Bridget Jones Features On This List Of The World's Most Influential Women

Photo: Universal
Bridget Jones has been named one of the most influential women of the last 70 years.

Helen Fielding's enduringly popular creation is the only fictional character on a seven-strong list compiled by BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour for the show's 70th anniversary.

Divisive former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher tops the list of "seven women who have made the biggest impact on women’s lives over the past seven decades."

“Love or loathe her, it is hard to think of another woman who has had more of an impact on British women than Baroness Margaret Thatcher within the last seven decades," said BBC 5Live presenter Emma Barnett, a member of the panel who selected the seven women.

"In fact a whole generation of women’s feminism was formed in direct retaliation to her," Barnett also argued.

Contraceptive advice pioneer Helen Brook places second on the list, followed by long-serving Labour MP Barbara Castle, whose championing of the Equal Pay Act 1970 ensured women could not legally be paid less than men.

Beyoncé also appears on the list at number seven, a place lower than Bridget Jones. “Twenty five years ago she ushered in the voice of a woman narrating her own banality as well as her own complexity," panel member Julia Hobsbawm said of Jones.

Helen Fielding called her character's inclusion on the list a "tremendous honour for Bridget and, of course, for me".

"I hope it doesn't mean everyone's going to binge drink and eat Milk Tray late at night," she told the BBC. "I also hope there was something rather more profound going on, there's something in Bridget's nature which is very British which is ultimately quite decent, quite kind, quite resilient, not judgemental."

Check out the top seven below.

1. Margaret Thatcher - First female British prime minister
2. Helen Brook - Set up Brook Advisory Centres in 1964 offering contraceptive advice to young single people under 25
3. Barbara Castle - Labour MP for Blackburn who championed the Equal Pay Act 1970
4. Germaine Greer - Australian feminist icon and author of The Female Eunuch
5. Jayaben Desai - Leader of 1976's Grunwick dispute, an important series of strikes combatting low pay for a mostly Asian and female workforce
6. Bridget Jones - Heroine of a popular novel and film franchise
7. Beyoncé - Singer-songwriter who has embraced feminism and aligned herself with the Black Lives Matter movement
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