How did the Bridget Jones phenomenon start:

01:00 Thu 05th Apr 2001 |

A. Bridget Jones' Diary actually started off as a spoof column in the The Independent�newspaper. The idea�for the column was thought up by the then features editor Charles Leadbeater. He commissioned another journalist colleague Helen Fielding to write it. The column proved so successful that�Fielding decided to turn it into a novel. The book, which was first published in 1997, has so far sold over four million copies�the world over and its success led to the film.

Q. What is the film/book about

Bridget Jones, of course. In her diary, Bridget chronicles the trials and tribulations of her daily attempts to reach her goal in life: to secure herself a Mr Right.

Q. Did Fielding script the film

Richard Curtis, of Four Weddings and a Funeral fame, and Andrew Davies wrote the script in cooperation with Fielding.

Q. Who is starring in the film

Texan Renee Zellweger is playing Bridget and Hugh Grant and Colin Firth play her love interests.

Q. So,, why was the quintessentially English Bridget played by an American

Apparently she was the best person for the job. The film's director Sharon Maguire, says: ' No one was more surprised than me to cast an American, but she was just right for the role. I don't think I made the wrong decision.' The film is released across the country on 13 April so you can make your own mind up on this then.

Q. I've heard the director is a mate of the author's is this true

Yes, Maguire is a good friend of Fielding and actually gave her the inspiration for one�of the characters: Shazzer, Bridget's sarcastic friend.

Q. Any more commercial spin offs on the way

Yes, Fielding is�launching a Bridget Jones text messaging service with Finnish wireless entertainment service Riot Entertainment. Subscribers will receive daily messages from the fictional star on her daily activities - dieting, her love life and career.

Q. Has Fielding written any other books

Yes, she has written the sequel to Bridget Jones' diary Edge of Reason and her first novel Cause Celebre is about a young women experiencing relationship problems.

Then there's the official film website

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By Anna Tobin

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