Miss Moneypenny is a character from the James Bond books, personal assistant to the head of the Secret Service. In the films, she indulges in mild flirtation with Bond whenever he is called to see "M".
Arthur Andersen was at the time one of the "big six" accountancy/consulting firms. It collapsed after being found guilty of criminal practices in the auditing of Enron.
Not so super-dooper any more.
Bruce Forsyth has been presenting family entertainment shows since the late 1950's. He can sing, he can dance, he can still touch his toes even now he's in his eighties, and this is the distinctive move that makes him the master. Often copied, never bettered.
The Third Reich refers to Germany under Nazi leadership, from 1933 to 1945.
Reader's Digest is an American company that publishes books and magazines covering a wide range of issues: current affairs, health and well-being, and dramatic real-life stories. The UK arm of Reader's Digest went into administration in 2010, unable to fund a £125m pension deficit.
Mr Darcy is a character from the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, which was first published in 1813. Despite being a desperately suitable match for any young lady, Mr Darcy manages to offend almost every one of them, by acting like any sort of communication is an incredibly tedious chore, particularly at parties.
"But I can assure you," she added, "that Lizzy does not lose much by not suiting his fancy; for he is a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and so conceited that there was no enduring him! He walked here, and he walked there, fancying himself so very great! Not handsome enough to dance with! I wish you had been there, my dear, to have given him one of your set-downs. I quite detest the man."
A character from Wuthering Heights (1847), the first and only novel by Emily Brontë, Heathcliff is fiercely devoted to the woman he loves, Cathy, and really doesn't care who knows it. Or that she's married to somebody else. The news of her death provokes a violent reaction:
"And I pray one prayer--I repeat it till my tongue stiffens--Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living! You said I killed you--haunt me, then!... Be with me always--take any form--drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!"... He hit his head against a nearby tree in anguish.
As a stalwart part-time feminist, Bridget has of course heard of Backlash, a book which examines the anti-feminist attitude of 1980s America, but is yet to read it. Susan Faludi is a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist.
Will Carling is a former rugby union player. He was captain of the England team at the time.
The term derives from Sloane Square in London, a favourite haunt for the type. It was popularised by The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook (1982) by Peter York.
EastEnders is an immensely popular and long-running British soap opera, focusing on the miserable and complicated lives of the residents of Albert Square, a fictional address in Walford, East London.
A heavy metal icon, Alice Cooper is an American 'shock rocker' whose eyes are usually heavily rimmed with black make-up.
Emotional fuckwittage is a term coined by Helen Fielding to describe the behaviour of men who rely on mind games to wriggle out of or avoid long-term commitment to a partner. It has become an immensely popular and much-used phrase following the book's publication.
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray is another immensely popular self-help guide, which categorises the differences between the sexes and offer strategies for coping with and resolving these differences.
Professor Henry Hoenigswald (1915-2003) was a German historical linguist who questioned the nature of existing methods of research in the 1930s/1940s and went on to write a number of articles on how best to analyse language.