Sep. 30, 2013 at 9:20 AM ET
Spoiler alert: If you're a Bridget Jones fan, you may want to avert your eyes. The latest installment in author Helen Fielding's series has readers fuming over a significant plot point.
Mr. Darcy is dead.
As Bridget would say, "V devastating. Cigarettes, 5. Alcohol consumed: Too much to care."
Fans of the world’s most famous singleton have been spinning in disbelief since an excerpt from “Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy” was published in Britain’s Sunday Times magazine, revealing that Jones is now a widowed mother of two.
Others, meanwhile, had some fun with the news.
In the new book, Jones is now 51 – but "35 if anyone asks" – and back on the dating scene five years after the passing of her husband Mark Darcy, who was immortalized in the movie versions of Fielding's books by Colin Firth.
Author Fielding said telling Firth that his character had been killed off was “one of the strangest conversations I’ve ever had.”
“I had to ask Colin if he was sitting down, if he had someone with him, and the way we were talking to each other was literally as if someone had died, but then we kept sort of laughing because they hadn’t,” Fielding said in an interview with TODAY correspondent Jenna Bush Hager.
A clip of the interview was shown Monday, but the full conversation will air next week – “if we don’t die of sadness first,” TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie said.
Natalie Morales, trying to recover from the news, exclaimed, “Mr. Darcy lives on!”
Meanwhile, the male anchors feigned interest.
“Wasn’t he in 'Downton Abbey'?” Al Roker said.
“We need a moment,” Matt Lauer said.
Carson Daly admitted he had no interest at all. He wanted to talk about "Breaking Bad."
"Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy" will be released in the U.S. on Oct. 15.