Mesmerised By Foxy Bingo’s Man-Fox

Foxy Bingo is supporting Red Nose Day 2009. Well after sponsoring The Jeremy Kyle Show, in the words of Yazz and the Plastic Population, the only way is up (old skool reference: it was a No 1 hit way back in 1988). They will match every penny spent on their games with a donation to the Comic Relief Fund. Good for you Foxy Bingo! I applaud any company that gets involved in fundraising but I must say, I find this combination as bizarre as the infamous Foxy adverts themselves: Comic Relief and…Foxy Bingo. 

‘Do something funny for money’; that’s the charity’s slogan this year so I’m inclined to view the Foxy Bingo collaboration as the most literal interpretation of that statement we’re ever likely to see – it’s almost too postmodern for words. You just know that somewhere, even Nietzsche is laughing his socks off. Comic Relief and Sainsbury’s. Comic Relief and the BBC. Comic Relief and Oxfam. Comic Relief and…Foxy Bingo. On the face of it, they make strange bedfellows. OK, it’s not Michael Jackson and Lisa-Marie Presley but it’s up there. Or at least, it is to me.

But, as I keep stressing, it’s all good. It’s for charity. Back in 2007, glamour model Jordan (as she was then) was the face of the Foxy Bingo campaign until her pay demands exceeded their budget. The irony is, after they changed the Man-Fox from a snooty, rather aristocratic type (a kind of fox-like Lawrence Lleweyln‐Bowen, if you will) to something that wouldn’t be out of place in Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, they became even bigger without her. These days, only the more fanatical are likely to recall Katie Price’s involvement with Foxy Bingo. Not many companies can boast of humongous success after dropping a blonde with grossly-inflated silicone-enhanced boobs, but Foxy Bingo can. The laughs just keep coming with them, don’t they? Want a reminder of Foxy the Man-Fox as he was? Here ye go:


Looking back, it’s easy to see why the creative was changed. The message was garbled and unclear (why the hell would an Old Etonian-type care about bingo?) so the campaign went downmarket socially and struck gold; goodbye ABC1s, hello C2DEs, chavs, Jeremy Kyle-viewing chavs and Jeremy Kyle-guesting chavs – in that order. Out went the posh Man-Fox and in came the northern disco-dancing version, complete with the voice of Adam Catterall (a local radio station dj from the north west’s Rock Fm). I have to admit to a repulsive fascination with the Foxy Bingo Man-Fox – mainly because it’s such a naff concept. And yet, soooooooooo right. I think my hate-hate relationship started with the 2008 Pied Piper advertising campaign. You know the god-awful one that bastardised Sister Sledge’s We Are Family?   


Clearly inspired by John Travolta’s Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, Pied Piper campaign’s Man-Fox became a microcosm of how the film would’ve looked if it were transferred from New York City to Burnley town centre with Tony Manero renamed Lee Alcock or Dave Fisher instead. He’s got a hairy chest a la Travolta and a variation of the suit; but criminally, he’s missing the medallion as you can see from this – omigod it pains me to admit it – genuinely funny Comic Relief sketch with Strictly Come Dancing’s Kristina Rihanoff (comprehensive coverage of Strictly here in MSN’s blog). First John Sergeant and now the Man-Fox. It wouldn’t surpise me if she danced with Rik Waller next…


And the Comic Relief efforts continue as you can see with the new advert…

So Lipps Inc classic Funky Town gets the "’By ‘eck, ‘ey up!" treatment this time (as long as they stay away from Cheryl Lynn’s Got To Be Real or Shalamar’s Take That To The Bank, I can still function as a human being) but what’s up with the CGI? Get rid of it Foxy Bingo! You’ve killed the essence of the disco-dancing, he-thinks-he’s-Lancashire’s-answer-to-The Fonz, eeh-bah-gum Man-Fox. I’m almost beginning to miss the freak. And I *never* thought I’d say that.

Red Nose Day 2009 is this Friday – more information, including how to donate, here

Today I am mostly lovin’ – I have finally received my press invite to the launch and first episode screening of The Apprentice. I can’t wait! Yeah, there’s more than a whiff of Big Brother about Sir Alan Sugar’s monster hit these days, but it remains my favourite reality TV show.

Today I am mostly hatin’ – During a GMTV commercial break, an advert for diarrhoea was followed by that ghastly advert with the child that wants to do a poo at Paul’s house. What a load of cr*p.

MSN Editor Coops
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26 Responses to Mesmerised By Foxy Bingo’s Man-Fox

  1. Toni says:

    I actually hate the fox, he makes me cringe every time he appears on my TV. Much as I hate to admit it, I think I prefered the adverts when Jordan appeared in them.

  2. rosaleen says:

    I think foxy is great very tungue in cheek and bit camp and funny bit offa babe magnet to lol

  3. Z says:

    I\’m very confused by that Fox, I find it strange that it is literally a man\’s body with a fox head. It\’s to weird. Oh and I\’m from Burnley, we don;t have anything as glamorous as a Fox in Purple suits, we have overweight people eating kebabs off the floor then going round the wheelie bins for a bit of howe\’s your father….So glad I moved away!

  4. Leah -Ace- says:

    Seriously, that fox scares me… am I the only one? xD.And that advert, don\’t start me on tha… *shudders*

  5. Unknown says:

    Wouldn\’t it just be the best thing EVER if Foxy took his headpiece off and it was Jeremy Kyle under there?????!

