Sue Lawley

Sue Lawley is one of Britain’s best known radio and television broadcasters, hosting Desert Island Discs for eighteen years. She has now become famous as the first winner of Sky Arts TV’s Bridge: Celebrity Grand Slam (seepage 17).
How did you start playing bridge?
It took up bridge in my late twenties. My husband and our next door neighbors taught me and we became hugely keen, playing into the wee small hours. We were producing children in those days and I have to confess to having fed a baby at the bridge table.
And after that?
I divorced and re-married a non-bridge player so I hardly played for twenty years. Then we bought a house in a small coastal town in East Devon. The local ‘Bridge & Croquet Club’ turned out to be thriving and suddenly I discovered the bug had bitten me again! I was very rusty but the members were patient with me – formal, precise, sticklers for the rules and etiquette, and mustard at the game!
And now?
Over the last fourteen years I’ve learned much more than I ever knew about bridge, and I play regularly during holidays. I know that If I’m not getting the cards, I need to sit on my hanky instead of walking around my chair.
What does bridge mean to you?
Just as when I was 30 years old, the sound of the cards being shuffled sets my heart a-flutter and banishes any sense of tiredness. Bridge for me is true escapism – there’s no room in your head for any of life’s serious concerns when you’re short of entries to the table, the opposition’s strength is all on the wrong side and you’ve said you can make three no-trumps.