To celebrate the beginning of filming for the long-awaited third Bridge Jones' Diary film this autumn, Stylist looks back on what the stars have been up to since our ultimate female heroine said goodbye to the single life.
Here's a date for your diaries – 2 October. That’s the day Bridget Jones's Baby – the third instalment of the Bridget Jones' Diary franchise – is set to start filming in the UK.
Welcome back big knickers, flannel pyjamas and endless tubs of Ben & Jerry's ice cream — we’ve missed you.
After months of speculation, Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey has finally confirmed he will be starring alongside Renée Zellweger, which (slightly) makes up for the fact that Hugh Grant won’t be reprising his role as the deceptively charming, floppy-haired rogue, Daniel Cleaver.
But wait, it gets better.
The third film will be based on Bridget Jones’ columns from eight years ago and not Helen Fielding’s controversial third book Mad About the Boy which *SPOILER ALERT* sees Colin Firth’s character Mark Darcy die in the opening pages.
A lot has happened since Bridget Jones :The Edge of Reason wrapped up in 2004.
So join us, as we look at what has become of Bridget’s oddball group of family and friends, from Shazza and Tom to "Uncle" Geoffrey :
Una Alconbury (Celia Imrie)
Besides Una Alconbury's obsession with gravy, doilies and Bridget’s mum Pam, Celia Imrie is a firm-favourite on the British film scene. With a cheeky grin and a hankering for cherry bakewell tarts, Imrie has played stellar roles in Calendar Girls, Wimbledon and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, to name but a few. In 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Winchester and guest starred in the BBC’s Doctor Who, playing the villainous Miss Kizlet in the series opener The Bells of Saint John. Talk about a busy schedule.
Mark Darcy (Colin Firth)
The moment this man appeared on our screens dressed in a red reindeer jumper in front of a buffet of Christmas sausage fingers and pineapple skewers, we were hooked.
Since Bridget Jones, the British heart-throb has barely stopped working with appearances in Nanny McPhee, Mamma Mia!, Love Actually (be still our beating hearts), The King’s Speech, Tinker, Tailor, Solidier, Spy and most recently, Kingsman: The Secret Service. As well as that, Firth has gone on to have two children with his Italian wife Livia, scooped the best actor Oscar for his role in The King's Speech and learnt Italian fluently. Could we love him anymore?
Pamela Jones (Gemma Jones)
Following an elopement with purse carrying Julio (the best example of why not to use sunbeds) and a renewal of wedding vows with adorable husband Colin, Pam (played by Gemma Jones) is probably best otherwise known for her recurring role as Poppy Ponfrey, the matron in charge of Hogwarts Hospital wing in Harry Potter.
Appearances in BBC1 drama, Spooks, Woody Allen’s film, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, and the Bridge Project's version of Richard III as Queen Margaret, (alongside Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic) have since followed.
Most recently, Jones was awarded the 2014 BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for her role in TV film Marvellous.
Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant)
Hugh Grant really let life imitate art over the years, with a personal life that Daniel Cleaver would be proud of. With girlfriends including Elizabeth Hurley and Jemima Khan, he secured his place in the British tabloids as a serial charmer.
In 2006 he was made GQ's "Man of the Year" and has stared in widely acclaimed and family-friendly films such as About a Boy. He even got a mention from former PM Tony Blair in 2005 for his role as the Prime Minister in Richard Curtis’ Love Actually. Now father to four children and fronting the ‘Hacked Off’ campaign for a free and accountable press, Grant has adopted a more serious public face in recent years.
Tom (James Callis)
We all remember James Callis as Bridget’s flamboyant gay best friend and Eighties pop icon who lived off the success of one hit record, but Callis career went from strength to strength after he wrapped up filming with Zellweger and co.
He moved back to the stage, where he first made his name in the nineties, treading the boards at the Soho Theatre in 2002. Callis then made an unexpected career turn as he took on the role of Doctor Gaius Baltar in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica sci-fi series, and continued in that role for several years - scooping best supporting actor at the Saturn Awards in 2006.
Uncle Geoffrey (James Faulkner)
When James Faulkner isn’t pinching bums at Tarts and Vicars parties in his role as creepy Uncle Geoffrey, you’ll find the actor most recently appearing as Lord Sinderby in Downton Abbey and the soon-to-be Randyll Tarly in HBO's Game of Thrones series six. Now, that’s an impressive range of roles on the acting CV.
Colin Jones (Jim Broadbent)
A British film isn’t complete without the appearance of Jim Broadbent.
After wrapping up Bridget Jones in 2001, the actor went onto appear in Moulin Rouge as vivacious red-haired Harold Zidler opposite Nicole Kidman, beardy Boss Tweed in Gangs of New York, a reoccurring role as Horace Slughorn in the Harry Potter films and Dennis Thatcher in The Iron Lady. In 2002, Broadbent declined an OBE (Office of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to drama but later won a BAFTA award and a Golden Globe for his title role in the 2006 Channel 4 drama Longford.
The actor is also a popular choice for animations, having voiced leading roles in Winnie-The-Pooh, Robots, Paddington and the Postman Pat The Movie.
Jude (Shirley Henderson)
Shirley Henderson continued her character’s habit of crying in toilets as she moved into the Harry Potter franchise as Moaning Myrtle – the oldest actress to play a child in the series of blockbuster films.
Henderson has appeared in several children’s films, including Wild Child alongside Emma Roberts, and The Gruffalo Child. Reliving her time in Trainspotting from 1996, she starred in another Irvine Welsh film adaptation, Filth, opposite James McAvoy in 2013. The same year Henderson received a BAFTA nomination for her role in Channel 4 drama Southcliffe.
Shazza (Sally Phillips)
Since coming on to our screens as Shazza, a foul-mouthed journalist who likes to say f*** a lot, Sally Phillips has cemented her role as TV funny woman in a long career of playing comedy household names.
In 2005, Phillips starred in the French and Saunders Christmas Special and later the same year, went on to secure a role in Green Wing and as a regular panel guest on 8 Out of 10 Cats.
In 2009, we saw Phillips play the hilariously posh Tilly in the BBC’s Miranda. Phillip’s unique style has seen her narrate many primetime shows, including The Undateables on Channel 4 and even CBeebies Bedtime Stories – let’s hope Shazza didn’t make an appearance…
Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger)
Far from fall into obscurity, Renee Zellweger’s career sky-rocketed after taking up the role as Bridget Jones in 2001. From playing Roxie Hart in the critically acclaimed musical Chicago to winning an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Cold Mountain in 2003, the American actress was the go-to Hollywood girl, dominating the red carpet in her bespoke Carolina Herrera gowns. After a four-month marriage to country music star Kenny Chesney (who can forget that gorgeous wedding beach shot), the actress was later linked to several other Hollywood heartthrobs including The White Stripe’s Jack White and Bradley Cooper.
In 2010, she took a five-year hiatus from screen acting but returned in late 2014 at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards causing the rumour mill to go into overdrive with suggestions that she might have had plastic surgery. In response Zellweger said: "Perhaps I look different. Who doesn't as they get older?! Ha. But I am different. I'm happy."