  6. Unknown says:

    i fiind foxy strangely attractive… rrrrrrrrrrrrr!

  7. Catherine says:

    It\’s nice to hear a voice from the North on National Television, and its great to wake up to Adam in the morning on his breakfast show on Rock FM!!

  8. Hilary says:

    is his sister on the cover of Genesis Foxtrot album – looks very familiar – been done before?!

  9. Unknown says:

    That advert makes me want to vomit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Richard says:

    Excuse me but you do not have 2 be a chav or from the north ( which I am, born in Manchester, live in Manchester and always will be ) 2 watch or be a guest on The Jeremy Kyle Show (I will admit however that some guests are chav\’s but not all).

  11. Tina says:

    Gotta agree with Richard here Coops – not all JK watchers are chavs – I am not a chav, very far from it, but I do occasionally watch Jeremy Kyle – I think he does good things for people by supplying the excellent after care service that he does, if nothing else. Also, it\’s also good to tune in occasionally just so you can say to yourself well hey, at least my life\’s not THAT bad!Not everyone who goes on the show are chavs either. Recently I saw one of his shows, and it was a mother on there, who looked a lot like my own mother, would be the double if her hair were longer and her skin darker, and she went on the show to desperately try to get her children to come to terms with the fact that she was dying. It struck a real chord with me. She was definitely not a chav. And there are a few others on there that you just can\’t class as chavs. So a little bit of generalising there from you Coops. But seeing as you\’re usually so good and think things through and do a pretty good job of arguing both sides, I\’ll let you off. :)Yes, Foxy IS strangely mesmerising! I want to HATE the fox, but I can\’t help watching him and smiling a little! But I do agree with you on the new CGI front – it just doesn\’t work!

  12. Coops - says:

    Richard and Tina – point taken. However, in mitigation, I have not singled out the non-chavs that watch or guest on Jeremy Kyle – just the chavs. Like it or not, this show does enjoy a reputation for being downmarket telly and I am indeed guilty of recognising that. 🙂 But don\’t let my snobbery put you off. I\’ve watched a couple of interesting editions myself; one centred around a hospital in the US for the morbidly obese.

  13. Tina says:

    Coops, I love ya, but all I was saying was that I merely agree with Richard that the way you put it it did sound like you were trying to say that everyone who watches or goes on JK is a chav, but thank you for clearing up that that\’s not what you meant! Always good to do that. :)No-one (so far anyway) is arguing the point that JK is very much downmarket telly. That is what it is after all, even I agree with that. But hey, whether we choose to admit it or not, don\’t we ALL like a bit of that from time to time? I don\’t think you\’re snobby at all Coops. And I think you\’ve cleared up what you meant to say very nicely.Why is it though that JK has not only ditched Foxy, but seems to be going through every bingo site out there right now as his show sponsor? That\’s what I wanna know, because much as it pains me to say it, I\’m almost starting to miss Foxy! I hate the blasted fox yet at the same time he always made me grin when JK broke for the ads!

  14. Paula says:

    I can\’t stand Foxy, annoying isn\’t the correct word. But i won\’t say what I actually think of these adverts. Mute the tele everytime he show\’s he ugly moosh.

  15. Peter says:

    I like the new CGI version… damn that sexy fox 😛

  16. karen says:

    Can\’t stand that fox!he makes me want to poo…….At Pauls house!!

  17. Rachel says:

    Love Foxy! Met Paul Kasey who plays him at a convention – what a star he is!

  18. kirby says:

    Omg Mii lil broo is obsessed with foxy nd luvs himm bless him he is sixteen months tomozz lol x

  19. Unknown says:

    Gotta love the Fox! He\’s got the chat, got the moves, got the threads.. and who else would get away with \’Ey bye gum does ya belly touch ya bum\’ on a prime time ad? I\’d have the Fox as my wingman out on the pull in my local discoteque anyday. Still think Bingo\’s a load of pony though!

  20. Sam says:

    I dont like the adverts, they suck. And the fox is a lame-o.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    How can you not love Foxy. I love that bushy tail of his, don\’t like the purple suit though.Kisses from me to you Foxy

  22. Chris says:

    I liked the suave cool sophisticated etonian version, give him a shotgun and a heavy rock soundtrack and you got an action programme!!!!

  23. demelza says:


  24. rachael says:

    all ican say is it both amuses and baffles me that jeremy kyle is a programme that seeks to help people with addiction related problems- these often in clude gambling- yet its chooses a major online gambling company as its sponsor … oh! the irony! lol

  25. sarahjane says:

    In reply to Rachael Ferguson: No Jeremy Kyle doesnt decide who sponsors his programme thats down the to the advertisers and programmers in other departments, I know this because I worked for one of the major Satalitte companies and it\’s never discussed with the hosts of shows, its given along side many shows as a means of helping out the provider of the program (being ITV, Sky etc…) so it certainly isnt ironic, because if a Bingo company sponsors any programme its bringing money to that channel provider as the \’Bingo\’ company pays to advertise on that channel and makes the channel still available. Without funding from various sources that channel wouldnt survive neither would any otnher channel provider, unlike BBC whom sponges off the licence fee and thinks it has a chance at ever showing Sky related programmes for virtually nothing… Oh and yes Foxy is cute and I wouldnt mind a foxy plushie, I dont play bingo myself but he\’s a cute character.Sorry I just had to clear up the importance of advertising. I\’m not being mean by it whatsoever.

  26. Tina says:

    I thought she raised a very good point, it would seem very ironic to those not in the know!

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