SHE'S been voted as one of the most influential people in British culture, and is the brains behind world-famous character Bridget Jones.
Helen Fielding is one of Britain's best-known authors – and 25 years later her books are still celebrated as keystones of the "chick-lit" genre. Get the lowdown on Bridget Jones's creator…
Who is Helen Fielding?
Helen Fielding is best known as the author of Bridget Jones's Diary.
Fielding, who was raised in Morley, West Yorkshire, studied English at Oxford University where she developed friendships with future entertainment greats, including Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson.
After graduating from Oxford, Fielding started out a career as a journalist, working on several national newspapers.
She was a researcher for a series about the Southern Sudan rebel war – which inspired her debut novel, Cause Celeb – a novel about a publisher who finds herself working at a refugee camp in Northern Africa.
Fielding's novel Bridget Jones's Diary started life as a column in the Independent newspaper. She was approached to write a column about being a single woman in London and, too embarrassed to write about her own experiences, Fielding created an anonymous character to write under.
This character was loved by readers, and Fielding wrote Bridget Jones's Diary on the back of its popularity. The paperback shot to the top of the best-seller chart.
Fielding went on to pen rest of the sequence of novels: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, and Bridget Jones's Baby: The Diaries.
She also joined the screenwriting team on the associated movies, starring Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.
In a survey conducted by The Guardian, Bridget Jones’s Diary was named as one of the ten novels that best defined the 20th century.
Is she married and does she have children?
Fielding is currently single, but was previously engaged to Kevin Curran.
She met Kevin, a writer and executive producer on The Simpsons, in LA on a publicity tour.
The pair started dating and Fielding moved from London to Los Angeles to live with him
The pair had two children: Dashiell, born in February 2004, and Romy, born in July 2006.
Curran proposed in 2006, whilst Helen was pregnant with their second baby, but the pair split in 2009.
Curran died from cancer complications in 2016.
What is the writer most famous for?
Helen Fielding is undoubtedly most famous for her Bridget Jones series.
In fact, she has not written any other novels outside of the series aside from her comic spy novel Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination, published in 2003.
She said in 2013 that the success of of Bridget Jones made her "self-conscious".
She said: "After the books and the movies I sort of lost my voice; I got all self-conscious. I didn’t want to just churn out another one. I really care about Bridget, about her as a character and about her integrity,
"But suddenly, about a year ago, I had a story again. I was finding things funny and writing things in my diary, and it started turning into a book."
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