Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Bridge on TV!

Bridge: Celebrity Grand Slam, a brand new series of 30 minute programmes will be shown at 7:00 pm on the Sky Arts 2 channel from April 20 to April 26.

The programmes start with a double bill on Monday 20th and finish with a grand final on Sunday 26th April.

Eight celebrity players will playing an individual tournament for charity, with £20,000 at stake.

The participants are :
· Actress Susan Hampshire
· Cricketer Mike Gatting
· Photographer and writer Pattie Boyd
· ITN journalist and newscaster James Mates
· Radio and TV presenter Sue Lawley
· Best-selling author Val McDermid
· Blur drummer David Rowntree
· Sky news anchor Kay Burley

The programmes are compered by Clive Anderson, assisted by bridge experts Andrew McIntosh and Glyn Liggins.

To download copies of the deals, and other information, go to www.skyarts.co.uk/bridge

View photos here.

*Please note that Bridge: Celebrity Grand Slam is an independent production by SKY, and is not an EBU production.


  1. What a pity you couldn't find a "Freeview" channel to screen it. In particular the BBC with it's endless repeats.

  2. Well done to the EBU for getting this new showcase for bridge. I look forward to seeing how these celebs get on.

  3. The best thing all bridge players who don't have Sky TV can do is go and watch at the homes of friends who have Sky and don't play bridge. It will boost the viewing figures and maybe get the friends interested in the game. Win-Win!

  4. I am told it is also available with cable.Please take trouble to check, if interested.

  5. I'm a recent and soon to be no longer SKY subscriber (that's a different story!!), I've been waiting for this series with tremendous excitement for several weeks now encouraging work colleagues etc to watch, only to find on the day that the package I have does not include SKY ARTS 2 and should I want that particular channel it's an extra subscription. I feel somewhat let down, come on SKY why not put it on one of the more general channels such as SKY3 it doesn't even have to be prime slot.

  6. We had the same experience!!

  7. shame it was not on another channel -I don't know anyone who can see it.

  8. Margaret Peterson22 April 2009 at 09:58

    Really enjoying the show at the moment - well done team!

  9. Not sure who this is aimed at. I thought initially learners with a bit of experience, but overcalls on 4 card suits and new suits at the three level are not to be encouraged!
    Also why no bidding boxes - would make reviews of the bidding easier.

  10. Personally, I am really enjoying this wonderful show - it is very pleasing to see bridge on TV once more.

    Bidding Boxes are very hard to show on TV, so I understand them not being in it.

  11. I can't watch it over here in Hong Kong, but any bridge on TV is a good thing! Well done to SKY ARTS!

  12. Whilst it is great to see bridge on TV, the bidding and play is awful. It would help if the experts would give more constructive commentary.

    It feels like I am watching people who have never played bridge before!

  13. I'm really enjoying the programmes - thank you Sky Arts. Good to see Mr. Anderson back on the Telly too.

  14. It really is a pity that most of the players are so weak that the experts are reduced to saying O Dear! after most of the bidding sequences. Bridge is a great game but it is very difficult to learn and hard to televise. The best form of presentation would have been to have had the celebrities plus four expert players also playing the hands to show what is possible.

  15. This is like watching, football players who can't score goals, jockeys who fall off their horses, snooker players who can't snook, tennis players who miss every shot, swimmers who sink to the bottom when they get in the water, A cookery program where all the recipes are ruined, etc etc!!

    It is truly hopeless, the format is excellent.It is just so frustrating to watch every hand being massacred. Even the experts seem unwilling to share their expertise.

  16. I don't know who this is aimed for. But it doesn't teach beginners and is boring for people who know how to play. What a shame! It could have been great but it is our celebrity culture again.... get anyone even if they can't play bridge as long as they are faintly famous.
    Miranda Fellows

  17. A good cast a renowned presenter yet a total flop.I guess any publicity is good publicity though . We see more of the outside of the hotel than the bridge and those camera shots are better presented than those at the bridge table.

  18. I don't think it mattered that the celebs were pretty useless. However I think a great opportunity was missed to use the limited time to show more of the play, less of the agonisingly long delays in bidding, more analysis afterwards and repetitive reminders of who was playing, what they were playing for, what happened yesterday and the day before and the day before that.

    I really hope that both the EBU in an advisory capacity and Sky (or other TV companies) consider more televised bridge but we really need to have more on bridge and less on who is playing.

  19. Ooops in my previous post I meant to say LESS repetitive reminders etc.

  20. Well thats the series over! What to say - thank goodness or ......
    A great opportunity missed I think. It was agonising to watch both bidding and play and the commentary also fell far short of what could have been done. I think, as said before, Celebs in 1 room and County Standard players in another may have shown the game in a better light. No one enjoys 3 Spades making 6 enjoyable but Grand Slam bid and made on minimal hands - what more can I say.

  21. It was good to see Bridge on TV after a very long gap, if only on a restricted channel. But it was a wasted opportunity - a bit of a curate's egg. Some of the mistakes were so bad that I felt that they must have been asked to make them deliberately!
    1. Mike opening 1NT on a 5431 Hand. If he really meant it, he would have benefitted from attending the first beginner's lesson.
    2. 7NTxx A large score got by a weird route.
    The comments by the experts were excellent but needed much more emphasis as they got lost in the general chatter. A newcomer would get the impression that players spent most of the time dining, wining and air-kissing. There was very little Bridge content in the programme.
    As in many SKY programmes the build-up held far more promise than what followed. My students were extremely disappointed (after I had urged them to watch)

  22. As a very average player I was thrilled to learn that, after a gap of approx 20 years (Bridge with Zia Mahmood), Bridge was returning to TV. What a disappointment! Hands were not displayed on screen;insufficient time given to peruse the hands;insufficient time given to playing; commentary geared towards more experienced players - what a missed opportunity.

    Zia Mahmood's programme - as I recall - enabled the whole of play to be shown.

  23. I thought the whole programme great fun. I would have liked it to have been longer with more discussion on the best play of the hands.