Heads Up: Booze, babies and bad men: Bridget Jones is back (v.g.)


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The Independent Culture

What are we talking about?

An all-new peek at the diary of Bridget Jones, after a hiatus of seven years; it was briefly revived in 2005 in The Independent, with Bridget having a baby. Judging by the subtitle – Mad About the Boy – and the toys scattered around Ms Jones on the already-revealed cover, we may hazard a guess that the new book will involve the trials of motherhood.

Elevator pitch Booze, babies, and bad men: Bridget Jones is back (v.g.).

Prime movers Helen Fielding, the author. She originally invented Bridget as a 30-something singleton in the Nineties for a column in The Independent; it spawned two novels and two film adaptations. 

The stars Bridge, obvs. As a nation, we fell in love with the calorie-and-cigarette-counting, Chardonnay-quaffing single girl with terrible taste in men. She returns, and is now struggling with Twitter, email etiquette, skinny jeans, and drunk texting. Perennial love interests Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver also reappear.

The early buzz Melanie McDonagh wrote in the Evening Standard: “She’s not the quintessential singleton of old — though she’s still on the market — but that gives scope for embodying other issues: single parenthood and the ol’ chestnut, the Work-Life Balance. That’s BJ’s role really: to embody feminine anxieties and defuse them by making them funny.” Not that she’s gone all grown-up just yet: the Daily Mail reported: “It seems Bridget is still trying to kick her vices (cigarettes and alcohol), and dating and dieting remain a problem.”

Insider knowledge The publishers may be more social-media savvy than Bridget; the cover was revealed on Facebook, but only once a teaser campaign showing a bottle of wine had “been drunk” by enough people “liking” and sharing it on their feeds. 

It’s great that… there are more films in the offing; a third instalment has been on-and-off for years, and now the rights to Mad About the Boy have also been snapped up. 

It’s a shame that… do the maths, and Bridget should probably be in her fifites; it seems likely she’ll be younger in the book. But no one wants a glamorised Bridge! 

Hit potential Oh, obviously it will be a big seller. But sequel The Edge of Reason was critically panned, and this could be just flogging the cash cow, if you’ll forgive our mixed metaphor.

The details Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is published on 10 October by Jonathan Cape.