Misprint adds David Jason to Bridget Jones’ diary

Helen Fielding signs copies of the book in London yesterday. Picture: PA
Helen Fielding signs copies of the book in London yesterday. Picture: PA
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Bridget Jones fans got more than they were expecting when they picked up a copy of her new book – inside were 40 pages of Sir David Jason’s autobiography.

Fans had eagerly awaited publication of the latest instalment in the series, but yesterday readers reported getting to the middle of Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy only to find chunks of My Life, the memoirs of the Touch of Frost and Only Fools and Horses star.

The publisher Vintage said: “The printers have had a Bridget moment. A printing error has been detected in some of the very early copies of Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy.

“Copies printed on one day have given readers an accidental preview of David Jason’s autobiography. We are taking steps to remove these copies from sale and will be replacing misprinted stock as soon as possible.”

The book, which is meant to be author Helen Fielding’s goodbye to the world’s most famous singleton, was released along with Sir David’s book on what is known in the publishing industry as Super Thursday, one of the biggest dates in the calendar.

It is the day on which dozens of new titles hit the shelves in preparation for the Christmas market.

Fielding’s novel did not need extra publicity, but the blunder served to get readers talking even more. Fans already knew about the main plot twist after extracts appeared in a newspaper – and many were shocked and upset to learn that hero Mark Darcy was dead and Bridget had become a widow.

Any initial upset at discovering Sir David slipping between Fielding’s hardback covers could be replaced by knowing the copies will become collectors’ items.

In interviews to launch the book, Fielding, 55, said chunks of Bridget had also been printed in My Life, but the publisher declined to reveal how many copies had been affected.

“Nothing turns out quite perfectly,” the author said, laughing.

More than a decade after the last novel in the saga, it turns out Bridget married Darcy and had two children – only for Fielding to kill him off.

Heralding the arrival of “chick lit”, Bridget Jones’s Diary started life as a newspaper column in 1995. Two best-selling novels followed, with Hollywood blockbuster film adaptations featuring Renee Zellweger as Bridget and Colin Firth as Darcy.

Fielding, who has always denied that the books are strictly autobiographical, is a single mother of two who ended her relationship with TV executive Kevin Curran in 2009.

Bridget’s new adventure as a 50-something cougar sees her meet 30-year-old toyboy Roxter on Twitter, five years after Darcy’s death.