Helen Fielding bagged the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction, what Fielding herself had described as “the Oscar for comic writing”. She said she intended to boast about winning the prize, which gets the author naming rights to a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig, “as long as possible to anyone who will listen”, according to The Guardian .
The author won the award for Bridget Jones’s Baby , which publisher David Campbell, who was also the judge, commented as “probably her funniest book”. He further went on to describe it as “laugh-out-loud funny”.
Fielding is the third woman in UK to receive the honour. She will receive her award at the Hay Festival later this May. Besides the pig, the prize contains a case and a jeroboam of Bollinger, one of the finest of French champagne.
Helen said, “I’m completely overjoyed to win the pig. It’s the third time I’ve been nominated and I’ve been hoping for this moment for years…I’m like one of those people who keeps nearly winning an Oscar and then having their hopes smashed to the ground. But at last the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse pig is mine.”
In the book, Bridget Jones finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and embarking on a mission to find out the father of the baby. Once again, she is torn between the decent and handsome Darcy and the charming and witty Daniel Cleaver. But even though she finds out what her heart wants, her womb might point to someone else.
“It was the pretty clear winner,” said Campbell, who judged the award alongside famous broadcaster and author James Naughtie, and Justin Albert, the Hay festival vice president and director of National Trust Wales. Fielding’s book contested against five other books, including Nina Stibbe’s Paradise Lodge and Carl Hiaasen’s Razor Girl . Campbell added, “It was a hell of a good shortlist.”
The Guardian reported that Fielding and Stibbe were the only two women shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize. Campbell said, “We see fewer books by women in the main.” He added, “It’s nonsense to say women are not as funny as men. Our three female winners are among our best winners.”
The book was also adapted into a rom-com late 2016, starring Oscar winner Renee Zellweger, Patrick Dempsey, and Colin Firth.