Magazine article The Spectator

Where Were You?

Magazine article The Spectator

Where Were You?

Article excerpt

I think we are all agreed: it is the End Of An Era. Not a very long Era, of course, but a vivid one, and for five young women of varying talents, a fantastically lucrative one too. When we awoke on Saturday morning, there were still, officially, five Spice Girls. But the rumours were unstoppable and as the weekend progressed, and millions of small girls asked their parents what `gastroenteritis' was, the truth slowly emerged. By Sunday evening it had been confirmed that Lardy Spice would indeed be leaving the group, and that the remaining Spices would soldier on as a quartet. It may be that they make a great success of their new line-up, and churn out hit records for many years to come. But you will do well to find anyone over the age of nine who seriously believes so. Already showbiz lawyers with pudgy fingers are rubbing their hands together with glee. There is much money to be made. In their two-year career the girls - Lardy, Surly, Winsome, Ugly and Northern - are each thought to have earned around 13 million, or after all the court cases have been settled, 8.75.

Meanwhile, a nation mourns. Nursery schools are solemn, dismal places. The man over the road from me who played Frank Sinatra non-stop at top volume for 18 hours last week as a mark of respect is now playing 'Wannabe' every hour on the hour. On This Morning on Monday, Judy was forced to wipe away a maternal tear. Where were you when you heard that Geri Halliwell had left the Spice Girls?

If she can ever truly be said to have left, that is. For whatever they do, wherever they go, whichever daytime cookery shows they end up presenting, the Spice Girls will always be the Spice Girls. Everyone accepts the transience of pop fame as part of the scenery. But virtually all pop stars forget just how hard it will be in the future to live down the pop fame that has waned. …

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