Best-Selling Novelist & Screenwriter
Helen Fielding is an English novelist, journalist and screenwriter, best known as the creator of the fictional character Bridget Jones, and the sequence of best-selling novels and films, which followed. Beginning as an anonymous column in London’s Independent newspaper, the story of a thirty something singleton in London trying to make sense of life became a worldwide phenomenon. Bridget Jones's Diary (1996) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (1999) Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (2013) and Bridget Jones’ Baby (2016) were published in 40 countries and sold more than 20 million copies. The three Bridget Jones movies in the series achieved international 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 and in 2016 the BBC’s Woman’s Hour named Bridget Jones as one of the seven women who had most influenced British Culture over the last seven decades.
Fielding grew up in a textile town in the industrial north of England and went on to study English at Oxford University. She became part of the Oxford Comedy Review and formed continuing friendship with a group of comic performers and writers including Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson.
She began her career as a TV journalist and In 1985 Fielding 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 for an edition of the Thames TV This Week series "Where Hunger is a Weapon" about the Southern Sudan rebel war. These experiences formed the basis for her first novel, Cause Celeb a satire on the relationship between celebrities and charitable causers. She is an Ambassador for Save the Children and most recently covered the influx of unaccompanied child migrants over the Rio Grande in Texas for the Times of London.
Her awards include The Evening Standard Peter Sellers Award for Comedy, Best Screenplay Nominations from the Writers Guild of America and BAFTA, The Evening Standard Award for Best Screenplay, the British Book of the Year, the Glamour Award for Writer of the Year in both the US and UK, The Bollinger PG Wodehouse Award for the best comic novel of the year and an Honorary Degree in English Literature from the University of York.
Fielding has travelled throughout the world talking about Bridget Jones, writing, humour and women’s issues. She particularly enjoys a Q&A format and is adept at including an audience with warmth and humour. She specializes in female audiences and particularly enjoys talking to students.
Fielding credits Bridget Jones’ success to the fact that, at heart, 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 and widespread symptom of the modern age.