Thursday 12 October

8st 12; alcohol units 4 (VG); calories 1,750; cigarettes 22; revision 3.5 hrs; total Instants expenditure pounds 7, wins pounds 3, effectively Instants 4 (VG).

Today is my interview with Richard Finch of Wake Up Britain for a researcher's job. I have told Perpetua I am at the gynaecologist's. I know I should have said dentist, but opportunities to torture the nosiest woman in the world must not be allowed to slip through the net. I am almost ready and merely need to complete my make-up while practising my opinions on the Portillo speech. Oh my God, who's the Shadow Defence Secretary? Oh damn, oh damn. Robin Cook? Shit: telephone. I can't believe it: terrifying telephonic teenager with patronising south London sing-song going, "Hel-lo Bridget, Richard Finch's office here. Richard's in Blackpool this morning so he won't be able to make the meeting." Rescheduled for next Tuesday.


Finding it hard to concentrate on my current affairs revision as repeatedly distracted by "Stocking Filla" catalogues tumbling out of the newspapers. Particularly keen on the shield-shaped, burnished metal, "funfur"-lined Spectacles Holder Stand: "all too often spectacles are put down flat on a table, inviting an accident". The Sleekly Designed "Black Cat" Key Chain Light does indeed have a simple flip-down mechanism, as it "casts a powerful red light on the keyhole of any cat lover". Bonsai Kits! Hurrah. "Practise the ancient art of Bonsai with this tub of pre-planted Persian Pink Silk Tree seeds." Nice, very nice. Hmmm. Must press on with Saddam's Hold on Iraq.

8.55. Just nipped out for fags ready for Pride and Prejudice. Hard to believe there are so many cars out on the roads. Shouldn't they be at home getting ready? Love the nation being so addicted. The basis of my own addiction, I know, is my simple human need for Darcy to get off with Elizabeth. The football guru Nick Hornby states in his book Fever Pitch that meo not wish themselves on the pitch, claims Hornby. Instead they see their team as their chosen representatives, rather like Parliament. That is precisely my feeling about Darcy and Elizabeth. They are my chosen representatives in the field of shagging, or rather courtship. I do not, however, wish to see any actual goals. I would hate to see Darcy and Elizabeth in bed smoking a cigarette afterwards. That would be unnatural and wrong and I would quickly lose interest. Hmm. Anyway. Why More Top Firms are Halting Donations to the Tories. This is not to say, however, I would not delight in sleeping with the actor Colin Firth. Sharon just called and we spent 20 minutes growling, "Fwaw, that Mr Darcy." I love the way he talks, sort of as if he can't be bothered. Ding-dong!


Ugh. Just about to watch Panorama on "the trend for well-qualified female breadwinners - stealing all the best jobs" (one of which I pray to the Lord in Heaven Above and all his Seraphims I am about to become), "does the solution lie in redesigning the educational syllabus?" - when I stumbled upon a photograph in the Standard of Darcy and Elizabeth, hideous, dressed as modern-day luvvies, draped all over each other in a meadow: she with blond Sloane hair and linen trouser suit, he in monstrous striped polo neck and mad leather jacket with Shoestring-style moustache. Apparently they are already sleeping together. That is absolutely disgusting.


I cannot believe the situation I am in. Instead of being ushered into the office to meet the great Richard Finch, who has merged bewilderingly with Mr Darcy in my mind, I was left, pouring sweat, in reception for 40 minutes, before being picked up by the terrifying sing-song secretary, sporting Lycra cycle shorts and a nose stud, who blanched at my Jigsaw suit as if in a hideously misjudged attempt to be formal I had turned up in a floor-length, shot-silk, off-the-shoulder Laura Ashley ball gown. "Yeah, Richard says to come to the conference, right," she muttered, powering off down a corridor, while I scurried after her. She burst through a pink door into a vast open-plan office strewn with piles of scripts, TV screens suspended from the ceiling, charts all over the walls and mountain bikes propped against the desks. At the far end was a large oblong table where the meeting was in progress. Everyone turned and stared as we approached. A plump, middle-aged man with curly blond hair, a denim shirt and red Christopher Biggins spectacles was jigging up and down at the end of the table. "Come on! Come on! Rosemary West," he was saying, holding up his fists like a boxer. "I'm thinking lesbian rape victims, I'm thinking Jeanette Winterson, I'm thinking Wake Up Britain doctor, I'm thinking what lesbians actually do. That's it! What do lesbians actually do in bed?" Suddenly he was looking straight at me. "Do you know?" The entire table of grunge youths stared at me. "You. You must be Bridget," he shouted impatiently. "What do lesbians actually do in bed?"

I took a deep breath. "Actually, I think we should be doing the off-screen romance between Darcy and Elizabeth."

He looked me up and down slowly. "Brilliant," he said suddenly. "Absolutely fucking brilliant. OK. The actors who play Darcy and Elizabeth? Come on, come on," he said, boxing at the meeting.

"Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle," I blurted.

A slow leer spread across his features. "Bridget Jones," he said, oilily. "Welcome to Wake Up Britain. Take a seat, my darling," and then he winked.