Fergus Sheppard, The Scotsman.
The Spice Girls, the five-member act which crusaded to pop superstardom on the theme of “girl power” in the 1990s, spawning a host of copycats along the way, was last night set for a reunion. Rumours have been sweeping the showbiz world for weeks, fuelled by snaps of band members meeting at various up-market London restaurants.
But Mel C – ‘Sporty Spice’ – confirmed the speculation in a radio interview. “For the first time ever, there is some truth in the rumours. We’ve been discussing it and it could happen.”
Until now, Mel has been the only member of the hugely successful band to hold out against a reunion. However, she said: “I’ve always said I don’t want to do it, the past is the past. It was amazing, it was magical. We could never recreate it.
“But this year people have been talking about it and some of the girls have expressed an interest in doing it. There is just so much great feeling out there and I just thought, you know what, I don’t want to be the person that stops it happening or stops it being a five-piece.”
The tour is likely to be a global farewell to a band which was formed on the back of a 1994 advert in the Stage newspaper which read: “R U 18-23 with the ability to sing/dance? R U streetwise, ambitious, outgoing and determined?”
The band was initially overseen by pop svengali Simon Fuller, who later went on to create the TV shows Popstars and Pop Idol. However, the girls did much to dispel accusations they were simply hype by taking control of their own affairs and ultimately chalking up record sales of 55 million from a string of hits. That chart success and the film, Spice World, meant that by 1998 the group had annual earnings of £25.5million – making them the country’s most financially successful girl act.
Mel C insisted the group would not follow the example of Take That, who have eclipsed Robbie Williams with their comeback album and tour.
“If the Spice Girls were to get back together it would be for a very short space of time. It would be a final goodbye and thank you”, Sporty Spice added.
The band are now understood to be planning six live shows around the world with concerts in London, Tokyo and Las Vegas to support a Greatest Hits album due out at the end of the year. Rehearsals will begin after Emma Bunton – Baby Spice – gives birth to her first baby later this year.
PR and showbiz guru Mark Borkowski said: “Everybody felt that things like this were a bit passe, but never underestimate what happened with Take That.”