Ben Jolley reports back from his first experience of Bongo's Bingo 

The party is well underway hours before the bingo even starts, with pop classics like Girls Aloud's ‘Love Machine’ pumping out of the huge speaker-system as groups of people of all ages take their seats ready for an afternoon of booze-aided silliness. 

The audience for this daytime rave is a real mix – as well as girls downing Prosecco, there are groups of lads on the beers and couples drinking wine. Naturally, there’s also plenty of blue WKD bottles floating around - and just as many trays of shots. 

Many have dressed up for the festivities, donning sparkly jackets, Christmas jumpers and reindeer ears, and even angel wings.   

Peterborough Matters: You can win a disco ball crash helmet at Bongo's Bingo

There’s an immediate buzz of excitement and chatter. And, as if the anticipation wasn’t palpable enough, a 10-minute countdown plays on two tinsel and fairly light wrapped screens while smoke machine dry ice sets the stage for the big moment. 

Although posters read “please do not dance on the tables and benches", the punters take that as an encouragement to break them. Of course, everyone is up on the benches singing and dancing their hearts out.

“I love that I can let my exhibitionist out" says a fellow bingo player; it's a great point because there's no judging at Bongo's Bingo, and it's clear that people feel free to be themselves. 

Having initially started out as a student event, it's clear that bingo has never been so cool. Even the rules are made fun and eccentric thanks to memes and movie clips, while the number 69 encourages Magic Mike-style strip teases from the professional performers on stage.

Peterborough Matters: Reporter Ben Jolley won the Bongo's Bingo giant pink fluffy unicorn

Throughout the afternoon, there are 15 winners, with prizes ranging from a gin-filled advent calendar and Coco Pops explosion to a disco ball crash helmet, Henry Hoover, and even a giant pink fluffy unicorn.

Bongo's Bingo hold events across the country, but the one we attend (at Leicester theatre Athena) was Queen-themed, complete with Freddie Mercury dancers dressed like they’ve just stepped out of the I Want To Break Free video. 

Whichever iteration you choose to attend is brilliantly bonkers - the perfect experience for extroverts.

Last tickets for the Bongo’s Will Rock You Christmas specials on Saturday December 23 and New Year’s Eve are available at Dates in January, February and March dates are on sale now too.

Peterborough Matters: You can win a real Henry Hoover at Bongo's Bingo