On Monday, the long awaited third big screen instalment of the life of Helen Fielding’s popular character ‘Bridget Jones’ staged its world premiere in London’s Trafalgar Square. All the stars of the film joined fans and the press on a rather fetching pink carpet to promote the film before the UK release on Friday 16th September, less than two short weeks away. I attended the premiere and lined the carpet with fellow fans to catch a glimpse of the action. Here’s the roundup of my premiere experience.
When you attend a film premiere, you need to be prepared to turn up as early as possible to queue for a very long time. Each premiere/red carpet event has different protocols once the queue is in place but it always starts with a very early morning and a LOT of queuing. I live in Devon, which as you can imagine, doesn’t make it easy for me to get to London at the time I need to on account of the travelling distance and the fact that public transport sucks and as far as the train networks are concerned, Devon doesn’t exist because clearly no one uses the trains down here (nice one GWR…), this will become relevant again later. National Express and Megabus are therefore my saviours despite the 6 hours it takes them to get me to the city. So I boarded a coach at quarter past midnight on Monday morning to get me to London Victoria at 6am – this is after being awake and at work all day on Sunday so by the time I even got to London I had already been awake for 20 hours before the day even started. I was the 16th person to arrive in Trafalgar Square and so the queuing began. I was joined by my friends (the 18th and 36th arrival respectively) and so we waited in the rain until the event security turned up with the wristbands.
Now the wristbands are always interesting because they are numbered and given in order of who turned up first so the wristbands correspond with whatever number was written on your hand when you turned up. Not all premieres have them. My first ever premiere didn’t which meant I had to stand in line and remain in that line for over 16 hours in order to get my space along the barriers. I was then informed that the first 20 people who arrived with a metro were able to follow the stars into the screen and watch the premiere 2 weeks before general release, which is fantastic! It’s such an amazing experience and one I managed to do at the Minions premiere last June. However, cue public transport bs…The film would finish at around 9.30pm however thanks to the transport connections in Devon, the last train that could get me all the way back to my local station was 7:40pm. The one I was booked on, which only gets me halfway home, left Paddington at 8:35pm. There were no other trains to get me even into my county after that, let alone all the way home. So I had to give up my ticket to the premiere. A ticket that others had paid thousands to be able to see the film. That felt really great, I’m telling you.
We then went on a little expedition across London to see if we could catch some of the cast earlier in the day as there would be so many people at the premiere. By expedition, what I really mean is we ran half way across London to the ITV Studios to try to catch Patrick Dempsey before the crazy fans swarmed at the premiere. As it turned out we got to the studios as his car was pulling away but we bumped into both Patrick and Renée later on at a radio studio so we managed to fit them in first in case we weren’t lucky in the evening.
We were loaded into the pens at around 3pm. I was in the front row right up against the barrier which is always the aim because this is clearly your best chance at getting photos with your favourite stars. The weather was starting to get warm which was nice, to begin with, as it had been raining for the majority of the day up to this point.
At 5:30pm the first guest finally arrived. Director Sharon Maguire was the first out of the car and in front of the banks of press and very soon the starring cast members made an appearance too. Take a look at who I spotted and spoke to:
Gemma Jones – you will probably recognise her as Madam Pomfrey from the Harry Potter series.
Sally Phillips – Sally was absolutely wonderful! She spoke to us for quite a while and I managed to grab a selfie with her. Working Title also took some photos of her meeting me which are so lovely, so thank you very much Working Title!!
Ellie Goulding, the woman behind the film’s soundtrack! It was such a surprise to meet her.
Star of stage and screen Christopher Biggins and two time British boxing gold medalist Nicola Adams were also present on the carpet.
Emma Thompson!! Unfortunately I didn’t have the pleasure of speaking to her this time however I would absolutely love to at some point in the future. She is so down to earth and normal and I really admire her.
Helen Fielding – the woman responsible for creating Bridget Jones. She is definitely someone that everyone should meet if you get the chance. She spent such a long time chatting to everyone, she was great.
Patrick. Again 😉 he’s such a nice guy. I’m a little in love. Although these are terrible photos on account of some arse from behind who was pushing and shoving me…
Colin Firth – who is every bit the dashing Mr Darcy that we all hope he is. Such a nice guy.
And finally, Renée! Now, I cannot say enough good things about this woman, I really can’t. She is unfathomably sweet and kind and an utter joy to speak to. She spent the entire red carpet event making sure she spoke to everyone and took photos. She didn’t plump for the usual “hi, thank you for coming” that most people stick to, she had genuine conversations. When she spoke to anyone she said things like “hello gorgeous,” which I can tell you makes you feel on top of the world after you’ve been awake for nearly 40 hours by that point. She is now one of the top 10 people I have met and I would love to meet her again at some point.
So all in all it was a fantastic day and I would love to go back and do it all over again. If you ever get the chance to meet any of the people I met on Monday, please do. They’re all utterly wonderful.
Until the next premiere…