Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Jason slips between Bridget covers

Bridget Jones is back, courtesy of author Helen Fielding, but Darcy is no more.
Bridget Jones is back, courtesy of author Helen Fielding, but Darcy is no more.

Bridget Jones fans got a little more than they were expecting with her new book - 40 pages of Sir David Jason's autobiography.

Fans had eagerly awaited publication of Helen Fielding's latest instalment in the series, but today readers reported getting to the middle of Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy only to find chunks of Sir David's memoirs, My Life.

A spokeswoman for publishers Vintage said: "The printers have had a Bridget moment.

"A printing error has been detected in some of the very early copies of Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy.

"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."

The book, which is meant to be Fielding's goodbye to the world's most famous singleton, was released along with Sir David's book today - one of the biggest dates in the publishing calendar.

Dubbed "Super Thursday", dozens of new titles hit the shelves in preparation for the Christmas market.

Not that Fielding's novel needed any extra publicity, but the publishing blunder only served to get readers talking even more.

Fans already knew about the main plot twist after extracts were published in the Sunday Times Magazine.

Fans were shocked and upset to learn that hero Mark Darcy is dead and Bridget has become a widow.

And any initial shock and upset at discovering Sir David slipping between Fielding's hardback covers, could be replaced by knowing that the quirky copies will become collectors' items.

In interviews to launch the book, Fielding, 55, said chunks of Bridget have also been printed in My Life but the publisher declined to reveal how many copies were affected.

"Nothing turns out quite perfectly," said the author, laughing.

More than a decade after the last novel in the saga, it turns out that unlucky-in-love Bridget married Darcy and gave him two children - only for Fielding to kill off the awkward yet successful barrister.

Heralding the arrival of ''chick lit'', Bridget Jones's Diary started life as as a newspaper column in 1995.

Two best-selling novels followed, with Hollywood blockbuster film adaptations featuring Renee Zellweger as Bridget and Colin Firth as Darcy.

Portrayed as a stereotypical 1990s London 30-something worried about her weight, smoking and alcohol intake, Bridget struck a chord with women of her generation.

The modern-day heroine's story - loosely based on Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice - was centred around love interests, Darcy and her cad boss Daniel Cleaver.

After hearing from her last in 1999 with Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason, readers will now find Bridget as a 51-year-old widow obsessed with wrinkles.

Fielding, who has always denied that the books are autobiographical, is a single mother-of-two who ended her relationship with television executive Kevin Curran in 2009.

Bridget's new adventures as a 50-something cougar sees her meet new 30-year-old toyboy boyfriend, Roxter, on Twitter, five years after Darcy's death.

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