Over the weekend it was announced that former Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, had stepped down and has been replaced by human rights lawyer, Keir Starmer. The news was made public shortly before a statement was released confirming that the Conservative party leader, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been diagnosed with coronavirus, was taken into hospital for tests.
But, what's all this got to do with Bridget Jones? Well, new leader on the block Keir is reportedly the inspiration behind Helen Fielding's iconic character, Mark Darcy, who was immortalised on screen by Colin Firth. If this isn't the most fabulous rumour circulating in politics today then we don't know what is tbh...
Okay, so let's get serious and discuss the evidence in question: both Keir and Mark are human rights lawyers, with one of Keir's most notable cases (in which he defended an environmentalist couple against McDonald's, in a case related to the fast food chain's practices) making headlines around the time Helen wrote her newspaper column in the mid-90s, where the character of Mark first appeared. These columns then went on to form the basis of her three Bridget Jones' Diary novels.
In the movie, Mark Darcy is seen helping a British aid worker defend her Kurdish freedom fighter husband, who faces being deported from the UK.
In terms of any visual similarities, for comparison, here is a photo of Keir Starmer, the new Labour party leader, alongside Colin Firth.
Both Keir and Helen attended Oxford University and have lived in Leeds, too.
When pressed on whether or not the rumours are true by ITV, Keir laughed and said, "Everybody asks me this question when they should be asking her [Helen Fielding] because she knows the answer and I don't. It's a rumour that's been doing the rounds for years, but I honestly don't know", whilst a woman in the background can be heard saying, "It's true!".
So was the Bridget Jones heartthrob Mark Darcy, played by Colin Firth, modelled on Keir Starmer? @itvcalendar @AdamFowlerITV puts the Labour leader candidate on the spot on a visit to Batley #BridgetJones #HelenFielding #ColinFirth pic.twitter.com/7kI9F0VL6y— ITV News Calendar (@itvcalendar) January 17, 2020
We reached out to Helen Fielding's agent for confirmation or denial of this rumour and were told "Helen has no comment".
Interesting. Very interesting...
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