No, I did not murder Colin Firth, Bridget Jones author reveals
Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding had to explain to people that she had not murdered Colin Firth after her book Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy was released.
The third book in the popular series saw Bridget's love interest Mark Darcy - played by Colin in the film adaptations - killed off in a plot twist that shocked fans.
In a fan Q&A on Mumsnet, Helen said she was faced with the story of the character's demise making headlines and having to correct those who had confused fiction for fact.
Asked if there is anything she has written that she regretted or wished had a different outcome, Helen replied: "When Mad About The Boy came out - someone actually ran out of the pub yelling, 'You've murdered Colin Firth'. 'Mark Darcy is dead' was a lead story on the BBC news.
"I had to explain that I hadn't actually murdered anyone and Colin Firth was still alive."
Helen explained that she did not want Bridget to become "a smug married" and so she decided to write Mark out.
She said: "Mark Darcy would never leave Bridget because he's the quintessential gentleman. I found it touching that the character mattered so much to people."
The writer added: "Sometimes I think the line between reality and fiction is blurring so much that if you put 'Mark Darcy' on a ballot paper people would vote for him.
"Actually I think he'd do very well."
In Mad About The Boy, Bridget is in her 50s and it is revealed that Mark died some years earlier, although they have two children.
Colin reprised his role as Mark in the third film in the movie franchise, Bridget Jones's Baby, which takes place before the events of Mad About the Boy, and also stars leading lady Renee Zellweger.
In October, Helen published her fourth book of the series, Bridget Jones's Baby: The Diaries.
During the web discussion, Helen said that she tries to ignore criticism of her works but often succumbs to negative reviews.
She said: "I always intend to be very Buddhist and stand like a great tree in the midst of criticism - but then end up sobbing in my PJs. But I have got a bit better.
"I think I'm starting to realise that it all settles down in the fullness of time. Bridget Jones' Diary, The Edge of Reason, Bridget Jones' Baby, Mad About The Boy all tell different stages of her story and I'm happy that they're all there for people to read."