Don't say 'two fat ladies': Traditional bingo calls scrapped for fear of offence

A council which has banned the bingo phrases ‘two fat ladies’ and ‘legs eleven’ in case players are offended and take legal action was criticised for being politically correct yesterday.

Sudbury Town Council in Suffolk fears it could be sued by overweight players or women who find the terms sexist.

It is has advised bingo caller John Sayers, 75, to revert to using the number ‘88’ instead of ‘two fat ladies’ and 11 for ‘legs eleven’. 

John Sayers 88

PC gone mad: Callers may upset players with use of some traditional bingo calls

But since the ban, numbers at the game in the town hall have fallen as players boycott the Monday sessions.

Usually more than 100 play each week, raising £3,000 for charities annually.

Many go instead to a Tuesday afternoon game in nearby Great Cornard, outside Sudbury, where traditional calls are still used.

Mr Sayers, a town, district and county councillor for Sudbury, said: ‘I was disappointed but I took good advice.

‘I did not want to bring the town hall and myself into disrepute.’

But a spokesman for the Plain English Campaign, which calls for an end to jargon, said: ‘Although banning bingo terms may sound quite humorous at first, it does have very serious implications.

‘Political correctness was something that was bought in to establish fairness and equality, but it has in fact taken things to the other extreme.’

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