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This news archive began on the 20/02/99
It was last updated on the 20/03/99

Posted 5/4/99:

Geri Unveils Her 'Long Blonde' Look
Former Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell unveiled her blonde ambition at the star-studded London Awards ceremony.

The ex-Spice Girl showed off a striking new hairdo, with long blonde tresses almost to the middle of her back.

Ms Halliwell also swapped the dour greys and blacks of her recent public outfits for a sophisticated grey silky trouser suit that matched her eyes.

It was still demure by her former Spice Girl standard but shows she is moving on. She has said she wore black after the group split because she was in mourning.

Ironed-straight hair is the latest must-have look for starlets - everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Halliwell's heroine Madonna is sporting the style.

But did no-one tell Ms Halliwell the Jennifer Anniston cut feathered round the face is just too 1997? Even the Friends star has moved on.

Ms Halliwell has not quite ditched the flaming red hair and busty outfits that made her famous.

She was pictured earlier in the week with scarlet-hued locks and an overflowing 18th century costume for a video shoot for a forthcoming single as she prepares to launch her solo musical career.


The Spice Grrrls
Despite what Geri Halliwell and her one-time Spice Girl chums would have us believe, the war is NOT over.

Geri and her former bandmate Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton would share the same table at yesterday's Capital Radio London Awards, the media were told.

So imagine my disappointment when I learned that, far from an amicable get-together, Emma had pulled out of the bash after hearing Geri would be there.

I was told Emma was "too ill" to attend the do, which launches the station's annual Help A London Child appeal. But then the going got even weirder.

Safe in the knowledge that Emma wouldn't be joining her, Geri, with new bottle-blonde locks, joined a table of record company bigwigs and settled down
for some fun.

But not for long.

Told that Scary Spice, alias Mel G, would be attending in Emma's place with husband and proud father Jimmy Gulzar, she suddenly got up and left.

"There's no war between us," Mel assured me when I asked her about Geri's vanishing act. "It's a shame she had to leave the lunch early and I missed her."

Still, Mel G did enjoy one consolation.

When the Spice Girls were declared London's favourite live group, she went up to collect the award.

And Geri wasn't around to embarrass her.


Cancer Campaigner Geri Under Fire For Smoking
Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell has come under fire from an anti-smoking group after she campaigned for a cancer charity - and then allowed herself to be pictured smoking.

The singer, who has worked for Breast Cancer Care, was photographed puffing on a cigarette as she took a break from filming the video for her new single, Look At Me.

Amanda Sandford, of the anti-smoking group ASH, said: "It can undo all the good that health education messages can do."

Halliwell was prompted to quit the Spice Girls last year because the hectic schedule did not give her enough time to speak out to raise awareness about breast cancer - an issue close to her.

At the age of 18, the star had an agonising wait to find out whether a lump found in her right breast was cancerous.

Ms Sandford, research manger of ASH, said: "It does give out a mixed message.

"On the one hand she seems to be doing quite a lot of work to draw attention to the causes of cancer, and on the other she does something which is a prime cause of cancer. It causes about a third of all cancers.

"We have expressed concerns about the Spice Girls and all pop stars who smoke in public."

A spokesman for Halliwell said: "Geri has campaigned about breast cancer specifically and has campaigned to raise awareness of the disease and help young women go and see their doctors.

"She has never campaigned against smoking, nor has she spoken out about smoking."

Posted 23/3/99:

Who's That Girl? (Jane Magazine)
In her accountant's office in East London, Geri Halliwell and I are facing each other across a long conference table. We're sprawled and spread out like eagles. Teacups filled with milk and cigarette butts are shoved aside to give us plenty of room to maneuver properly. "All right-now I'm ready. Should I go this way or that?" Geri asks with her croaky voice. Well, I think you should do it like this, I reply. "Okay then, your turn," she says, lean- ing flat onto the table to the point of showing the tattoo that stretches from the small of her back down, uh, a little farther. If someone were to walk in right now, they'd be shocked, I say.

"Stop talking: This is just starting to heat up, and you're distracting me," the admitted schizophrenic says. You know you could have jumped me ear- lier if you wanted to, I tell her. "Oh, come on, be quick, will you?" she urges. At this moment, Geri's yoga instructor, Keith, arrives early for their 5:30 lesson. Geri glances up, trying to salvage one last shred of dignity. "I've lost, haven't I?" she asks. Ah, the game of checkers isn't as simple as it appears, is it?

