Page 3 Profile: Helen Fielding, author


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The Independent Online

Monday September 30: Weight: 130lbs (slight over-indulgence), alcohol units: 4 (very well-behaved), cigarettes: 10, calories: 2,560.

Author Helen Fielding has been thrust back into the spotlight after leaving die-hard Bridget Jones’s Diary fans aghast at the news that she will be killing off her awkward but adorable Prince Charming, Mark Darcy, in the next instalment of the novel, set to be published next month.

How could she?

Fielding’s calorie-counting singleton was the chick-lit success of the late 20th century and became an icon for all those unlucky in love.

Extracts from the third volume in the series, Mad About the Boy, serialised in the Sunday Times, reveal that Bridget is now a widow and taking on life in the era of Twitter and internet dating, 17 years on from the first instalment. 

17 years – has it really been that long? How did it all begin? 

Her most popular work started life as an anonymous column in The Independent in 1995 and the instant success of the hilarious excerpts propelled her to write the first two novels and their film adaptations.

Comedy clearly runs deep in her veins.

Yes indeed. Whilst studying English at St Anne’s College, Oxford, Helen was part of the Oxford revue at the 1978 Edinburgh Festival.

Here she formed close ties with a group of comic performers and writers including Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson. 

She combined her love of comedy and philanthropy whilst she was producing live satellite broadcasts from a refugee camp in Eastern Sudan for the launch of Comic Relief in 1985. 

And finally, as Uncle Geoffrey would say, how’s the love life?

Fielding is currently what her literary alter-ego Bridget Jones would call a singleton in a sea of smug marrieds.

Following her success, Fielding moved to Los Angeles, where she had two children with Kevin Curran, a television executive on The Simpsons. The pair split in 2009 and the 55-year-old is now poised to take on her next challenge.