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Mecca Bingo in Hunslet recently hosted the prestigious UK Host of the Year Final. The competition is the highlight of the year for staff and customers alike, and Hunslet were proud to be the venue for the 2015 final.

Hosted by The Royle Family actor Ricky Tomlinson, the evening was an entertaining mixture of bingo and comedic one-liners from the six competitors. There was a party atmosphere that was as charged as the storms going on outside!

Every Mecca in the UK entered a host into the competition, and one winner was selected from each of the six regional finals to battle it out at this final. The six finalists competing to win the title of 2015 Host of the Year were from Huddersfield, Dagenham, Oldbury, Knotty Ash, Drumchapel and Beeston (Nottinghamshire).

The four judges who are employed in various roles across Mecca were looking at how the hosts present the game, their stage presence, how entertaining they are and how they engage the audience. The audience were certainly engaged at the event with each finalist having brought supporters from their own club. The auditorium was split into six ‘camps’ rooting for their own host with printed t-shirts, wigs and plenty of cheering!

Each finalist had to call a combination of regular bingo and rock n roll bingo. The rock n roll bingo introduced a disco feel with players having to mark off songs as they were played. The competing hosts really got into the party atmosphere for this part with singing and dressing up – there was a star spangled suit, a Freddy Mercury and even a pantomime Dame!

The judges went off to deliberate and Ricky Tomlinson announced the winner – Dale Wilson from Huddersfield. The 26 year old commented “It all feels surreal – for doing a job I love I have just won £5000 and a holiday to Florida!” Dale will become the ambassador for Mecca and hold the title for the next 12 months.

He said “I love how I can be myself at Mecca, they let me be me.”

All the other finalists received a cheque for £1000 and were congratulated for making it to the final.

The evening was a fantastic success and Martin Webster, Manager at Hunslet said “We were honoured to host the event. The location of our club is central to the UK and with the 1200 seat capacity and stage, it was an ideal choice. I have a wonderful team here who all worked extremely hard to make the event successful.”

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