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Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night to infinity and beyond. I just love finding new places where the cool little contaminant I caught up in somebody's. Life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. Well, that sound means it's that time of the week where we forget about covered for a while and go behind the scenes of another movie classic.


British, come on. Mean, I know it's been awkward as arse, but there's no need to leave. No, actually there is. I've been offered a job in television, television, and they want me to start straightaway. So I've got to leave about, oh, three minutes. So what would you just hold it right there? I'm sorry to inform you, but I think you'll find that by contract you are expected to give at least six weeks notice.


Oh, yes. Well, you know, I thought it was the company being in so much trouble. And no, you wouldn't really miss the person who waltzes in and a see through top and fannies about with the press releases. Bridget, I want to hear this because she gives one inch. I'm going to have a little bottom anyway for being totally spineless. What? Well, I just think you should know that, you know, there are lots of prospects here for a talented.


Just give me a minute. What do you think? Thanks, I hope. Lots of prospects for a person who. You know, perhaps for personal reasons, has been slightly overlooked professionally.


Mm hmm. This week, it's the 2001 global hit. Yes, it is. 20 years ago, Bridget Jones, Diary, television producer with mind. The government building was on the line.


Bill, good morning. Good morning. It is hard to believe it's 20 years old, 20 years. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, great.


And well, the whole thing started out when Helen Fielding's book was published in 1996 and working title, who had their finger very much on the pulse of what was going on in the UK at the time because they'd come off the back of four weddings and a funeral and Notting Hill, like they were really on a roll and they bought the rights before it was even published, before it became a hit. And then by 2000, they were ready to turn it into a film.


So they mustered their best people because obviously Richard Curtis would be front and centre for working title. But they brought in because the book is so closely associated with Pride and Prejudice. They brought in Andrew Davies, who had adapted Pride and Prejudice for the television, the phenomenal success that Colin Firth had had with that and then Helen Fielding herself. So they brought the screenplay together and then the money was raised and they gathered their cast. And it was real.


It was such a scramble to decide who was going to be Bridget Jones. I mean, everybody it's going to be the quintessential British actress. So it was going to be Helena Bonham Carter or Cate Blanchett, Emily Watson, Rachel Weisz. And then they started to deviate. So they went down Cameron Diaz. They actually offered the role, Toni Collette. But she was in a play on Broadway at the time, the wild party. And then they thought about Kate Winslet after the success of Titanic, and they just decided that she was just too young because she's only 24 and the part is a 32 year old.


But they broke all that.


Everybody's like a lot of actresses in Britain, they broke their hearts when they gave the part to a Texan, Renee Zellweger.


And but Renee Zellweger took the parts so seriously, she brought in the same voice coach and the same accent coach that Gwyneth Paltrow had had on Shakespeare in Love. And she took a job as a work experience in Picador, the publishers, because Bridget Jones worked in the publishers. So off went Renee Zellweger to work in Picador and nobody copped who she was. Like only one person in the weeks that she was there said to her, you know, you just look like the girl from Jerry Maguire.


But nobody really copped that she was there. She was doing the photocopying, answering the phones, making the coffee for people. And so much so that her deputy editor said, I have to find a job for you when you're finished here. You're just so good. She was working as Bridget Cavendish was was her name. And it was very funny when the time came for her to leave after getting all her experience and after her English accent had proved, nobody had twigged that she was a Texan.


And they were very confused because she had a picture of Jim Carey on her desk. And I thought, oh, poor girl. But in fact, Jim Carey was her boyfriend at the time.


So that was so she was pulling a fast one on everyone.


But then she she gave the deputy editor a chance to come to the set and gave her a job as an extra for a day in a party scene. So she was very decent.


You know, now Bridget is a woman of a certain age who is the old time used to be, you know, on the shelf.


But there are two men who have an interest in her. And we mentioned Hugh Grant, who's the boss, but with the, I suppose, no irony at all.


Colin Firth plays Mark Darcy as distinct from Mr Darcy, which is delicious.


And it's really that triangle.


It really is that triangle. And Hugh Grant plays the head of the publishing company, but he's a complete wreck. He's just out for what suits him and totally selfish and plays it so much so that he won a bunch of awards for the comedy that he played in in the park. And then Colin Firth is the stiff upper body guy from the same town that Bridget is from. But he's from a well-to-do family who are friends of his parents and he's really insufferable.


And the first time he meets her, he says to his mother and and Bridget overhears them and he says, you know, you're trying to set me up with a verbally incontinent spinster who smokes like a chimney. Drinks like a fish and dresses like her mother, and when Brigitte hears this, that just and that happens at the start of the film and then she decides, you know what, he's right and I'm going to change. And so she sets off to try and quit.


Oh, we lost Bill, are you back, Bill Grants? Oh, have you I mean, we lost you momentarily. What we'll do is that we'll cue in that second scene where things have moved on a bit for Mr. Darcy. That'll be my taxi. Look, I'm sorry if I've been. I don't think you're an idiot at all. I mean, there are elements of the ridiculous about, you know, that's pretty interesting and you really are an appallingly bad public speaker and you tend to let whatever is in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences.


I realised that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet that I was unforgivably rude and wearing a reindeer jumper that my mother had given me the day before. But the thing is. What I'm trying to say very inarticulately is. At. In fact. Perhaps despite appearances. I like you. Very much apart from the smoking and the drinking and the vulgar mother. And the verbal diarrhoea, I like you very much, just as you are. A wonderful, heartwarming movie, very funny movie, too.


How did it do? How did it get any Oscars, any BAFTA? Did it make a lot of money?


Well, it was it made so much money. It made two hundred and eighty million, which was a phenomenal amount of money in 2000. But for a low, relatively low budget rom com, it just ran away with the box office. But Zellweger was nominated for the Oscar, the BAFTA, the Golden Globe, the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss, shared with Colin Firth, the Screen Actors Guild Award, the Teen Choice Award for Choice Chemistry, shared with Hugh Grant and the Teen Choice Award for Choice Lip Lock shared with Grant and Colin Firth was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor, and Hugh Grant won the Evening Standard Film Award.


He won the Peter Sellers Award for comedy. So, I mean, it was really successful on the awards front, but such a phenomenal blockbuster at the box office that it was not anyone has not seen it.


Find it and watch it. It is a great evening watching.


Great evening entertainment.


Look, thanks very much for reminding us of Bridget Jones Diary 20 years ago, our Hughes television producer with Mind the Gap films.