Not as simple as, say, breathing, or being a Spice Girl. Looking back, that's one of the main reasons she ditched the cartoonish super-group she once called her family. "Being with the Spice Girls looks like a short time on paper, but mentally those five years feel like 20 years," she says. For Geri Halliwell, life as "Ginger" wasn't exactly challenging (what, exactly, was she expecting?), and there were more pressing issues that she wanted to take a stab at - like breast-cancer awareness, "which the schedule wouldn't permit," a solo record and building a foundation of integrity. "it doesn't take a brain scientist to figure out things weren't exactly perfect," she says. Maybe 4 does, but she refuses to elaborate.

Geri Halliwell's strawberry-blond hair is pulled back, and she's not wearing any makeup. Is this proper lady the same overly made-up cleav- age monster who, at a business func- tion where she couldn't find a bath- room, used some wadded-up towels as a toilet instead? "I'll always be kicking myself for doing things like that and for pinching Prince Charles' bum-I wouldn't do that today," she says. "The louder you are, the more insecure you are, and that was me. I'm a lot more vulnerable now." The trashy ones always seem to clean up their acts before I get to them.

At 5 feet 1 inch, she's a tiny and unbelievably skinny little woman, modestly covered by a black sweater and black pants. And no, she's not wearing platform sneakers. Her head isn't disproportionately larger than the rest of her body, as it appears to be in pictures; but her chest, even with- out a bustier, is alarmingly large, compared with her overall size. But no cleavage-I feel cheated. "I have to question my values and integrity now," she says. "I'm trying to grow, desperately. When I left the Spice Girls, I really had to look at myself on all levels-physically and superficial- ly-and wipe off my makeup and undress myself," Geri says. "I'm really not sure who I was then." Now Geri is rifling through her purse for her driver's license to prove to me how ridiculous it is that so many people think she's 35. A year ago, she was called many things-Podge Spice, Chin-ger Spice and Old Spice (oops, we called her that in our premiere issue).

"I don't have my license after all-I gave it to my driver," she explains (although she doesn't explain why her driver would need her license). "When I joined the Spice Girls, I said I was 21 when I was actually 22. And now I look back and say, "I know I looked old.' I'm just a reflection of the way society makes us think it's crap to get old. The other thing with the Spice Girls, as time went on, was that I felt unhappy inside and not confident about my looks, so I put on more and more makeup to hide ft." You're with- out cake-face right now, so do you feel less than perfect? "Yes. But the difference is ... you hide behind the mask until you've had enough. I think image is fine, but image is also bull- shit, and we have to acknowledge that. And I have," she says. She doesn't look 26, but she also doesn't look older than 30-and even if she isn't 26, who cares? Most people have issues about their ages. "Who gives a crap?" she laughs. "Maybe I'm 66, and I've just got good wrinkle cream." Say, why did Geri quit the Spice Girls? "I suppose 4 was quite a mad thing to do-why would anyone?" she asks. "I had to go onstage and do the Spice Girls thing, even though I was changing." But she is willing to give me a little Spice World gossip: The reason Geri didn't attend Posh's (SPICEZONE note: Stupid author, he meant Scary's!) wed- ding was because she wasn't invited. She is not a Scientologist. On the pregnancy rumor: "I'd love to have a child one day, but right now all I've got is Harry," she says of her purse-size dog. On the rumor that she got a raw deal: "I kind of had to lick my wounds and rebuild myself, rebuild my confi- dence as a human being, not rely on my identity as a Spice Girl," she says. And the feud between her and Scary Spice? Geri won't elaborate in words. But when I give her a T-shirt to auto- graph (for our managing editor's daughter, not me!), I have to stop her. from drawing a mustache on Scary.

