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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Bingo caller of the year crowned
James Cook
James Cook impressed the judges and players with his calling skills
An Edinburgh man has been named Scotland's bingo caller of the year.

James Cook beat three other finalists when he performed in front of a full house at a competition in East Kilbride on Thursday.

Mr Cook, who works at the Fountain Park bingo hall in the capital, will now go on to represent Scotland in a national final in London in November.

The overall prize is 500, a trip to Los Angeles and a chance to call a bingo game at a Las Vegas casino.

The bingo caller told the BBC Scotland news website that he was very surprised to win the title.

Mr Cook said: "I'm elated and very chuffed. This is the second time I've taken part in the competition but I really didn't expect to win."

Bingo used to be seen as something only old people took part in, but we've updated for the 21st century
James Cook
Bingo Caller of the Year

As well as calling games for the 400 players gathered in East Kilbride, James was also grilled in a face-to-face backstage interview with three judges.

He said: "I think they were looking for good entertainment value and someone who gives the customer an experience to remember."

The 31-year-old works at Europe's only fully-electronic bingo hall.

He said: "Bingo used to be seen as something only old people took part in, but we've updated for the 21st Century and the young and old can enjoy the game together."

The three other Scottish finalists were Graeme Garioch from Aberdeen, Kevin Fraser from Lanarkshire and Alan Brown from Edinburgh.

The competition began in 1994 and is run by the National Bingo Game Association.

SEE ALSO
Bingo club's second millionaire
13 Oct 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Woman scoops first bingo million
21 Sep 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Bingo callers compete for prize
26 Nov 06 |  London

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