Bingo Paradise bingoparadise.co.uk

Testing

Who is the Voice of Foxy, the Foxy Bingo Mascot?

The voice of Foxy, the Foxy Bingo mascot, is the bingo industry’s worst-kept secret. If you trawl through message boards and online communities, you’ll see a deluge of questions and speculations, but if you do even the most basic research, you’ll get the answer that you seek.

So, who is Foxy and who has played the character over the years? Well, there has really only been one voice, but we’ve also seen a massive Hollywood star don the famous furry suit.

And no, that is not a euphemism.

Paddy McGuinness, Dave Spikey, and the Early Days

Foxy first appeared on our TV screens in 2006, when a pink-suited, anthropomorphic fox stalked the streets looking like a sociopath on the prowl. At the very end of the 30-second advert, after he had crept his way into a salon to stalk his next victim, the uncanny canine finally opened his mouth and uttered a sentence that would shock modern Foxy Bingo fans.

And I don’t mean, “I’m going to eat her liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti”, although that would have certainly fit the tone. His accent is the surprise, as it was distinctly lacking in its normal north-western twang.

The Pink Suited Fox prowls the park in search of his next victim

By early 2008, Foxy had transformed into a fun-loving northerner. He still wore a pink/purple suit, and for some reason, he also carried a cane (a combination that gave him a distinctly pimpish vibe) but the transformation was complete and a legend was born.

Everyone knows Foxy. It’s true that he has somewhat of a Marmite reputation with the British public, especially after 15 years of hearing his voice everywhere from Jeremy Kyle to Coronation Street, but millions seem to love him.

They were also once convinced that he was voiced by the loveable Paddy McGuinness. In the years before Take me Out, Top Gear, Celebrity Juice, and a host of other TV programs, Paddy’s fame was limited to occasional appearances alongside Peter Kay.

It certainly seems like a role he could have adopted at the time and the accent was similar, but it wasn’t him. Some people even speculated that Dave Spikey, who appeared in Phoenix Nights alongside McGuinness, was behind the mask, but it wasn’t him, either.

If you run a Google search for “Voice of Foxy Bingo”, it’ll tell you that the famous Northern-Fox was played by a Hollywood superstar who was born in Wisconsin, USA, and while that is an absurd prospect, there is the smallest grain of truth to it.

The ever-reliable Google

Who is the Voice of Foxy?

Throughout much of Foxy Bingo’s history (until the current day), the famous mascot has been voiced by Adam Catterall. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s probably because you don’t listen to much radio or live in the North-West.

Adam Catterall’s voice is a regular feature on radio shows throughout the North-West, including Key 103 (now Hits Radio Manchester), Rock FM Preston, and Absolute Radio. He has also presented Talk Sport and featured on BBC Radio 1 and BT Sport.

He’s an award-winning and extremely talented radio presenter known for his inimitable northern-charm, and yet he’ll likely be best remembered for wearing a sweaty costume and sounding like Paddy McGuinness.

Such is the life of a celebrity.

If you want to hear what he sounds like away from the all-singing and all-dancing adverts, take a look at this talkSPORT video. The link begins at the 0.19 mark, where Catterall is discussing Jack Grealish.

These days, Foxy players want to know who is behind the mask, back then, the only thing on their mind was, “What is it” and “Can we kill it?”

What About Heather Graham?

So, where does Heather Graham fit into all of this? The ageless star of Austin Powers, Boogie Nights, and Lost in Space was “unveiled” as Foxy during a 2017 advert.

The advert opens with the costumed fox in the middle of a dance routine, before the camera cuts away and Foxy approaches the director, saying, “I can do Foxy’s voice but I’ve had a few ideas about his character too.”

Foxy removes his mask, and Heather Graham is revealed. We get a few more lines about how she wants to delve deeper into Foxy’s “pathos” and, ironically, it finishes with her saying, “What if he’s a sociopath?”.

In later adverts, we hear Adam Catterall’s voice dubbed over Heather Graham’s words as she spouts classics like, “Slap a fish”, “It’s worse than a trout farmer’s oven glove in there”, and “I’m just havin’ a whazz!”

It was a genius advertising campaign. Of course, she was never the one doing the voice or wearing the costume (that’s probably a redundant statement, but there are still people who think Cadbury’s trained a gorilla to play the drums, so it’s always worth clarifying these things) and Catterall was still involved, but it helped to cement the character in the public consciousness.

The Heather Graham adverts were part of a brand refresh that is said to have cost Foxy Bingo in excess of £10 million.

