engaging with them, while entertaining and then calling a game of bingo.

The competition saw great performances from all the finalists, who provided an amazing afternoon of entertainment and fun, with two natural crowd entertainers, three singers of professional standard and an outstanding Elvis impersonation.  

The judging panel, Miles Baron CEO of The Bingo Association, Blake Robson Bingo Caller of The Year 2007, Lyn Staunton Variety representative and Tom Watson Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, were each looking at stage presence and personality, and showmanship, in addition to more technical aspects, such as pace and tone of calling, control of stage equipment and game management: showing how they as callers enhance the customer experience. However, it was Donna Kunyo who stole the show, with her rendition of Dame Shirley Bassey's signature song, "This Is My Life" (La Vita), winning over the room and the judges with her performance and going on to then call and manage a game.

All Finalists were invited back on stage for the announcement, with previous winner Blake Robson and the National Bingo Game's Business Development Manager Alastair Stewart presenting the Award to the amazed winner.

NBG Caller of The Year 2019 - Blake Robson, Winner Donna Kunyo, Alastair Stewart

Blake Robson, Winner Donna Kunyo and Alastair Stewart

Speaking after the announcement Donna said, "I am so overwhelmed right now. I still can't believe that I've won and that I'm the National Bingo Game's Caller of The Year! This day has been incredible from start to finish. I want to thank everyone who came and supported me and I can't wait to celebrate with my club. The whole atmosphere today had been electric and it's really what bingo is all about."

Previous winner and judge Blake Robson, said, "It's such a great thing to be part of for many reasons, Bingo isn't just about calling the numbers, there's an art to being a great showman and knowing about the industry as a whole. Its' such a fulfilling thing to be part of as it unifies people, and in some cases, it can change lives with the money people win. Bingo has paved a career for me, I'm now a full-time entertainer but its with the skills and professionalism from bingo that I've been able to succeed in what I do and I'm so thankful for that."

Miles Baron, CEO of The Bingo Association commented,"We are delighted to run the National Bingo Game Caller of The Year competition again as it's a great chance to recognise the talent, dedication, and skill of Bingo Callers. This year's finalists didn't disappoint either, making it a tough decision to choose the winner but all judges were agreed that Donna deserved to be crowned the champion. From start to finish the atmosphere was amazing and really captured what bingo is all about, it brings people form all walks of life together to play the game and enjoy themselves.

© National Bingo Game Association 2022

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