Back in the winter of 1995 I was
trying to write an earnest and frankly unreadable novel about cultural
divides in the Caribbean, and was rather short of cash. The Independent
asked me to write a column, as myself, about single life in London.
Much as I needed the money, the idea of writing about myself in that way
seemed hopelessly embarrassing and revealing. I offered to write an
anonymous column instead, using an exaggerated, comic, fictional
character. I assumed no one would read it, and it would be dropped after
six weeks for being too silly.
known what was to happen, and that millions of people across the world
would end up reading about Bridget Jones and thinking that it was me
anyway - me who consumed up to 12 alcohol units and 14,000 calories a
day, me who resolved not to entertain any more fuckwits, then repeatedly
shagged Daniel Cleaver - I would have realised it wasnít a
particularly privacy-protecting idea. I certainly would never have dared
write what I did.
I always stuck all the columns in a
series of large hardback scrapbooks. I found them again recently. It was
funny to read the first ones after all this time and remember how
nervous I felt writing them. I didnít let anyone except the section
editor know it was me. All the journalists on my desk were frightfully
serious and writing about New Labour and global warming - I didnít
want them to know that I was writing about why it takes three hours
between waking up in the morning and leaving the house.
I feel rather more confident about them now. And itís good to be starting the column again, back at The Independent, where it all began, before all the fuss. I hope you enjoy reading the originals - but please do remember: they are the diary of an exaggerated, comic, fictional character. It wasnít me who drank all the alcohol units and shagged all the fuckwits. It was Bridget Jones. Obviously.