Updated 1st June 2014
BRIDGE: CELEBRITY GRAND SLAM
is back on TV
20th April, 2009 Sky Arts 2
8 x 30
and Sky Arts HD will air a brand new programme on bridge this April,
featuring eight celebrity players. Bridge:
Slam, shows a side of bridge away from tournaments, complex bidding
systems and double squeezes. This is social bridge, as played by hundreds of
thousands of people in the
eight players are:
Sue Lawley, radio and TV presenter, host of Desert Island Discs for 18 years.
Mike Gatting, former cricket captain of
Susan Hampshire, actress, most famous for her role as Fleur
in The Forsyte Saga.
David Rowntree, drummer with pop group Blur.
James Mates, ITN journalist and newscaster.
Pattie Boyd, photographer and writer, former wife of George
Harrison and Eric Clapton
Val McDermid, best-selling author of crime thrillers, including Wire
in the Blood.
Kay Burley, Sky news anchor. Kay is a bridge novice who only started to
learn to play Bridge three and a half weeks before the series was filmed.
programmes are compered by Clive Anderson,
who played bridge at university. He is assisted by bridge experts and
are eight half hour programmes in the series. In each episode the celebrities
play four hands with a new partner. Then they swap. Over the course of the
series everyone ends up partnering everyone else with a special twist in the 8th
and final show. The same deals are
played at both tables, greatly reducing the element of luck, and aggregate
scoring is used. Tosh and Glyn are in the control room with Clive Anderson,
commenting on the bidding and play. Once the bidding is over they are joined by
dummy to comment on the play of the hand.
players are competing for a £20,000 charity pot. The winner will donate £10,000
to his or her chosen charity, the runner-up £3,000, down to eighth place, who
will donate £250. The real winners will be eight charities!
players use a simple Acol system - weak no-trump, strong 2s, Stayman and
programmes were filmed over two days at St Michael’s Manor, a hotel in
series was the brainchild of bridge playing TV producer Hugh Dehn and was shot
in High Definition TV using a multitude of cameras, including eight overhead
are delighted to be bringing Bridge back to TV" comments James Hunt,
acting channel manager. “We recognise the popularity of bridge across the
Celebrity Grand Slam will be shown on Sky Arts 2 (channel 257) at 7:00 PM every
evening from April 20, ending with the grand final on Sunday 26 April.
For updated information on the hands, please visit