Somehow, it becomes her turn to ask the questions. "Do you know what the meaning of life is?" Geri asks. Beer and women? "That's fine," she says, winking, "but you know when you're asking yourself the important questions in life? That's me right now." Geri Halliwell has put a cork in the "girl power" for the time being. She says, "It's more about people power." This, no doubt, is linked to her appointment as an ambassador for goodwill for the United Nations; her responsibilities include supporting a contraceptives- awareness campaign and a population- control program. "I'll tell you who I admire," she says. "Hillary Clinton. I think she's brilliant. I think she should run for president." As of late, Geri's been spending most of her fte in the record- ing studio, rather than running her trap about condoms and sex. She just finished recording her as-yet-untifled solo record (due in late spring), which she describes as a "roller-coaster ride wfth hormonal mood swings-more adult."

As we near the end of our game, I have all of Geri's checker pieces ex- cept two. She moves a black checker and then takes her finger off of it (she wanted to be red because red is a power color, but in the end chose the black because "black is slimming"). She spots a safer play and quickly tries to move her piece back. You took your finger off of that, missy. "I did not! . Okay, I did," she says. / think you're pretty much finished. "it ain't over till the fat lady sings, and I hate losing," she responds. "I love the underdog. You know, checkers is a metaphor for life, isn't it? Don't move backward be- cause it's 'Take or be taken.' I've taken the piss out of myself now, and I think that's very important," she says.


Geri's single out in May
Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell releases her Shirley Bassey-sounding first solo single, Look At Me, on May 10. The song has been deliberately chosen as her first post-Spice Girls material in order to make a statement.

EMI:Chrysalis managing director Mark Collen admits even he is surprised. "It doesn't sound like anything anyone expected," he says. "It comes somewhere between Shirley Bassey, Serge Gainsbourg and images of Tony Curtis driving around the south of France in an open-top Mercedes Sports car with Raquel Welch and her scarf blowing in the wind. It's certainly not a piece of bland
pop. She’s totally upfront. Her vision is complete and bang on and she's unbelievably receptive to the ideas of people she's working with. I've never worked with an artist like her."

As with much of her so-far untitled album, Look At Me is co-written by Geri and the Spice Girls writing team of Paul Wilson and Andy Warkins. Wilson says, "I think the single will surprise people. Geri wanted to do something completely different but still keep her pop edge. This track has definitely achieved that."

The video was shot in Prague last week by Vaughn Arnell, who directed the Brit Award-nominated videos Outside for George Michael and Robbie Williams' Let Me Entertain You. Collen adds: "The track makes a statement 'look at me' - so the video will represent the different strands of Geri: is she serious or ginger, saint or sinner, virginal or not?"

Geri has been recording at London's Olympic Studios since January behind closed doors but dotmusic has learnt that only last week a 60-piece orchestra arrived for the sessions. The studio also contains several record boxes stuffed with classic 70s disco favourites that will doubtless influence the final product including future singles.

Geri's new material was originally not expected until late in the year but her debut solo album could now be released as early as June. Her manager, Lisa Anderson, says, "She's powering on all cylinders right now. We were both keen to go early if possible, so we're delighted. But she was very prepared. She was able to go into the studio completely ready."

Mark 'Spike' Stent, currently working as co-producer with Noel Gallagher on Oasis's fourth album, has mixed some of the tracks. The other co-writer on three tracks is understood to be Tracey Ackerman, who is believed to sing backing vocals on Look At Me, and who has enjoyed success writing with B*Witched.


Spice Girls' Mel C Snaps Photos For Soccer Star, Gives Money To Charity

Apparently Victoria "Posh Spice" Adams isn't the only Spice Girl fascinated by a British soccer star.

Two weeks after Posh gave birth to a baby boy fathered by her fiance, professional footballer David Beckham, fellow Spice Girl Mel C has agreed to go behind the camera lense to snap shots of soccer star Gian Luca Vialli.

According to the Girls' camp, Mel C was contacted by Vialli, who plays for the Chelsea Blues in Britain's Premier League, to take his picture as part of an international ad campaign for Kappa sportswear.

Mel C is also satisfied with just receiving a photo credit for her work, and will donate her photographer's fee to YCTV, a London-based charity that helps 11 to 19-year-olds create their own TV shows with the guidance from industry professionals.

No word yet if Mel C plans to extend her "shutterbug" skills for any of the art on the next Spice Girls album, which the group will record with producer Rodney Jerkins, but we'll keep you posted.

The new Spice Girls album is expected out by the end of the year.


