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Helen Fielding chooses Primrose Hill library to launch latest Bridget Jones bestseller

PUBLISHED: 12:10 11 October 2013 | UPDATED: 15:55 11 October 2013

Broadcaster Sue MacGregor and author Helen Fielding at Cecil Sharp House for the official launch of the author's latest novel, Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy. Picture: Polly Hancock

Broadcaster Sue MacGregor and author Helen Fielding at Cecil Sharp House for the official launch of the author's latest novel, Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

It’s been 14 years since readers have been entertained by the big-knickered, wine drinking antics of Bridget Jones, but author Helen Fielding is finally back with her latest book and chose the community where it all began to launch it.

Speaking with former BBC Radio 4 presenter Sue MacGregor at Cecil Sharp House yesterday evening, the best-selling author spoke about her love of Primrose Hill - and revealed the area and friends who live there had been a rich source of inspiration for the Bridget Jones trilogy.

“Some of my characters were an amalgamation of all sort of different people from the area,” she explained.

“People in Primrose Hill used to tell me such funny stories about their lives that many of them ended up in the book.

“They could be quite confessional too – it really is a rare kind of community!”

While repeatedly insisting Bridget was “not based on me”, the author penned her original two books in an attic flat in Ainger Road, much like the one where 30-something singleton Bridget lived.

Ms Fielding’s debut novel Cause Celeb was set worlds apart from her north London home in an African refugee camp, but it was when she started writing from her surroundings in Primrose Hill that she found fame.

“There’s something really lovely about this community,” she said, as she exclusively launched her new novel Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy at an event hosted in association with Primrose Hill Community Library.

“This is why I wanted to launch the book here – these are my friends, this is where I live and this is my local library.

“It’s been a great way to start off the book.”

Shunning the flashy parties that are usually a publicist’s dream for a number one bestselling author, the launch very much rooted itself in the community.

Glasses of wine were provided by nearby pubs, cafés pitched in with soft drinks, and signed copies of the book were being sold by Primrose Hill Books.

To top it all off, proceeds from the event went to the Primrose Hill Community Library, which is now run by some 70 regular volunteers since having its funding pulled last year.

Organisers from the library were “overwhelmed” to have support from the author and said it would do wonders for the project.

Volunteer coordinator and Primrose Hill resident Sharon Ridsdale, 68, said: “We’re so happy to have an event like this.

“Everyone’s put so much hard work into the library that it’s good to see the community coming out and supporting us.

“Helen coming here tonight will give us a real boost.”

But love for the author was not forthcoming from all who attended.

With news spreading that the author has killed-off heartthrob Mark Darcy in her latest novel, the question hot on the lips of many was how she could do something so cruel?

“I did feel I had to ring up Colin Firth, who played the character in the film, just to tell him what had happened,” she explained.

“It was a strange conversation. It was almost as if I was telling him someone real had died - we were both actually quite upset!”

With filmmaker and friend Richard Curtis and comedian Harry Enfield also in the audience, the writer kept coy over whether Mr Firth would be reprising his role on the big screen.

For now fans will have to make do with the book.

Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy is out now and available at Primrose Hill Books.


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