"It costs £8 for a potato": The London locations where Bridget Jones's Baby was filmed

By Culture24 Reporter | 16 September 2016 | Updated: 15 September 2016

Back in the city for a third outing, the latest Bridget Jones film visits locations it might not have been allowed into back in 2001, say its producers

A photo of a woman in Bridget Jones's diary the film walking through london
Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth take to the streets of London for the latest cinematic instalment of Bridget Jones© Universal
There were, say the team behind the Bridget Jones trilogy, a few cautious responses when they first tried to secure a number of hard-to-get locations in London.

Back in 2001, for Bridget Jones’s Diary, Director Sharon Maguire sounds like she had to summon something of the movie’s heroine in coping with rejection.

They had fewer problems and greater glories for Bridget Jones’s Baby, in which Renée Zellweger returns to her home above the Globe pub in Borough Market: the London Aquatics Centre, said to have cost £269 million when it opened ahead of the 2012 Olympics, and the Supreme Court both opened their vast doors for the cameras.

A photo of a woman in Bridget Jones's diary the film walking through london
The London Aquatics Centre, designed by Zaha Hadid in 2004 and opened in 2011© Bert Seghers
“With the first film nobody knew quite what it was,” says Maguire. “But this time we were welcomed with open arms.

“We went to the Supreme Court because, of course, Mark Darcy has moved on in his career and is now a Supreme Court lawyer.

“We thought they’d turn us down, but amazingly they said yes, which was fantastic. We were also allowed to film in the Old Bailey, which was unbelievable – it’s so beautiful it’s shocking.

A photo of a woman in Bridget Jones's diary the film walking through london
Court 1 of the Supreme Court© David Iliff
“It was really moving, actually, to go around your own city and for people to say ‘oh, I know that; I know the street where that bit was filmed.’”

Camilla Stevenson, the Location Manager for the film, and Eric Fellner, the Producer and co-chair of Working Title Films, say they were allowed to “unlock parts of the city”.

“We make a lot of films and much of the time it’s a question of ‘ehh, well, maybe...”, explains Fellner. “But as soon as we mentioned Bridget the answer is ‘yes, no problem’.

“When I tell my friends who are barristers that we filmed in the Supreme Court they can’t believe it. It shows how loved the character is.”

A photo of a woman in Bridget Jones's diary the film walking through london
House prices are said to have tripled in Borough Market since 2001© Josep Renalias
Perhaps the most striking change to the area around the Globe is the rocketing price of property. Maguire calls their return to the market “like going home”.

“It now costs £8 for a potato,” she reckons. “When we first went there it was just a market surrounded by some quite run-down buildings, and now it’s one of the most shi-shi places in London to live.

“We rationalised that Bridget could still afford to live there because she got on the property ladder just as another railway was going in line beside her flat. Now she has one either side of her flat, and the whole place rattles.”

Debra Hayward, the Head of Film at Working Title, even relates Jones’s trajectory to Southwark’s dramatic shift in landscape. “We were really, really conscious of that,” she says.

“It’s our hero location in a way, and seeing how it’s changed since the first film is just incredible.

“I had two pictures that I used to show to people: one was a photo from the first film showing Bridget’s flat above the pub in Borough Market. The other shows exactly the same shot but with the Shard having sprung up.

“In a way those photos represented what we were trying to do with the film: it’s still Bridget and her world, but at the same time we’re representing the new as well and taking it to another level.

“It was very symbolic. It adds a massive amount of vibrancy and colour to the film. And, being where she lives, it also represents her as a character.”

  • Bridget Jones’s Baby is in cinemas from September 16 2016.

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Three film fan favourites in London

Cinema Museum
A charitable organisation founded in 1986. The content ranges from items relating to film production to film exhibition and the experience of cinema going.

BFI Southbank
A four-screen cinema venue showing over 2,000 classic and contemporary films each year, with film seasons, director and actor retrospectives, and extended runs of cinema classics. View over 1,000 hours of free film and TV in the Mediatheque.

Phoenix Cinema
The Phoenix Cinema is one of the UK's oldest cinemas. Built in 1910, it was redeveloped in 1938 in the modernist style, whilst the auditorium was given an Art Deco redesign. Today, the cinema is run as a community cinema by a charitable trust.
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