Return Of The Spice Girls

The Spice Girls were expected to end six years of rumors by turning up to London’s new O2 Arena on June 28th to confirm they’re reuniting for a world tour.

Media reports say the group signed a deal in which each of the five members will pocket between £4 million and £10 million, depending on which of the U.K. newspapers is to be believed.

The O2 press conference was expected to include full details of a 25-date world tour, with some reports even saying the assembled journalists will be treated to a solo performance by each of the girls.

"No further information can be given at this time but given the band’s unique history, you can be sure to expect the unexpected," said a statement from Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment, which has resumed as the group’s management.

Media reaction to the reunion has been mixed. It’s certainly received hundreds of column inches, but the coverage has often been tinged with some acerbic journalistic cynicism.

"So why have a reunion?" asked the Daily Mirror. "Maybe it really is for the fans. Or perhaps it’s because Sporty, Scary, Posh, Ginger and Baby need each other more than we need them."

The Daily Telegraph was even more cutting, pointing out that the exponents of "girl power" have hardly been the best role models for 8-year-olds.

"Five women. Six children. One husband. (Only one. Who has allegedly been known to stray.) Three unmarried mothers. One custody battle. One putative father demanding a paternity test. Another father whose identity is neither confirmed nor denied, but who seems to have little contact with his baby and her mother.

"Altogether, this is an emotional fry-up; a hormonal tornado of broken promises, quickie trysts, delusional fantasies and pop-up pregnancies.

"Ten years after they launched their sexual empowerment manifesto, this is how the soon-to-be reunited Spice Girls have ended up and, no, it is not pretty. Is this mess of fatherless children, torrid affairs and lawsuits what they meant by girl power? Surely not."

The group’s debut album Spice sold 1.8 million copies in seven weeks, making them the fastest-selling British act since The Beatles. Their 1997 follow-up Spiceworld shifted 7 million copies worldwide in just a fortnight.

Geri Halliwell left the group in 1998, citing differences with the other members. Although they carried on without her, their final album, 2000’s Forever, did not match their early success. In 2001 they split up.