Hollywood hardman Russell Crowe is a secret fan of bingo - and used to work as a bingo caller.

The Gladiator hunk regularly heads down to his local bingo hall - a game usually associated with pensioners - and has even persuaded pregnant wife Danielle Spencer to join him.

Russell worked as a bingo caller in New Zealand during his teenage years, but was sacked after exchanging famous phrases like "two fat ladies - 88" to much ruder alternatives such as "number one - up yer bum".

However, despite his dismissal, the A BEAUTIFUL MIND star is still a great fan.

A relative of wife Danielle confides to the DAILY STAR SUNDAY, "He loves talking about his days as a bingo caller, he had a great time. He treated it as a bit of a joke at first but he really got caught up in the excitement of it all.

"Russell tried to spice things up by using ruder versions of the bingo calls. His bosses failed to see the funny side and booted him out, but he says he always checks to see where the local venue is when he's somewhere new.

"Now Danielle is expecting he's got her into the game as a way of relaxation. It's a far cry from his image as a bar-crawling, boozy tough guy."

Other celebrity fans of the number game include U2 frontman Bono, ROBBIE WILLIAMS, Atomic Kitten and disbanded pop stars S CLUB.

17/08/2003 12:56