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Heber’s BBC Bridge Companion

A delve into the Heber archives, featuring the BBC Bridge Companion computer.

The BBC Bridge Companion was an 8-bit video game console dedicated to teach the card game, Bridge, released in the UK in 1985 by Heber under the brand of BBC Enterprises Ltd.

The original idea came from maths teacher Andrew Kambites, who had written a bridge manual. Tony Reynolds, one of the founders of Heber, was keen to turn this bridge manual into a computer system dedicated to playing bridge, and created the console from scratch.

An agreement was then made with the BBC for the console to be used as part of the late night BBC2 Bridge television series, and so the BBC bridge companion was created.

For many, this unique system holds a niche focus of electronic bridge. Still to this day Heber has had systems back for repairs and letters of thanks from grandchildren whose grandparents used the BBC Bridge system for over 40+ years.

In 1985 Heber sponsored the British Ladies Bridge Team, who competed in, and won, the World Bridge Championship in São Paulo. Below shows a newspaper clipping found in our achives featuring Tony Reynolds, one of Heber’s founders, with the team. A wonderful bit of Heber’s history!