News of another game of bingo in a community centre may not quite get you excited... but how about if the called was none other than the raunchy, charismatic Tina T’urner?

No, not the River Deep – Mountain High star; this is her biggest fan – a frustrated tea lady and bingo caller with delusions of being a rock diva.

And while Ms T’urner (note the apostrophe) may have finally accepted she isn’t a star, but she can still (almost) sing and dance up a brew. And she has her heart set on a full house.

Tonight our Tina (aka award-winning comedian Tracey Collins) heads to Florence Park Community Centre for Steamy Bingo – a Good Friday evening of Tina Turner, Yorkshire tea and bingo.

“I make simply the best tea in town,” she tells me earnestly over a cuppa. “I’m a Tina Turner obsessed tea lady who runs a tea room in Yorkshire, and perform my caffeine-charged musical comedy routine around the world.

“I’ve devoted my life to sharing my love of tea, Tina Turner and bingo.

“I wanted to be a star in the 80s, but in the end, I became an all singing all hobbling tea lady who my customers call Tina Tea-urner.”

Proffering a plate of Custard Creams, she adds: “The Steamy Bingo show, which I’m bringing to Oxford is a celebration of music and love as I share the true power of the brew. We play bingo games to win luxury prizes, sing along to a high energy 80s playlist and roll around the floor together, all while high on caffeine!”

Topping up my cup, she goes on: “The musical comedy moments feature me singing – or mumbling – Tina Turner songs with parody lyrics about tea, golden-pies and my life as a tea lady, all while seducing the audience with my hot beverage.”

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So what’s so special about the real Tina Turner (real name Anna Mae Bullock, 79, from Nutbush, Tennessee)?

“I think she is perfection,” she says. “Her voice. Her electric performance energy. Her strength.

“When I was young, my mum adored Tina. We saw her in concert at Wembley together and I couldn’t stop shaking with excitement.

“Whenever life got tough, I would find strength in Tina. When I lost my mum, when I had a break up. She would inspire me to thrive and seek out the joy in life.

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“When I found my true calling in tea service and set up the cafe, I would play Tina and dress up and dance.

“I would invent showbiz stories and tell them to the customers. She brightens up my mundane world and allows me to go wild. Her photos adorn the cafe walls, and she has inspired me to spread comedy and absurdity wherever I can.”

And bingo? I ask, pouring the spilt tea from my saucer back into the cup.

Bingo is melodic, poetic and riotous,” she says, gazing into the distance.

“It brings people together. They put their mobile phones away and get in the moment, motivated to win.

“I love hunting for the prizes. A tea pot here, an aftershave there. Popular prizes of the past include a fluffy toilet seat cover, a cat vase, a shower curtain worn as a cape and a futuristic oven mitt.”

And tea?

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Tea is a milky moment of calm in a hectic world. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing i think about before I go to sleep.

“Tea is a natural aphrodisiac, it has magical powers, and tea service has given me great purpose. I often dream about waves of tea splashing over me in a giant tub.”

And, she certainly makes a good cuppa. What, I ask, is her secret?”I cannot give away my secret,” she whispers. “But I would say: tea must be made with love. It is love in a mug. You should be able to taste it.”

So what’s her fave Tina Turner song?

“My favourite is Simply The Best; it’s the greatest song of all time,” she says. “The intro gets your shoulders moving, then that huge chorus lifts the roof. The voice of an angel. I’ve seen people lose it to that song so many times.

The night is hosted by Vez Hoper of Oxford’s Irregular Folks, who programmes a rich programme of interesting, leftfield, artists in unusual Oxford venues throughout the year. And she can’t wait to get involved.

“It’s bingo but not as we know it,” she laughs. “And where else better to hold it than the velvet trimmed, mirror balled Florence Park Community Centre.

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“Prepare yourself for a fun evening as you are plunged headlong into Tina’s world of balls, tea and prizes. We just can’t get enough of her. She’s a comedy powerhouse, is surreal, hilarious and downright silly, and we are chuffed to bits to be inviting her back.”

While definitely odd, it’s everything we’d expect from Vez who has previously presented an interactive performance of Sing-Along-A-Wickerman, Drunken Drawing and the annual Irregular Folks Summer Session festival – held alternately on a meadow, in pub gardens and a gin distillery.

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Vez adds: “Interestingly, Florence Park Community Centre was pretty much built on bingo, with much of the money needed to build the place coming from bingo sessions. I love how these things come back round.

“And if people want to come dressed up there’s a prize for the ‘Simply the Best Dressed’ where the person Tina deems the best turned out of the night, be it fancy dress, Tina look-alike, tea lady, or just fine outfit, will win a prize.”

And, back to Tina for the last word, how can we make ourselves a bit more Tina Turner?

“Be strong and spiritual,” she says. “Raise your vibration and truly live. I wish I could wear heels like her more, but I suffer with varicose veins, so I’m mostly in my slippers and supportive ankle socks these days!”

Irregular Folks presents... Tina T’urner Tea Lady’s Steamy Bingo! Florence Park Community Centre, Oxford, tonight, Good Friday. 7.30pm.

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