I'm an 'unlikely sex symbol', says inspiration behind Bridget Jones' love interest

Alice Philipson | The Telegraph - October 14, 2013

© Warren Allott

Andrew Walliker said he thought Fielding was joking when she rang and asked him if she could use him as the romantic hero in her latest instalment of Bridget’s diaries, Mad about The Boy.

The 53-year-old father of three, who works at Fielding’s son’s school, said he felt flattered to be asked but was bemused by all the attention.

He told the Telegraph: “I haven’t read any of the books, my wife has but I probably will have a peek.

“I don’t know what to make of it really. I’m a bit of an unlikely sex symbol. The mothers have all been coming up to me at the school gates taking the mickey out of me.”

But he added: “I’m disappointed there’s only one sex scene in the book.”

Fielding, whose son goes to the £16,000-a-year University College School in Hampstead in north London where Mr Walliker teaches, said she thought both the character and his inspiration were “a bit like Daniel Craig.”

Mr Walliker’s wife, Angela, 45, said: “It’s all a bit of a hoot and of course he does look like Daniel Craig.

However Mr Walliker disagreed and replied: “Less like Daniel Craig, more like Wendy Craig.”

He also praised Fielding and said: “Helen is charming, she’s a northerner and down to earth.”

Mr Walliker and his wife live with their three children, Teddy, 17, Amy 15, and Harry, 12, in Bushey in Hertfordshire. He teaches history and games at the boys’ school and said his pupils were less interested in the diaries of Bridget Jones, and more in the works of Roald Dahl.

His children said they were excited about the new found fame of their father.

Mr Walliker’s oldest son said: “It’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to me all year.”

When asked if she thought there were similarities between her father and Bridget Jones’ hero, Mr Walliker’s daughter Amy said: “a little bit but he is less of the cliché romantic type in the book and he is definitely not tall. He’s more like a typical teacher but I do think it’s quite cool, all my friends love the films.”

Fielding revealed the real inspiration behind the character of Mr Wallaker at the Cheltenham Literary Festival.

“I just thought it was a great name,” she said. “It’s like ‘walloper’ but it’s not and I loved it.”

She said she had tried to come up with an alternative, to avoid “awkward” situations at the school gates, but eventually decided nothing else would work so rang up the headmaster and then Mr Walliker to ask permission – also warning him he would have sex scenes with Bridget in the book.