Benjamin Whitrow

BAFTA-nominated for his performance as Mr Bennet in the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, Benjamin Whitrow has appeared in TV dramas since the 1960s. He has also been a regular stage performer with such famous companies as the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.
How did you start playing bridge?
My parents used to play rubber bridge and I learned from them, but I became
really interested as a young actor.When I worked at the National Theatre, Laurence Olivier, the director, allowed us to set up a table in the wings. It was good
fun to play until you heard your cue, go on stage, do your bit. . . and come back
to find that someone else had played the
hand for you!
How often do you play?
If I am not working, two or three times
A week. I play duplicate at the Wimbledon Bridge Club: I like the ambience and the club is not far from home.
What does bridge mean to you?
It keeps me occupied in the evening and gives me the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. More importantly, I like the fact that bridge enables you to be totally absorbed for three hours and forget all about your sorrows and problems in life.
If you could change one thing about bridge, what would it be?
I would re-instate the re-redouble! The redouble has become almost a convention, so it would be good to have a call that only means business!
What are your other hobbies?
Golf, though I am not very good at it, reading and going to concerts.