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.

Had I 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.


Helen Fielding
August 2005