We met Bridget Jones when she was an insecure thirty-something obsessed with her appearance yet consumed large quantities of alcohol, up to 14,000 calories a day, way too much nicotine and resolved not to entertain any more 'fuckwits' while shagging Daniel Cleaver. Well, she's back, only this time there's no Mark Darcy - he died - and she's now a 51-year-old mother with two kids and a 29-year-old boyfriend. In an interview with the Associated Press, Fielding added, "The book I wanted to write was not about domesticity, married life. It was about Bridget struggling with what life throws at you."
Author Helen Fielding created Bridget Jones for a series of newspaper columns in The Independent back in the early 90's. The articles had a huge following which quickly led to book and movie deals and unexpected fame. In a recent interview at The Book Expo America, Fielding said she was surprised by the success and admits she lost Bridget's voice after all of the adaptations. After some time away from the character, she talks about finding her way back.
Suddenly, quite organically, I had a story again and I had things I wanted to say. She is older. So the same way I was looking at the problems of being a thirty-something, now I'm looking at being the person that used to be branded middle-aged and motherhood. Bridget was always trying to be a better girl, sex goddess, thinner, eat less. Bridget's now basically trying not to lose the children when checking her Twitter followers while they're up in a tree.
Fielding recently talked to British Vogue about transitioning Bridget from 30's to 50's.
In the same way as the whole tragic, barren spinster thing was hopelessly outdated when I wrote the first book, the idea of a middle-aged woman being expected to start growing curly grey hair and wheeling a shopping bag is totally irrelevant. Women of my age are still dating, having sex and looking great. A woman's sell-by date is getting later and later, and quite right, too.
Bridget is just an ordinary person, a flawed human being who muddles along and still, despite the blows, manages to find the lightness in life. 'Hurrah!' is what she says. It is all going to be all right.
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is available today. Pick up your copy here.
Before you meet the 50-year-old Bridget, reintroduce yourself to the 30-something gal you first fell in love with in clips from Bridget Jones's Diary.
Bridget Jones's DiaryWanton Sex Goddess
Bridget Jones's DiaryUgly Sweater Party
Bridget Jones's DiaryBunny Costume
Bridget Jones's DiaryResolutions
Bridget Jones's DiaryToo Short?
Bridget Jones's DiaryCouples Only
Read an excerpt from Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy:
Saturday 8 September 2012
Just woke up from delicious, sensual dream all mixed up with Daniel and Leatherjacketman. Suddenly feel different: sensual, womanly and yet that makes me feel so guilty, as if I'm being unfaithful to Mark and yet . . . is so sensual feeling like a sensual woman, with a sensual side which is sensually . . . oh. Children are awake.
11:30 a.m. Entire morning has been totally sensual and lovely. Started day with all three of us in my bed, cuddling and watching telly. Then had breakfast. Then played hide and seek. Then drew and colored in Moshi Monsters, then did obstacle course all in pajamas, all the while with roast chicken emitting delicious fragrance from the Aga.
11:31 a.m. Am perfect mother and sensual woman with ?sensual possibilities. I mean maybe someone like Leather-?jacketman could join in with this scenario ?and. . . .
11:32 a.m. Billy: "Can we do computer, now it's Saturday?"
11:33 a.m. Mabel: "Want to watch SpongeBob."
11:35 a.m. Suddenly overwhelmed with exhaustion and desire to read papers in echoing silence. Just for ten minutes.
"Mummeee! De TV is broken."
Realized, horrified, Mabel had got hold of the remotes. I started jabbing at buttons, at which white flecks appeared, accompanied by loud crackling.
"Snow!" said Mabel, excitedly, just as the dishwasher started beeping.
"Mummy!" said Billy. "The computer's run out of charge."
"Well, plug it in again!" I said shoving my head into the cupboard full of wires under the telly.
"Night!" said Mabel as the TV screen went black, and the tumble-dryer joined in the beeping.
"This charger doesn't work."
"Well, go on the Xbox!"
"It's not working."
"Maybe it's the Internet connection."
"Mummy! I've unplugged the AirPort, I can't get it in again."
Realizing my thermostat was veering dangerously towards red, I scampered off up the stairs saying, "Time to get dressed, special treat! I'll get your clothes." Then ran into their bedroom and burst out, "I hate fucking technology. Why can't everyone just FUCKING SHUT UP AND LET ME READ THE PAPERS."
Suddenly lurched in horror. The baby listener was on! Oh God, oh God. Should have got rid of it ages ago but paranoid as single parent, fear of death, etc., etc. Ran downstairs to find Billy racked by sobs.
"Oh Billy, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it. Was it the baby listener?"
"Nooooooooo!" he yelled. "The Xbox is frozen."
"Mabel, did you hear Mummy in the baby listener?"
"No," she said staring delightedly at the television. "De TV is mended."
It was showing a page asking for the Virgin TV password.
"Billy, what's the Virgin password?" I said.
"Isn't it the same as your banker's card, 1066?"
"OK, I'll do the Xbox, you put in the password," I said just as the doorbell rang."That password won't work."