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Last Updated: Monday, 2 June, 2003, 08:32 GMT 09:32 UK
Mr Darcy voted dream date
Colin Firth as Mr Darcy
Mr Darcy, as recently played by Colin Firth, beat James Bond and Superman
Mr Darcy, the dashing hero of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, has topped a survey of fictional characters women would most like to go on a date with.

Austen's creation beat other fictional heroes, such as James Bond and Superman, in the poll of more than 1900 women.

The character - played by Colin Firth in a hit BBC adaptation - appealed most to women in their 20s and 50s, said the survey by Book Marketing Limited.

Top 10 dinner party dates
1 Mr Darcy
2 James Bond
3 Superman
4 Hercule Poirot
5 Inspector Morse
6 Heathcliff
7 Sherlock Holmes
8 Rhett Butler
9 Prince Charming
10 Sharpe
Source: Books Marketing Limited

Another survey found Mr Darcy was top of a guest list for a fictional dinner party.

Pride and Prejudice was also chosen as the top book by a woman for women readers over 40, in a poll ahead of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2003.

The top book for women under 40 was Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary.

Kate Mosse, honorary director for the Orange Prize, said: "It suggests that our favourite fictional characters, such as Mr Darcy, are those we meet early on in our reading lives and that we remain loyal to them."

The Orange Prize for Fiction, the women-only book award has this year shortlisted books including Zadie Smith's The Autograph Man and Donna Tartt's The Little Friend.

The winner will be announced in London on 3 June.

Smith and Tartt make Orange list
25 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Shields heads Orange list
17 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Ring star to play Darcy
14 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Don Quixote gets authors' votes
07 May 02  |  Entertainment

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