By Caroline Briggs
Renee Zellweger braved typical British weather on Tuesday for the UK premiere of her new Bridget Jones movie.
Renee Zellweger and Hugh Grant reprise their roles in the sequel
Zellweger, who plays the wine-guzzling, chain-smoking Bridget, joined co-stars Hugh Grant and Colin Firth on a soggy red carpet in London.
Wearing a strapless red dress and gold sandals, Zellweger said: "I should have brought an umbrella."
Crowds snaked around Leicester Square to cheer as the stars - including Ozzy Osbourne and Robbie Williams - arrived.
Elton John, actor Bill Nighy, singer Jamelia, television presenter Davina Macall and actress Helena Bonham-Carter were also among the celebrities attending the event.
I didn't want to disappoint Bridget fans
They greeted the fans who had stood patiently outside the Odeon cinema clutching umbrellas, as the weather tried, but failed, to dampen their enthusiasm.
Some sang the hit song It's Raining Men - which featured in the first Bridget Jones film - as they stood in the drizzle.
Others chanted the names of the stars as they made their way up the red carpet.
Grant, who plays womaniser Daniel Cleaver, said: "We did know that people were keen to see more Bridget but I didn't know they were this keen."
Colin Firth attended with his wife
Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason picks up where the 2001 film Bridget Jones' Diary left off and is again based on a best-selling book by Helen Fielding.
Zellweger, who gained 20lb to play Bridget, said the role was "an honour" and added that promoting the film was a "lot of fun".
She said: "It is a privilege to play this character and what a blessing to be part of something that makes so many people happy."
Firth, who plays lawyer Mark Darcy in the film, said they worked hard during the making of the movie and it was time to let their hair down and enjoy it.
He said: "The fun tends to happen when we are promoting... I tend to find that these tours - in the same hotels and on planes together - is where the party starts."
Sally Phillips, who plays Bridget's friend Shazzer, said it was an "awesome" experience filming the sequel.
She said: "Bridget Jones is such an appealing character and I think in the sequel she has almost gone a stage further.
Zellweger performed some of the stunts in the film
"I think most of us can identify with Bridget - trying to be sophisticated, but failing. Very few women can actually pull it off."
Bridget Jones' Diary was a huge worldwide hit, taking more than £40m in the UK alone and earned Zellweger an Oscar nomination.
Some estimates suggest the follow-up could take more than $200m (£111m) at the box office.
Director Beeban Kidron said taking on the sequel was a "huge responsibility", but not as nerve-wracking as walking up the red carpet.
She said: "I didn't want to disappoint Bridget fans. There is a huge love for Bridget Jones and I felt I had something to keep safe.
"If people like the movie and if people feel that the character of Bridget was honoured, and that her latest adventures were good fun, then I'm happy.
"They have had three years off and I hope they feel Bridget has moved on three years."
Author Fielding said she still felt Bridget was as relevant in 2004 as she was in the 1990s.
"I think that Bridget Jones is essentially the gap between how people feel they are expected to be and how they actually are.
"We still see shampoo adverts with anorexic teenage models who dance from the gym to the board meeting and home to cook dinner for 12 people, so I don't think things have changed on that front."
Asked if she would write a third Bridget Jones novel, Fielding said: "To me she hasn't died - she is still in my head
"If I could do it properly so it had some integrity to it, then I would, but I couldn't just trot it out.
"To be honest... I would only do it if I had something important to say about her."
Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason opens in cinemas on Friday