Social media has made single life far harder than when Bridget Jones was first created, the author has said.

Helen Fielding first wrote about the 30-something single woman in a newspaper column in 1995, with the first film released in 2001 and said dating life has changed completely in that time.

Arriving for the world premiere of the third movie, Bridget Jones’s Baby, in which the heroine finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and unsure who the father is, Helen said social networks have transformed the way we feel about relationships.

Helen Fielding first wrote about the 30-something single woman in a newspaper column in 1995 (Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

She said: “When I wrote it it genuinely was slightly embarrassing to be single in your 30s, it was like ‘what’s the problem?’ Bridget said ‘underneath my clothes my whole body is covered in scales’.

“That’s what people thought – that you would die alone and end up being eaten by a dog. But now there is the word singleton and it’s more accepted.

“But what I think is, the heart of it is the gap between how we all feel we are supposed to be, and how we really are, and that has got worse with social media.

“The kids now post on Instagram but they are not posting their worst day or their fattest day, they are posting their most beautiful touched-up day and everyone is feeling a bit bad about themselves.”

“Dear Diary, must make choice: #TeamJack or #TeamDarcy?” #BridgetJonesBaby Get tix:

— #BridgetJonesBaby (@Bridget_Jones) September 2, 2016

She added: “It’s brutal if the Snapchat is of someone who has just dumped you with someone else, which happens all the time!

“It’s not just not being at the party, it’s seeing everyone at the party. More than ever, people need to hang on to the solid stuff.”

Helen was joined at the premiere by star Renee Zellweger, who has played Bridget in all three films, as well as Colin Firth and newcomer Patrick Dempsey, who play her rival love interests.

Renee Zellweger at Bridget Jones premiere (Ian West)

Renee, who was dressed in a dark, asymmetric gown, signed autographs for fans who had waited hours outside the Odeon Leicester Square to see her and afterwards joked: “My arms were too skinny before I started, I built them up.”

Asked why it has been 12 years since the last film, Zellweger said: “I think Colin described it as wrangling cats to get everyone involved but I’m glad it took a long time because it shows how everyone has evolved in their lives and we can catch up with the people we fell in love with. It feels like a happy reunion with old friends.

“She makes us feel like it’s OK to be imperfect, she makes me laugh.”

Bridget Jones’s Baby is released in the UK on September 16.