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Keir Starmer and Colin Firth

Is Keir Starmer the inspiration for Bridget Jones’s Diary’s Mark Darcy?

Is our new Prime Minister the inspiration behind Colin Firth’s iconic movie character?

Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
July 5, 2024
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Keir Starmer is the UK’s new Prime Minister after Labour won the general election by a landslide majority. The 61-year-old had a hugely successful career as a human rights lawyer before going into politics—which sounds very similar to a certain fictional character we know.

In Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget’s main love interest, Mark Darcy, is a dashing human rights lawyer. But was he inspired by our new Prime Minister? Find out here…

Helen Fielding first started writing about Bridget Jones as a character in a column for The Independent, around the same time that Keir was working as a human rights lawyer. As such, similarities have been drawn between the PM and the fictional character of Mark Darcy, the serious, stuffy lawyer who falls in love with Bridget—so much so that Keir has been quizzed about it several times.

Bridget Jones's Diary stars Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Mark Darcy
Bridget Jones's Diary stars Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Mark Darcy

On Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Keir spoke about the comparison, with Piers telling him: “You were quite a dashing human rights lawyer, prompting rumours that you were the inspiration for the character of Mark Darcy from the Bridget Jones novels.

“One of your friends was quite put out, saying that you were better looking than Colin Firth. There's a great quote here from a site called 'My Barrister Boyfriend'. They featured you on their list of hotties. In their write-up, they said, 'We suspect Keir is brimming with manly passion.' Are you brimming with manly passion?”

Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones and Colin Firth as Mark Darcy
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones and Colin Firth as Mark Darcy

Keir replied: “Always brimming with manly passion!” He went on to talk about his best physical feature, saying: “In the end, because it's so talked about, I think I have to go for my hair. Everybody talks about my hair.”

The Prime Minister was also asked about the character by ITV back in 2020, saying: “Everybody asks me this question when they should be asking her because she knows the answer and I don’t.”

Keir Starmer in 2010 in London, England© Oli Scarff
Keir Starmer in 2010 in London, England

In the same year, Helen addressed the rumours on Desert Island Discs, joking: “I had several different boyfriends, all very gorgeous. It’s amazing the number of people that lay claim to be Daniel or Mark, including Keir Starmer.”

However, she has since confirmed that it is sadly not the case, telling Radio Times: “I think he’s fantastic. But no, I’ve never met him. They are very similar, though. He’s so good and decent and intelligent, but so buttoned up. I always want to say: ‘Come on, Keir, loosen your tie, ruffle up your hair.’ He doesn’t think of himself as sexy, but he’s really sexy. And when he and Boris spar, it does remind me of Mark and Daniel.”

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