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Was it a happy ending for Radio 1's Innuendo Bingo?

By Chris Smith
Newsbeat reporter and former contestant

Published

It's the radio feature that led a sopping-wet Davina McCall to exclaim "I'm in heaven!"

But after 13 years on the air, Innuendo Bingo has come to a climax for the last time.

The feature has seen a raft of stars, including Hugh Jackman and Daniel Radcliffe, soaked with water over the years, but Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills has decided to finish it off "cos Covid".

The last ever edition - featuring Maya Jama - has been broadcast.

So, as we bid it a fond farewell, here's a brief history and a look back at some of Bingo's biggest spurts.

A word of caution

This seems like a good place to insert a warning. And yes, that use of the word 'insert' is entirely deliberate.

The remainder of this article contains innuendo. It's childish. It's puerile.

If you feel that's likely to offend you, look away now.

But if you're still here, please join us for one last peep inside grandma's cabinet as we bid Innuendo Bingo a fond farewell.

Cameras on... more water please!

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe final Innuendo Bingo featured Scott and Chris's former Radio 1 colleague Maya Jama

A soft start

The first time Innuendo Bingo was played was all the way back in 2007.

But back then, it had a very different format. Scott would simply highlight any slightly risque comments his fellow Radio 1 DJs had let slip.

Think Sara Cox inadvertently announcing that she wanted "a gob full" or Vernon Kay asking listeners if they enjoyed riding.

The feature came and went over the years.

History does not relate the exact date when glasses of water made an appearance (though if anyone from the Unofficial Mills fansite wants to enlighten us, we'll update this article.)

But at some point the modern rules were established, which are briefly these:

Two people fill their mouths with water and face each other as Scott plays a selection of innuendoes spotted on TV or radio.

The idea is to see who can last the longest without collapsing with laughter, at which point all that water filling their cheeks gets expelled.

Yes, they basically end up spitting water all over each other. And, erm... that's pretty much it.

After its humble beginnings, Radio 1's news and sport presenters began to take part, then a few celebrities. And then, the golden years.

The cameras went on. And the stars came flocking.

Here are a few of Bingo's classics.

Will Ferrell

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Connoisseurs will enjoy a premature spillage from Chris at the mere mention of the words 'bell factory'.

Ferrell, meanwhile, shows impressive composure - remaining for the most part as stony-faced as the audience at Anchorman 2.

Daniel Radcliffe

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There's a post-modern moment during this one, as Scott invents his own innuendo by pointing out to the Harry Potter star that Chris' "impressive spray" is "in your hair now".

Hugh Jackman and actual Kylie

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It's time to go down under for this special edition.

With Scott on holiday, only one person could step in to host, and that person is Kylie. Hugh Jackman proves that, when confronted with Seve Ballasteros' balls, his water-spitting powers are even more impressive than the Adamantium claws of Wolverine.

Lewis Capaldi

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This is rightly praised as one of the wettest editions ever, though Lewis' alternative name for the feature was presumably rejected by BBC schedulers.

A Happy Ending

The final ever Innuendo Bingo, featuring Maya Jama, was recorded before the pandemic.

But current restrictions mean it just isn't possible to make any more.

How did Maya enjoy the final round? As she put it halfway through: "I'm finding it really glorious, I'm loving it."

And with those apt words, Bingo is no more.

As Scott himself puts it: "It's always been there and when it's gone, you will realise how much it meant to you."

And how does co-host Chris Stark feel about his last ever time in the Bingo chair?

"I feel as if I've just released a bird," he said today. "Let it fly away. Let it go."

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