The great Bridget Jones/David Jason mash-up

Leave it out, Rodney! Actually, next time why not leave it in?

Share

What does Helen Fielding’s comic heroine, Bridget Jones, have in common with David Jason, thespy national treasure of Only Fools and Horses fame? Nothing whatsoever, or so you’d safely assume: one is the nation’s favourite singleton, the other is the nation’s favourite cockney mucker, and never the twain shall meet.

So there was something perfectly ridiculous about the printing accident in which the joint-publisher of Fielding’s comeback book, Mad About the Boy, and Jason’s memoir, My Life, ending up tacking 40-pages of Jason’s life story into the middle of Bridget Jones’s travails as an older, but no less desperately single, 50-something.

The mix-up, which affected some editions of Fielding’s book, was apparently due to a fault in the printing process, but one can’t help marvel at its serendipitous timing, even discounting the irony in the fact that the publishing house responsible for the mistake had only just amalgamated, from two to one, as Penguin Random House. Had amalgamation gone to their heads or was there method in the mess-up? No, just a hiccup, they insisted: “Some copies printed on one day have given readers an accidental preview of David Jason’s autobiography. We are taking steps to remove these copies from sale and will be replacing misprinted stock as soon as possible.”

News of the mishap leaked yesterday, just as Fielding and Jason were poised to meet their fans at two rival bookshops – Fielding signing copies of her novel at Foyles as Jason navigated the hordes at Waterstones, in Piccadilly. All on Super Thursday, when the starter gun to the No 1 Christmas book slot is sounded. On your marks, get set… oops, an accidental comedy moment that brings both brands – quite literally – together.

Accident it may have been, but it couldn’t have been better devised by the guerrilla marketing buffs. Mash-up – the joining up of two literary genres – is all the rage.  Ever since Pride and Prejudice and Zombies married Regency England with the undead, we’ve regularly seen the alchemical amusement of uniting two previously boring genres to create a new hybrid ‘hilarious’ one. Even if this wasn’t an imaginative publicity stunt – and it most probably wasn’t – the mash-up copies would surely be an improvement?

The botched copies of Mad About the Boy could well become limited edition collectors items: I’d buy one, and delight at the surprising turns that Bridget’s otherwise all too predictable trajectory takes – permanently-single-and-permanently-angsty-about-it, when that 30-something generational star has faded. I wish her story had accidentally slipped in-between the pages of Jason’s autobiography, just to mix it up a little bit more.

There is one more good thing that can come out of this fortuitous accident. The last chapter of Fielding’s book is left open-ended: I hope and pray she takes a leaf out of her publisher’s printing mistake and has Bridget meet Del Boy in deepest, darkest Peckham if she is planning a next instalment. They can discuss life, love and the price of fish over a packet of crisps down his local boozer. Or better still, the next time around could see Mr Darcy returning as a flesh-eating zombie.

a.akbar@independent.co.uk

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

Marketing Manager

£36000 - £38000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...

Accounts Assistant, Hammersmith

£25000 per annum: Charter Selection: Exciting sports company with a strong bra...

Financial Accountant-IFRS-Gloucester-£300/day

£250 - £295 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountant - IFRS - Glouc...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

This is why I am among the thousands leaving teaching this month

Chris Sloggett
 

The daily catch-up: Neigh-Drama Obama, changing welfare and how to tell if you are a journalist

John Rentoul
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil