Helen Fielding:

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Born On The: 19th February 1958.
Died On The: N/A.
Birthplace: Morley, Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Occupation(s): Author and screenwriter.

Zodiac: Born under the Star Sign PiscesPiscesWhat Star Sign are You?

Achievement(s): The 'Bridget Jones's Diary' and 'Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason' books and films; the 1997 British Book of the Year, a 2002 Writers Guild of America nomination (For best Screenplay), a 2002 BAFTA nomination (For best Screenplay) & a 2002 Evening Standard Award (For best Screenplay).

Biography:

Helen Fielding, an English novelist and screenwriter, is best known as the creator of the fictional character Bridget Jones; her two novels about the character chronicle the life of a thirty something single woman in London as she tries to make sense of her life and loves; the novels 'Bridget Jones's Diary' and 'Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason' have been published in over forty countries and have sold more than 15 million copies and the two movies of the same name have achieved worldwide success; in a survey conducted by The Guardian newspaper, 'Bridget Jones’s Diary' was named as one of the ten novels that best defined the 20th century. See cast photo!

Fielding was born in Morley, West Yorkshire and grew up next to a factory that made the fabric for miners’ donkey jackets; her father was the managing director there; she attended Wakefield Girls High School and has three siblings, Jane, David and Richard; she studied English at St. Anne's College, Oxford and was part of the Oxford revue at the 1978 Edinburgh Festival, forming a continuing friendship with a group of comic performers and writers including Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson.

Fielding began work at the BBC in 1979 as a regional researcher on the news magazine Nationwide, then working as a production manager on various children’s and light entertainment shows; in 1985 she produced a live satellite broadcast from a refugee camp in Eastern Sudan for the launch of Comic Relief; she also wrote and produced documentaries in Africa for the first two Comic Relief fundraising broadcasts; in 1989 she was a researcher on the Thames TV documentary “Where Hunger is a Weapon” about the Southern Sudan rebel war; these experiences formed the basis for her first novel, Cause Celeb.

From 1990 to 1999 she worked as a journalist and columnist on several national newspapers, including the Sunday Times, The Independent and The Telegraph; during that time her first novel, Cause Celeb was published in 1994 to great reviews but limited sales; she was struggling to make ends meet while working on her second novel, a satire about cultural divides in the Caribbean when she was approached by London’s The Independent newspaper to write a column as herself about single life in London; she rejected this idea as too embarrassing and exposing and offered instead to create an imaginary, exaggerated, comic character; writing anonymously, she felt freed up to be honest about the preoccupations of single girls in their thirties' it quickly acquired a following.

Ergo, her most well-known work, Bridget Jones's Diary, began its life as an anonymous column in The Independent in 1995; her identity was revealed and her publishers asked her to replace her novel about the Caribbean by a novel on Bridget Jones’s Diary; so the success of the anonymous column led to the two novels and their movie adaptations; she was part of the scriptwriting team for both films.

The hardback was published in 1996 to good reviews but modest sales; word of mouth spread, however and the paperback, published in 1997 went straight to the top of the bestseller chart, stayed there for over six months and went on to become a worldwide bestseller; she continued her columns in The Independent and then The Daily Telegraph until 1997.

She published her second Bridget novel 'Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason' in November 1999; the movie of Bridget Jones’s Diary was released in 2000 and the movie of the sequel in 2004 and in 2005 Fielding began the further adventures of Bridget Jones in The Independent; there are rumours of a third novel and film; she credits Bridget Jones' success to the fact that it is more than just about Jones' single life; it is about “the gap between how we feel we are expected to be and how we actually are”, which she has described as an alarming symptom of the media age.

Book details: Her first novel Cause Celeb was published in 1994 and is a satire based on the relationship between celebrities and refugees set in a camp in a fictional country in East Africa; Bridget Jones's Diary was published in 1996 and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason was published in 1999; Olivia Joules and The Overactive Imagination was published in 2003 and is a comic spy novel set in Miami, Los Angeles, England and the Sudan; and Ox-tales was published in 2009, which is a collection of short stories in aid of Oxfam.

Film details: Bridget Jones's Diary was released in 2001 and directed by Sharon McGuire; The Edge of Reason was released in 2004 and directed by Beeban Kidron; both films were produced by Working Title Films, starred Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant & Colin Firth and were written by Richard Curtis, Andrew Davies & Helen Fielding; although Adam Brooks co-wrote the second film.



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