It seems to have worked, because as this YouGov poll shows, Foxy Bingo is one of the 15 most famous gambling brands in the United Kingdom, putting it 10 places ahead of the massive 888.

I’m sure there’s a joke about a “foxy lady” here, but I have too much self-respect for that. Also, I couldn’t think of one.

What Does the Future Hold?

Adam Catterall has been the voice of Foxy for a long time. He has clearly done a very good job and may remain in the role for many years to come. However, advertisers are always changing things up and there’s a good chance they’ll change the voice and even the character at some point in the future.

Some bright spark at an advertising agency will come up with a new idea, the public will hate it at first, and even the people who despised Foxy will likely complain. But eventually, everyone will get used to it, and Foxy Bingo will continue on its upward trajectory.

Alternatively, we’ll have the loveable Northern fox for many years to come. Personally, I’m hoping for the latter, because while the initial iterations were nightmare-inducing, modern Foxy has a certain charm and it always makes me smile to hear a CGI fox spouting northern slang.

Apparently, not everyone loves the idea of an all-singing, all-dancing, northern fox dressed like a pimp. Who knew?

Sun Bingo Numbers (No Longer Running)

What were the Sun Newspaper Bingo Numbers?

The Sun Bumper Bingo numbers (not to be confused with The Sun Bingo website) was a long-standing, regularly published game that had similarities to bingo. The numbers would be printed in The Sun newspaper and made available via various third party Twitter and Facebook accounts, once of which is displayed below.

The player numbers were good and we notice that around 5,000 people a month were searching Google in the UK for the term ‘Sun Bingo Numbers’, indicating a high level of interest. The prize value would vary but the screenshot below shows a prize fund of £500.

The game involved players having a game card on which they would check off the numbers present in the publication. If players were able to complete a full grid of 15 numbers they would win a share of the prize.

Sun Bingo Numbers Results
The penultimate game of Sun Bingo Numbers

The game was run as a kind of cross-over between The Sun Bingo and The Sun Newspaper. The idea no doubt was to encourage readers to venture online and sign up for an account on their bingo website. As you can see in the screenshots presented above and below, each time a game panel was published in the paper there would be a clear advertisement of The Sun Bingo website and an advertisement to play more ‘free bingo’ online at SunBingo.co.uk.

Unfortunately for reasons unknown, the free bingo game was discontinued and the last numbers were published in September 2020. Whilst we’re not aware of any official reasons for the closure of the game, we wonder if it could have been to do with tightening regulation of gambling in the UK market.

As far as online bingo sites are concerned, the UK Gambling Commission insists on player ID checks being run for every new player, even before free games can be offered. Most operators opt to conduct these checks using debit card details on player registration – a process that is most often seamless for those on the electoral register.

Sun Bingo Numbers Results
The final results of The Sun Bingo numbers game. Now closed.

Sun Bumper Bingo Numbers Results

In the past Bingo Paradise included access to a popular Facebook feed that would show the latest numbers from the Sun Bumper Bingo Numbers game. We’ve left the feed in place (for now) just in case there are any further updates. Unfortunately, none seem to be forthcoming.

About The Sun Newspaper?

The Sun Newspaper first launched in 1964 and is something a lot of us have grown up with. A love-hate relationship for some, the familiar red top took over from the ‘Daily Herald’ newspaper and has never been a stranger to controversy. For many, its coverage of the Hillsborough stadium disaster represents a particularly poignant example, for others, the Page Three girls were also problematic.

For many years The Sun newspaper boasted the largest circulation of any newspaper in the UK but lost this title in March 2018 when the wildly popular ‘Metro’ took the prize.

Why do newspapers run bingo brands?

The answer to this is in the numbers. Newspapers, by their very nature, are known brands with often high levels of customer loyalty. People who make up the readerships are audiences and are usually already being advertised to in every publication,

At some point, someone in management probably had an epiphany and realised that if they print advertisements for their own branded bingo website, they could very quickly build a database of players and establish a successful new bingo site.

The Sun is not the only brand that has launched a bingo brand in its image. Mirror Bingo, Express Wins (Express) and OK Bingo (OK Magazine) have all jumped on the bandwagon, as did Metro Bingo, although that didn’t last.

The reality of the above, which remains unknown (and unimportant) to most players is that the bingo brands don’t tend to run their own bingo operation. It’s more usual that they partner with a seasoned gambling operator to whom the newspaper licenses its brand in order to launch a website. A real-life example is the arrangement between Jumpman Gaming and Mirror Bingo.

Ad Disclosure
Scroll Up Button