Page 176. " naked pictures of Virginia Bottomley on the television "

Naked pictures of Baroness Virgina Bottomley of Nettlestone, Conservative MP and former Secretary of State for Health, would doubtless provide the nation with a particularly sadistic thrill.

Picture of Virginia Bottomley (clothed)

Page 181. " Prince Charles is sleeping with Camilla Parker-Bowles "
Prince Charles
Public DomainPrince Charles

Camilla Parker Bowles
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeCamilla Parker Bowles - Credit: Martin H.
 Diana, Princess of Wales, divorced Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the throne, in 1996 after his ongoing affair with Camilla Parker Bowles became public knowledge.  At the time, nobody could quite believe it. Some of us still can't.

Charles and Camilla were married in 2005.

Page 183. " Do any of your friends have a number for Lisa Leeson? "

Lisa Leeson is the ex-wife of Nick Leeson, the former trader at Barings Bank who was responsible for the huge trading losses that led to the bank's collapse in 1995. Lisa filed for divorce whilst Nick was serving his sentence in a Singapore prison.

Picture of the artist formerly known as Lisa Leeson.

Page 183. " looking like Ivana bloody Trump wearing a suit and lip gloss "
Ivana Trump
GNU Free Documentation LicenseIvana Trump - Credit: Christopher Peterson

 Ivana bloody Trump is a fomer model and professional skier, and the ex-wife of Donald Trump, a billionaire business tycoon. Ivana is known for her large hair and formidable power outfits.

Page 186. " as if I were Sara bloody Keays or someone "

Sara bloody Keays publicly humiliated her lover, Conservative MP Cecil Parkinson,  lifting the lid on their 12-year affair with the announcement of her pregnancy. Keays made the decision to ruin Parkinson's career when she realised that he would not help her with her own.

Picture of the scheming Sara Keays

Page 190. " We’re cooking Delia Smith venison sausages "

 Delia Smith is a professional cook who has presented several television series, and written a number of bestselling recipe books. She is renowned for her simple, homely recipes.

Picture of the cosy Delia Smith

Recipe: Delia's Venison Sausages Braised in Red Wine

                                     

Page 191. " reason for Fergie's insane over-confidence may be that Andrew still wants her back "
Prince Andrew
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePrince Andrew - Credit: Dantadd

The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, was married to Sarah Ferguson - 'Fergy' - for 10 years before they divorced amicably in 1996.  Their continuing friendship has led to speculation that the two might one day reunite.

Sarah Ferguson
Public DomainSarah Ferguson
After the separation, Sarah continued to make public appearances, although she was subjected to continual ridicule from the British press for being photographed topless with her toes in the mouth of American financial manager John Bryan.
Page 192. " leaving me looking like Teresa Gorman "
Teresa Gorman
Creative Commons AttributionTeresa Gorman - Credit: David Farrer

 Teresa Gorman is a former Conservative MP with a stern haircut and forthright views on the free market.

Page 192. " a party a friend of his from art school was having at the Saatchi Gallery "
The Saatchi Gallery
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Saatchi Gallery - Credit: Ckeen

A mecca for contemporary art, the Saatchi Gallery is a prestigious London venue that  has championed both new and established artists since 1985. It was relocated to Chelsea in 2008. 

 

Page 195. " Jude had just been reading brilliant book called Goddesses in Everywoman "
Greek goddess
Public DomainGreek goddess

 Goddesses in Everywoman is a book by psychiatrist Jean Shinoda Bolen which profiles seven Goddesses from Greek mythology, and details how modern women can 'activate' each one within herself.

Polytheistic myth as Psychology

                  

Page 197. " panicking about the difference between the Ulster Unionists and SDLP and which of them Ian Paisley was involved in "

Northern Ireland
Public DomainNorthern Ireland - Credit: CIA
 Northern Ireland was establised in 1920 by the passing of the Government of Ireland Act, which split the country into the six predominately Protestant counties of Ulster (the 'North') and the 26 remaining Catholic counties (the 'South'). Irish Catholics demanded independence from British rule, whilst Irish Protestants remained uneasy at the prospect of a nation ruled by the Catholic majority.

Civil unrest erupted in the 1960s and dominated the following three decades. This period of Irish history is defined by 'The Troubles', with Protestants and Catholics at each others' throats and the British Army trying - with varying levels of success and restraint - to keep the peace.

Ian Paisley
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeIan Paisley - Credit: Alison
The Ulster Unionists, the more moderate of the two main unionist parties, sought to maintain Northern Ireland's status as part of the United Kingdom. The SDLP, which was founded in 1970, is a moderate nationalist party that rejected violence and campaigned for a united Ireland, but only with the consent of the majority of the population.

In 1971, Ian Paisley established and became leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, the Ulster Unionists' constant rival.  He retired from politics in 2010.

 

Page 197. " red Christopher Biggins spectacles "

 Christopher Biggins is an English actor and good sport, who has appeared in a great many pantomines and likes to wear garish cardigans.

Picture of the irrepresible Christopher Biggins in those plastic red specs

Page 197. " I’m thinking Hugh Grant "
Hugh Grant
Public DomainHugh Grant

 Hugh Grant, the English actor, was arrested in Los Angeles after being caught in a compromising position with a prostitute. Elizabeth Hurley, his girlfriend of the time, is an English actress, most famous for having the gall and the figure to wear a dress made mostly from safety pins.

Hugh Grant clearly forgave Helen Fielding this allusion, as he went on to play Daniel Cleaver in both Bridget Jones films.

The famous misquote "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" comes from William Congreve's play, The Mourning Bride:

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned,

Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorned.

Page 198. " Shazzer is going to the Edinburgh Festival "

Edinburgh Festival
Creative Commons AttributionEdinburgh Festival - Credit: snowmanradio
 The Edinburgh Festival takes place in August, and describes a collection of literary and arts festivals of which the most famous is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a frantic celebration of new and established talents, particularly in drama and comedy. 

The Fringe is so popular that acts desperate to be seen will occupy the tiniest and most informal venues, or simply spill out into the street.

Page 200. " I might finish The Famished Road "

The Famished Road is a revered novel by Nigerian author Ben Okri, which explores spirituality and social injustice in Nigeria. The 1991 Booker Prize winner, this is definitely the sort of book that Bridget should have finished by now.

                               

Page 200. " Arthur Smith's Hamlet is completely booked up "
Arthur Smith
Public DomainArthur Smith

Perpetua's hectic schedule:

 1) No tickets left for Arthur Smith, a smoky-voiced comedian who shrunk the longest of Shakespeare's plays - Hamlet - into his own 42 minute version, which played for 6 nights at the 1995 Edinburgh Festival.

2) So instead an audience with Ethan and Joel Coen - the Coen brothers -  respected American filmmakers who write produce and direct together.

3) However this means missing out on the subversive comedy stylings of Richard Herring.

4) There is obviously no point in turning up for Jenny Eclair, who in 1995 won the Perrier Comedy Award for her performance at the festival, the first solo female ever to do so.

5) So instead a quick detour to the picturesque town of Lanark, followed by either surrealist comedian Harry Hill or the risqué Julian Clary, with his self-confessed fondness for bondage.

 

The Coen Brothers
Creative Commons AttributionThe Coen Brothers - Credit: Rita Molnár
Richard Herring
Creative Commons AttributionRichard Herring - Credit: James Kemp
Harry Hill
Creative Commons AttributionHarry Hill - Credit: phil chappell