Good To B Back

MAMA MIA! Spice Girl Mel B has managed to get her shape back so soon after having her baby - it's scary.

The fiesty singer left hubby Jimmy Gulzar looking after five-week-old Phoenix Chi while she enjoyed a night on the town with Baby Spice Emma Bunton.

Mel looked sensational as she arrived at London's trendy Titanic restaurant in a skin-tight see-through red dress with a skimpy G-string underneath. Clumpy eight-inch patchwork platform boots completed the bizarre ensemble.

Mel and Emma had dinner with six other girl friends at the swanky eaterie in London's West End and were later joined by Noel Gallagher and wife Meg.

Emma revealed that she has no plans for her own baby Spice. "People keep saying to me 'I bet you want one now' but I don't. I think I'd like to be married first.

"I love going to see the babies and cuddling them but then I like to leave them to it and go home," she said. Meanwhile dancer Jimmy discovered what life as a Spice dad is all about. He spent his evening changing nappies and making up bottles while his missus knocked back the bubbly.


Mel C Stars In New Bond Movie

SPORTY Spice MEL C has been signed up to sing the theme song for the new £70 million James Bond movie.

She'll also appear in an epic video for the song to be shot in the next few days - which will feature as part of the movie. Mel's deal, said to be worth £250,000, has been shrouded in secrecy. But a source close to the singer told me yesterday: "Mel could hardly contain her excitement. She has had to keep extremely quiet over the deal - which has been very hard."

Mel, 23, will now join an illustrious list of artists who have sung on Bond films including Paul McCartney (Live And Let Die) and Shirley Bassey (Goldfinger). Action-packed scenes in the movie, The World Is Not Enough, include a £1 million-a-minute river chase on the Thames. Pierce Brosnan as Bond will also be dropped on to the Millennium Dome by balloon.

Meanwhile, Mel's former band pal Geri Halliwell is filming her own pop promo video for her debut solo single Look To Me. Geri will, somewhat unbelievably, appear in the £150,000 video dressed as a nun.


Posh Tot Nets Ronaldo Shirt
POSH Spice's baby son Brooklyn has been given a signed football shirt by Brazilian ace Ronaldo.

He presented it to Brooklyn's dad David Beckham after Manchester United played his Inter Milan side last Wednesday. Becks said: "He said he had something special for baby and signed his shirt
'To Brooklyn from Ron-aldo'. I was knocked out."

Wife-to-be Victoria Adams said: "It will look great in the nursery."

Posted 20/3/99:

Child Cruelty TV Ads Will Break The Nation's Heart
ONE of most horrifying TV ad campaigns of all time is launched today by the NSPCC - and it is guaranteed to move many people to tears. Over and over again screens will be filled with scenes of violence and sexual abuse against children.

In the background, kids' favourites like The Spice Girls, soccer ace Alan Shearer and Action Man cover their eyes in dismay, telling viewers: "We can't bear to look either."

The £3million campaign - called Cruelty to Children Must Stop, Full Stop - aims to shock, and the NSPCC is expecting complaints. But the charity - which says at least one child a WEEK in Britain dies through abuse or neglect - said yesterday: "It is the only way of getting the message across. "

A spokesman explained: "Child abuse, both sexual and physical, is rife in Britain today. The ad pulls no punches but we are not apologising. It is aimed at making people sit up and take notice."

One scene shows a copy of Smash Hits magazine lying on a child's bed, with the Spice Girls hiding their eyes on the cover. The magazine nearly slips off the bed as the duvet underneath moves and a man's voice tells the child: "Not a word to anyone, this is going to be our little secret."

In another, a poster on a bedroom wall shows England and Newcastle United ace Shearer unable to look as a man's voice tells a child: "Come and sit over here" and the sound of a bed being patted is heard. Physical abuse is shown in two other shots. One focuses on a tot's teddy bear wallpaper as the baby's cries fill the room.

A mother screams: "Shut up, I'm going to smash your face against that cot if you don't stop your screaming noise." Finally, viewers will see a Rupert Bear mug jump into the air as a father smashes his fist on to a table. He shouts: "You're brainless, you're stupid. You're no child of mine." Then a huge hand smashes the mug away.

