Who is Bernard?

Yesterday I became embroiled in a bizarre Twitter conversation, which included the age old question, ‘who is Bernard?’

Well, not only do I know who Bernard is, but I have had the privilege of working with him!

What is this about Bernard anyway?  Perhaps you should ask Richard Curtis.  In pretty much all of his films and TV programme there is a character called Bernard, from Nursie in Blackadder, who reveals that her real name is Bernard, to Hugo and Alice’s children in The Vicar of Dibley, all of whom are called Bernard.  In Four Weddings And A Funeral, Bernard is the second groom, whose wedding night is interrupted by Hugh Grant’s character, who gets locked in the Honeymoon Suite.  Bernard reoccurs so frequently in Richard Curtis’ writing that I am not convinced he has written a single film or TV programme without a Bernard character.

So, who is Bernard?

Bernard, it turns out, is the MP for Harwich and North Essex.


The story goes that Richard Curtis dated Anne Strutt at university.  Unfortunately for Curtis, Miss Strutt met Bernard Jenkin at the Conservative Conference in 1984.  They were so smitten with each other that they soon tied the knot, and the new Mrs. Jenkin left Curtis single and alone.

Ever since, Curtis has name checked his former love rival in all of his projects.

And that’s why there’s a Bernard in all of Curtis’ films and TV shows.  That’s why a Tory MP has given his name to a whole host of comedy characters!

Who is Bernard?  It’s Bernard Jenkin MP!