Bridget Jones comes back to life

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Bridget Jones is back – writer Helen Fielding will publish her third novel about the scatty singleton next year.

The character, who started life as a weekly column in The Independent in 1995, filled her diary with her failed efforts to find love and measured her life in the amount of cigarettes she smoked, units of alcohol she drank and number of calories she lost or gained.

Fielding said: “The new novel is set in present-day London, with an entirely new scenario for Bridget. If people laugh as much reading it as I am while writing it, then we’ll all be very happy.”

The new book is almost certain to be a best-seller after the first two sold more than 15 million copies and inspired the films starring Renee Zellweger.

Dan Franklin, from publisher Jonathan Cape, said: “Great comic writers are as rare as hen’s teeth. Helen is one of a very select band who have created a character, Bridget, of whom the very thought makes you smile. Like millions of others, I can’t wait to see what’s happened to her.”

Fielding told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour that she had “sort of lost my voice in terms of Bridget” before returning to the character and had been surprised by the books’ success.

She said: “When I first wrote it, I didn’t think anyone would read it. It was just a column in The Independent so it was very easy to write and be very honest and then I got all self-conscious because I knew so many people would read it.”

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