The ad - made by top agency Saatchi and Saatchi - will only be shown after the 9pm adult viewing watershed. It will be officially launched at a press conference on Monday, where The Sun's agony aunt Deidre Saunders will be a speaker.

The Spice Girls and Shearer all posed for the adverts for free. Yesterday the Spices said: "We are delighted and proud to support the campaign. It is a very important cause. "We hope this will make it people sit up and listen."

Shearer added: "This highlights the terrible abuse many children suffer, and will make people think about the right that children have to a happy and loving childhood." The cost of the campaign, which will also include posters, is being provided by sponsors including Microsoft,British Telecom, Early Learning Centre and New Look.

According to the NSPCC, children who die from abuse or neglect are usually killed before they are a year old. Around 35,000 are on protection registers and at least 110,000 adults in Britain have been conficted of child sex offences.

The NSPCC is to help abused kids by forming school teams and child friendly action zones, where children can go to seek safety. They will also be more help for new parents, including a network of volunteers to support families.


So here's Brooklyn at you kid
POSH Spice Victoria Adams cuddles baby Brooklyn on a night out with fiancé David Beckham to celebrate her first Mother's Day.

Victoria, 24, and David, 23, were on their first public outing since the birth and enjoyed dinner with her family. The glamorous couple went to a country house hotel with Victoria's dad Tony, mum Jackie, brother Christian, his girlfriend and her sister Louise. Posh looked stunning in a black designer outfit, just ten days after giving birth to 7lb Brooklyn. Manchester United ace David, who also wore black, kept a protective arm around the young mum.

At one point during dinner, the proud dad took Brooklyn out of his chair for a cuddle. When they left the restaurant, Posh said: "I'm really happy to be with all my family and a great time was had by all."

Baby Brooklyn was well behaved at the dinner in the Downhall County House Hotel in Bishop's Stortford, Herts. But Louise's daughter Liberty kept crawling around the floor of the restaurant and had to be rescued from other diners during Sunday night's trip out.

After dinner, David presented Victoria with a surprise cake from Brooklyn - baked by Jane Asher. Sister Louise was also celebrating her first Mother's Day. But the proudest of them all was grandmother Jackie who toasted her two daughters. She said: "This is the best Mother's Day a mum could ask for. I'm really proud of them. "

A fellow diner said yesterday: "They were like any ordinary family. There was not a murmur from Brooklyn. He was good as gold."


Spicing up an exercising routine
Donning a cunning disguise (a red nose), Spice Girl Emma Bunton helps kick off the 24-hour calorie burn, along with Gary Mabbutt and members of the Saracens Rugby squad.

History has seen many people willing to pay to trim down their figures.

So staff at the Sportz Academy in Darkes Lane, Potters Bar, decided to make fitness fanatics hand over hard-earned cash to Comic Relief on Friday in order to lose some weight.  Among them was Baby Spice, Emma Bunton, who was on hand to launch the fund-raising drive.

Participants had to make a minimum donation of five pounds to use the gym's cardiovascular equipment as part of their 24-hour mega calorie burn which raised more than one thousand pounds.

The gym's members and staff, as well as members of the public, all took part in the event which started at midday on Friday and continued until midday on Saturday.  And an estimated 125,000 calories were burnt off by the end of the marathon fitness session.

Posted 5/3/99:

Posh Spice Has Baby
Spice Girl Victoria Adams has given birth to a baby boy at the Portland Hospital for Women and Children in Central London. The baby, weighing 7lbs, will be called Brooklyn Joseph, her fiance,footballer David Beckham told reporters."It's brilliant. It's something I've always wanted, it's something I'vealways wanted to do," he added.Victoria, 23, became the second Spice Girl mother. Scary Spice Melanie G,who was known as Mel B before her marriage to dancer Jimmy Gulzar, gavebirth to a daughter,Phoenix Chi, last month.Victoria and beckham arrived at the Portland Hospital at about 4pm in theback of a dark blue Range Rover with the footballer comforting his girlfriend in the rear seat by placing his arm round her.As news spread that a second Spice baby was on the way, a pack ofreporters and television cameras gathered outside the hospital waiting fornews of events inside.Shortly before 8pm, the couple's Range Rover, pulled up outside thehospital with members of Victoria's family inside. Relatives rushed insidecarrying large bouquets of flowers and gifts.The couple are thought to have travelled from the home of Miss Adams'smother in Hertfordshire this afternoon. On Wednesday night Manchester United star Beckham had played a European Champions League quarter-finalagainst Inter Milan at Old Trafford.It is thought that the player, who was credited with a key role in histeam's 2-0 victory, travelled down from Manchester immediately after thematch to be at his girlfriend's side.


