`Bridget Jones` musical on hold

London: Sheridan Smith, the Olivier-award winning actress, has dramatically pulled out of the musical version of Bridget Jones, plunging the project into confusion. The show, based on Helen Fielding`s famous not-so-slim `singleton` who keeps a diary about her desperate attempts to find a man, was due to go into rehearsals in August and open at the Savoy Theatre in late September or early October.

But just as the show`s producers were about to sign the deal, Sheridan said that she did not want to commit to a long run that would take her away from what is clearly becoming a burgeoning film and television acting career, reported a leading daily.

"It is an act of pure selfishness. The girl ain`t a movie star, give me a break! It is every theatre producer`s nightmare. You spend years and many thousands of pounds developing a project with an A-list creative team that in this case. But in the meantime, your leading lady`s career is growing in stature, and she is in mega demand," an insider said.

"The show will survive because it is in excellent shape. A great actress is required to play Bridget and whether that great actress is Sheridan Smith or someone else we will have to see. The person in that role does not have to be a star," it added.

Sheridan`s departure is being termed a `scheduling` problem and a failure to agree. When Bridget Jones does bounce back, it will be next year.