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Magazine Article

Source: Select

Date: January 1999


What were you doing on 31 December 1989? "I would've just left school, and I was probably in some club somewhere. Oh God, was I old enough to be in a club then?"

What will you be doing for the Millenium? "I know what I want to do. I want to be performing, maybe do a show at the Millenium Dome. There's nowhere else to do it. It's a funny old thing, isn't it? I reckon they could get a pretty good set-up there."

Do you think the '90s are more caring and sharing than the '80s? "You always get caring and sharing people and selfish and horrible people. But as the '90s have gone on there is less of a divide between people - there's just a greater cross-section of people now, with so many different races and religions in society."

Do you remember where you were when Diana died? "It was the day before we travelled to New York for the MTV awards, so I was in the country - it was one of the few nights that I woke up in my own bed. Not that I wake up in other people's beds all the time. When I first heard about it, I just couldn't believe it. I was like everyone else, I thought it was a sick joke."

Why do you think 'Girl Power' became such a '90s buzz word? "I think Girl Power was something that women were feeling but there wasn't a title for it. So when we came up with it, everyone just latched onto it because it fitted so well. It's a very '90s thing - in every kind of workplace and industry women are gradually getting higher positions and more money."

What's your favourite book on the '90s? "I'm not much of a reader. I started to read The Celestine Prophecy, cos everyone else was reading it, but I still haven't finished it cos it got on my nerves."

What's your favourite film of the '90s? "Probably Pulp Fiction, but I thought a silly film like Toy Story was great as well. I'd love to make more films, maybe a movie where I could save the world!"

What's your favourite album of the '90s? "Manic Street Preachers' 'Everything Must Go', but I change my mind every day. I liked Oasis' last album, but it wasn't a patch on the first two."

What '90s consumer items can't you live without? "Mobile phones. It took me ages to get one - all the girls were going on at me, but I was like 'I've got a pager, that's good enough.' But now I've got one it's my best friend. I'm also amazed by all the varieties of toothpaste you can get. I like a bit of bicarbonate and soda on my teeth, but it's getting a bit confusing now. I just don't know what to choose for the best."

What do you think of New Labour? "I'm more Old Labour to be honest - New Labour are just like the Tories now, aren't they? Just with my upbringing, growing up in the North and watching factories closing down, it's hard not to be Old Labour."

Do you ever wish your life could go back to normal? "Well my life is relatively normal, probably more normal than most people would think. I still go out with friends, watch soaps and stuff. I love Brookside, I never miss it. I never used to be a telly-head, but when I came home from overseas I'm just glued to the TV, especially as TV abroad is so crap and wierd. You can get to know the vibe of the whole country if you just sit down and watch Richard and Judy on This Morning for a couple of hours."

When was the last time you got drunk? "Four days ago. I went out on a bit of a mad one - I can't really remember much about it. On tour I don't really drink because it affects my voice, but since I got back I've been partying quite a bit."

Do you regret doing any of those seemingly endless product endorsements? "That was something we were doing at that time, and there's a big difference between then and now. Without saying too much, we've left our manager since the time we were doing all the endorsements and we won't be doing it again."

Do you still swear as much as you used to? "It depends who I've been hanging around with. When we're all together we do swear a lot, and I still like the word 'bollocks'. Emma was swearing like a real trooper yesterday."

What's the strangest thing you've done with the Spice Girls? "We were in Taiwan on this really bizarre programme. It featured regional artists and big western groups, but it was like a talent show. So we had to make up a turn on the spot. Me and Emma did some tap-dancing."

What did you think of Mel B's wedding? "I was talking to Emma about it yesterday, and we agreed that we're never going to get married now because we couldn't top that wedding - it was just so fantastic. I was worried about it, though, because I thought we'd feel silly as we were all wearing white, but it turned out brilliantly."

What do you think about Geri being appointed as a UN ambassador for family planning?

"She's doing really well, isn't she? I think it's fantastic. It's like she said, it's great if you can use your celebrity to help get the message across and save lives. I think she's looking really good as well, although I haven't spoken to her for a while."

How did you adapt the Spice Girls shows when Geri left mid-tour? "Well, when she left we had just two hours to re-choreograph and re-vocal the whole show. It was really wierd because every time I turned round I kept expecting her to be there - it was like I had a limb missing. But then when we went to America, we re-rehearsed the whole show and it felt like she'd never been there in the first place. We were in Oslo on the first night without Geri, and it was Mel B's birthday and my mum bought her a big furry beaver. So for the encore that night we were playing 'Viva Forever', which is a poignant moment in the show, and Mel B came on stroking this beaver. We put it in Geri's place and spotlighted it and sang 'Beaver Forever'. All the fans didn't know what was going on. Or they did, and they just didn't think it was funny."