Early KO will be OK
DAVID Beckham is in danger of missing the birth of his baby. Fiancee Posh Spice is due to give birth to their kid next Wednesday. Becks had March 10 as a free day with it avoiding Manchester United's two games against Italian giants Inter Milan and the Liverpool league game.

But United will now play Liverpool on March 10 instead of this weekend when they face Chelsea in the quarter final of the FA Cup. One small ray of hope for Posh and Becks is that if United and Chelsea draw, the replay will be in London on March 10 and the Liverpool game will be postponed. It would at least mean Becks would be in London for the big day.

Like Mel G and Jimmy Gulzar, the couple plan to have the baby at the capital's Portland clinic. But if there is a decisive result against Chelsea in the first game Becks will be on his way to Liverpool. Another worry is that Spice Girl sources were last night hinting the baby could be born early - even this week - although they deny the child would be induced. Our contact said: "It could be sooner than the due date. The baby could be born later this week."

Becks has a very tight schedule. Today he will be training in Manchester with the rest of the team. Tomorrow he is sure to line-up for United against Inter Milan in one of the biggest matches of his career. By Friday, the England player will be in training again for the cup game against Chelsea. That leaves Thursday as the only available date this week - so watch this space.


People Publisher woos Geri with lonely hearts ad
A top British publisher resorted to the lonely hearts column in an attempt to convince ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell to let it release her autobiography.

Penguin admitted it was behind an advertisement - which promised a "blossoming autumn relationship" between a 63-year-old publisher and a 26-year-old author - placed in the classified section of London's Evening Standard newspaper. Penguin publishing director Joanna Prior said: "It is a private joke that has got a lot more exposure than we ever expected. We wanted to express our interest in a slightly more unusual manner.

"We don't know yet how successful it has been but she will now certainly be aware of the strength of our feelings." The advert read: "Publisher, 63, GSOH [good sense of humour], seeks No 1 best-selling author, 26. For relationship to blossom this autumn."

Publishers are thought to be offering sums of up to ?00,000 (HK$6.2 million) for Halliwell' autobiography, which is being touted by her agents as a weighty account stretching from childhood to life as a pop megastar. A spokesman for Halliwell said the singer was in New York.

"We expect to make an announcement imminently but negotiations are continuing," he said. "She didn't see the advert so it has obviously not had much effect."

In the two years since the release of their first single, the Spice Girls have emerged as a global phenomenon, notching up records for consecutive No 1 singles and tens of millions in worldwide album sales and amassing a fortune for all five original group members.

Halliwell walked out on the group in June, ditched her glitzy stage clothes and became a UN goodwill ambassador. A solo singing career is also expected.


Sporty getting personal with her trainer
MEL C has been secretly dating her personal trainer. Sporty Spice was spotted on the arm of hunky Gregory Joujon-Roche after falling for him during workouts.

Greg is a top American fitness guru whose other clients include Demi Moore,
Courtney Love and actor Ethan Hawke. Friends of Sporty Spice are hoping love will blossom with Greg and he will become her Mr Right.

Mel has been linked to Robbie Williams, soccer star Jason McAteer and Blur's
Damon Albarn. Her pals tell me they think Greg is "lovely." They certainly seemed very close as they left London's Atlantic bar at the weekend, when Greg affectionately touched Mel's stomach.

The lovey-dovey couple were out on the town with McAteer and fellow footballers Les Ferdinand and Jamie Redknapp, and All Saints stars Nicole and Natalie Appleton. One friend says: "Mel and Greg are both obsessed with fitness and seem very close. They were all over each other on Saturday.

"Greg's work means he's often in LA and it's no coincidence that Mel's been there a lot lately." Mel is the only Spice Girl not in a serious relationship. Newlyweds Mel B and Jimmy Gulzar have just had baby Phoenix Chi, pregnant Posh Spice is marrying David Beckham this summer and Emma is in a long-term relationship with Jade from Damage.

