BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY Bridget Jones’s Diary★★★★ 10.45pm-12.30am ITV
What could be a more enjoyable way to spend the evening than this romantic comedy about Bridget’s struggles against increasing weight, alcohol and cigarette addiction, and the anxieties of being a 30-something singleton? Helen Fielding’s novel is brought most satisfyingly to the screen by director Sharon Maguire, writers Andrew Davies and Richard Curtis, and particularly Renée Zellweger as Bridget. Do you recall the fuss when this Texan was cast instead of a British actress? I said at the time that she’d be fine and so she is. The men in her life are her boss Hugh Grant and her true love Colin Firth. Grant makes an excellent cad, a role he should play more often, while Firth, as Darcy, is as good here as he was under the same name in Pride and Prejudice, though minus the wet shirt. It’s touching, very funny and, spoiler alert though this may be, has the desired happy ending, as indeed it should.