MOVE over Bridget Jones - Dana Dale is the new thirtysomething diarist on the block.

Housewife Dana is entertaining readers with her musings on life and lovers in a risqu new book which aims to capture the hearts of Bridget Jones fans.

But there's a catch. For while Bridget's search for a husband was penned by Helen Fielding, Dana's Diary is the work of a man - Gwent pensioner Ian Robertson.

It's 20 years since widower Mr Robertson, from Green Lane, Caldicot, wrote Dana Dale's Diary: A Year in the Life of an Oversexed British Housewife, about a frustrated woman who manages to bed 18 lovers in a year.

But the 77-year-old had trouble getting the book published until last year, and it's proving popular with the US market after being offered for sale by online retailer Amazon.

Now Mr Robertson, who attends the Caldicot Writers' Group at Caldicot Library every Wednesday morning, hopes the book will now finally prove to be a success.

"I wrote it in 1983 when Aids was the world's number one concern, so no publisher would touch it," he said.

"Nowadays it's generally agreed that sex sells. I've always liked the book and thought it would eventually get somewhere.

"There's more to it than just the sexual side. "To succeed a book needs a strong story and believable characters."

Mr Robe-rtson, who has written articles and short stories, among other things, for 40 years, said he found it quite easy to write from a wo-man's point of view.

"I obser-ved women as closely as possible, I hope it com-es over," he said.

Mr Robertson, who moved to South Wales from England in 1959, and used to work on the factory floor of radiator makers, Stelrad, in Mon-mouth, said: "It's fair to say the book is along the same lines as Bridget Jones' Diary, and I'm excited to see how it sells.

"It could be a hit or it could come to nothing. "I'd like to see it made into a film, but not necessarily for the sake of notoriety.

It's all the work of Dana herself. I know her rather well." Dana Dale's Diary published by Lightning Source UK Ltd, price £13.99.