I reckon Mel and Greg are a match made in heaven. I'm sure they're rigorously exercising at every opportunity!


All's well that ends well for Mel
PROUD new mum Mel B "did a Demi" just weeks before her very own baby Spice Girl arrived by posing for a series of striking pictures ... in the nude.

Scary, who gave birth to little Phoenix Chi nine days ago, stripped off to celebrate her pregnancy.
In the photos for today's Sunday Times Magazine, the 23-year-old Spice Girl
is completely naked apart from some ethnic-style jewellery. But she insists: "If I look sexy I feel sexy. I suppose these pictures would have caused an uproar a few years ago, but fashion changes. If I want to wear stuff that shows off my belly I will."

Now that she's a mama, Mel is in no hurry to forget her pregnancy. She plans to hang a huge oil painting of her expectant self over her fireplace and she has commissioned a curious statue of her swell figure- minus a head-for her garden.

During the photo shoot Mel, who now likes to be known as Melanie G (short for Gulzar-husband Jimmy's surname) sat on a leather sofa and sprawled on the floor displaying her tatooed tum. Dancer Jimmy also got in on the act. In one shot you can see his hands clasping his wife's belly.

Mel has never tried to hide her bulge. She and fellow Spice Girl Victoria Adams, who is expecting her baby next week, both wore skin-tight dresses when they sang at the Royal Variety Show in November.

All Saint Melanie Blatt also displayed her bump in a skimpy vest top when she was introduced to the Prince of Wales. But it was actress Demi Moore who set the trend for mums-to-be to show off their tums when she posed nude for Vanity Fair while pregnant with her daughter Scout LaRue eight years ago. In the Sunday Times interview, Mel describes Phoenix as: "Absolutely
beautiful, totally wicked." The tot arrived a month early but is already at home with Mum and Dad at
their Bucks mansion.

And Mel is busy making plans for her. Phoenix will go to a public school-not a comprehensive like the one her mum went to. And she definitely WON'T be spoiled. Mel says: "I want a baby that's a bit rough and tough. I don't want a weedy, pathetic cotton-wool baby."

With Scary Spice for a mum, the chances of that happening are pretty slim.


Mel C and Nicole in gay kiss floor show
IT was every man's fantasy come true: Spice Girl Mel C and All Saints' Nicole Appleton putting on a raunchy floor show. The sexy pair turned lipstick lesbians for an impromptu dance performance during a girls' night out. All eyes were on them as they jumped on a table and started provocatively pumping and grinding together at London's trendy Titanic bar on Saturday night.

I had to stop my tongue from hanging out when the girls jokingly snogged each other, too. But the night got better when Baby Spice Emma joined in and planted a smacker on Sporty's lips as Nicole's sister Natalie looked on. Guests, including footballers Les Ferdinand and Jamie Redknapp were clearly impressed as the girls boogied the night away. Chris Evans even tore himself away from a mystery blonde he'd been paying special attention to all night for a quick peek.

Meanwhile tut-tut to Liverpool's Paul Ince, whom I spied having a sneaky fag, and West Ham's Ian Wright, who was wandering around with a huge cigar in his gob.

Posted 26/2/99:

Posh asks psycic: Is our baby alright?
ANXIOUS Posh Spice has been consulting a psychic about her baby's health, I can reveal. The news came as Victoria Adams opened her heart about her hopes and fears for the child in her last interview before giving birth - exclusively with the Sunday People. She said she had no plans to quit the Spice Girls after her baby is born - probably next weekend - and that she and fiance David Beckham would bring up their new arrival in England. And she vowed the Spices would still be going for at least two more years.
Victoria, 24, decided to consult the fortune teller despite doctors' assurances her baby boy is in perfect health. A close pal said: "Victoria is fascinated by mediums and has called up the psychic three times. She asked about the baby's physical and spiritual well-being and like any concerned mum-to-be wanted to know what the future has in store for her child."
A reassured Victoria said she wanted to thank all her fans for their support during her pregnancy. And she said the Spice Girls would definitely be staying together for at least the next two years. Victoria told me: "I know a lot of people think I'll never return to the Spice Girls once the baby is born but they are talking absolute rubbish. All four of us sat down last month and discussed our plans. I can safely report the Spice Girls' itinerary already takes us into 2001." Victoria said she felt "moved and inspired" after Spice pal Mel B had her baby girl Phoenix Chi.
As her own birth date grows ever closer she has started to feel the signs. She said: "It's become obvious the baby will arrive very soon. "I've been feeling a bit uncomfortable and have been forced to relax a lot more. I asked Mel for tips but I won't copy the speed with which she intends to go back to work."
As the Sunday People revealed, Victoria and David, 23, plan to call their baby boy Brooklyn because he was conceived in New York. But the couple have no plans to bring him up abroad. Victoria said: "We love England. David and I have also talked about the baby's schooling and we agree the British education system is the best. "But that's for the future. For now we just want to thank everyone for their support."


