Bridget Jones will return next year in a third novel

Good news. Everyone’s favourite singleton, Bridget Jones, has not been half-eaten by an alsatian. She will return next year in a third novel set in London. Hurrah! Will it be cigarettes: none; alcohol units: none; weight: off the charts; baby: imminent, as Bridget Jones returns for a “different phase” of London life?

Author Helen Fielding announced on Friday that she is writing a third novel about Britain’s favourite singleton, Ms. Jones, due out next autumn — 13 years after she last appeared in a book. Publisher Jonathan Cape would only say the novel “explores a different phase in Bridget’s life”, refusing to say if her perennial paramours, Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver, would appear, or if Ms. Jones would have aged in real time, making her at least in her late 40s.

“The new novel is set in present-day London, with an entirely new scenario for Bridget,” said Ms. Fielding. “If people laugh as much reading it as I am while writing it then we’ll all be very happy.” Speaking on BBC radio’s Woman’s Hour, Ms. Fielding admitted Bridget’s famous diary style — she opens each entry with a list: “9st 3 (but post-Christmas), alcohol units 14 (but effectively covers 2 days as 4 hours of party was on New Year’s Day), cigarettes 22, calories 5424” — would focus more on Twitter followers than on alcohol and cigarettes this time.

“It’s more like ‘number of Twitter followers: 0. Still no followers. Still no followers,’” Ms. Fielding said. “But she has grown up. My life has moved on and hers will too. She’s still trying to give up [drinking and smoking], she’s still on a diet. She’s trying a bit harder, and is a bit more successful, but she’s never really going to change.”

Ms. Fielding is also working on a third Bridget Jones film and a Bridget Jones musical. The character started as a column in the London-based The Independent newspaper in 1995. The novels have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, helped by film adaptations starring Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth in 2001 and 2004. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2012

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