Spice at 5 times the Price!
Worried that the Spice births would effectively put a stop to Spice activities for this year? Fear not, the solo projects the girls have been talking about for ages look set to come to fruition very soon. Mel G and Geri will be going head to head in May with the release of new singles. Mel's is a duet with Missy Eliot on a cover of 80's funk stormer Word Up by Cameo, prompting some debate as to whether the infamous codpiece worn by Cameo's Larry Blackmon is set for a Spice revival! Also due out this year is Mel C's solo album, (scheduled for July), Emma's acting role in Sleeping Beauty, and erm, Victoria's baby. Nice to see them keeping busy!


Not one, not two, not three but four new Spice Girls albums are on the way
Get ready for a downpour of Spice Girls albums both solo and as a group. Virgin Records Australia have confirmed that we will hear a new Mel B, Mel C and Spice Girls album before the end of June. As well as the solo albums from existing Spice Girls, the artist formerly known as a Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell, has also racked up her solo album for Chysalis. EMI release both Virgin and Chysalis in Australia. Geri has described her album on the BBC as being loud, funny and confident as well as dark, vulnerable and insecure.

Posted 26/2/99:

Ex-Spice Girl Geri Writing Her Life Story
Ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is writing her autobiography and plans to publish it later this year. The former pop icon turned United Nations goodwill ambassador has been considering publishers' bids, but has yet to sign a contract. But the four remaining Spice Girls can rest easy, because she has promised not to blow the lid on the group or their split. "Geri Halliwell intends for her autobiography to be published later this year," said a statement from her publicists said. "A publisher will be confirmed in due course, subsequent to current discussions with various publishing houses.


Mel G's Baby
Spice Girl Mel B has given birth to a 5.5lb baby daughter - and named her Phoenix Chi. Her overjoyed husband Jimmy Gulzar announced the news at the Portland Hospital for Women and Children, in London's Great Portland Street within an hour of the birth. He said: "I am very happy to announce that I have a beautiful daughter."


Mel G gives birth
Its official, Mel G has given birth nearly a month early, tonight in an unknown UK Hospital. Both Mel G and the Baby are doing well.


Spice Girl Mel G Goes into Labour
Pregnant Spice Girl Mel B has been taken to a London hospital after going into labour early. A spokeswoman for the group said Scary Spice left her home in Little Marlow, Buchinghamshire, at around 4am. A publicist for the quartet said: "The other girls are there, her husband Jimmy is there and her family are all there. "The 23-year-old singer had been due to give birth on March 10, the publicist confirmed, adding: "She is in labour now. "The singer married Jimmy Gulzar in September last year, shortly after it was announced that she was pregnant. That announcement came within days of the news that her Spice Girls colleague Victoria Adams - fiancee of Manchester United and England star David Beckham - was also expecting. The group's spokeswoman would not name the hospital to which Mel was taken. Mel B has already said the child's name will begin with a P and it is thought he or she will have an androgynous name. She and her husband each had tattoos on their fingers when they married with each of their initials, together with the mysterious P. Bookmaker William Hill last month received a flurry of bets on the baby being called Paris. Hill's eventually stopped taking bets for fear there was inside knowledge. There had been speculation that the pregnancies could have put the group's future in jeopardy when they were first announced, but they made it clear they would carry on despite forthcoming motherhood. Throughout their pregnancies both Scary Spice - who has been using the name Mel G in recent months - and Posh Spice Victoria have proudly displayed their bumps in revealing designer maternity outfits.


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