I met the two Mels but Geri's still my favourite

I met the two Mels but Geri's still my favourite

Firmly on my list of things to do at the moment is the task of securing a photographer's pass for one of the London Spice Girls shows ... which is proving to be easier said than done.

It seems the world and his dog are all scrambling for a place in the snappers' pit, to capture the fab five in all their thirty-something glory.

I was always quite a fan of the Spice Girls - well, wasn't everyone? - though I have to say I never bought in to the whole Girl Power thing. It seemed far too much of a marketing ploy even on their first crest of success.

And sadly I never went to see them live, though I've seen Mel C a couple of times since they split at Party In The Park events at Leeds and Bradford. I went to say hello to her in her trailer at one of those and for such a big star she had no ego at all.

In fact she seemed nervy as if uncomfortable that she wasn't surrounded by all her old mates. Sporty was probably the most talented and she's certainly established herself with more credibility than her former bandmates - and apparently she was the last one to say yes to the reunion.

A model diplomat, she's been busy telling the press that they wanted to 'enjoy' each other again - yeah, right - and 'do it for our fans', though she's admitted she'll be cringing when she has to launch into: "AAAAhhhhhh tell me what you want, what you really, really want!!!" for Wannabe.

As well as Mel C, I've also met Mel B at a book signing at Leeds. She'd brought her mum along who's a lovely cuddly blonde lady. Mel B wasn't Scary at all - she was thoroughly nice, grinning from ear to ear.

She's had a hard time with one thing and another but her feet are firmly on the ground and she doesn't take herself too seriously. I loved seeing her laughing along with Bo Selecta when she made a guest appearance on the show. That puppet is pretty harsh but she sees the funny side, which is brilliant.

I've never seen Mel B around Leeds - well, she lives in America now anyway - but her sister used to be a familiar face. She worked at a nice deli-type sandwich shop on Kirkstall Road and I used to see her every day when I called in for butties. It was a nice place - the sort of shop you'd go to buy a sundried tomato, feta and rocket on foccacia rather than a bacon and egg bap with brown sauce.

Having met both Mels, though, Geri is definitely still my favourite Spice Girl. I would love to meet her.

I don't like confirming to stereotypes but she's definitely the gay man's choice - she was and maybe still is a big pal of George Michael, her music's the boldest and most bombastic and she's usually surrounded by very glamorous boy dancers - when she's not swanning around London with her camply-named daughter Bluebell Madonna. She's a perfect icon!

I'm counting down the days till they hit that stage together again!

Can Jacko ever fight back?

I don't think I'll ever cease to be amazed by the dramatic twists that Michael Jackson's life takes.
I reflected on this as I watched The Truth About Michael Jackson on Channel 4. Despite the fact that he was found not guilty of all his trial charges, public opinion is such that he probably wouldn't be any less popular if he had been convicted.

It seems the whole process and surrounding events have wiped that showbiz gloss and glitter away for good and I feel sorry for him - I can't see how he'll ever reclaim his crown as king of pop.

In the documentary I was particularly interested to hear stories from his former manager who claimed stories like the famous one about Jacko sleeping in an oxygen tank, and another about him sharing his home with Bubbles the chimp, were just fabrications made up and releasd to the Press by the singer himself - just for fun, and because controlling the media made him feel powerful.

Now the big speculation is that he's going to be a mentor on X-Factor - that would be brilliant. He says he wants to rebuild his singing career but times have changed so much, the music industry is totally different than it was when MJ was a superstar.

X-Factor is my favourite programme so I'd be delighted to see Michael make a guest appearance - or perhaps it's one of his red herring stories?

Everyone loves a freebie

You know those odd and delightful occasions when you go to a party or a launch night and you get a goodie bag - containing a couple of perfume samples and some money-off vouchers for hairdressers if you're lucky?

Well apparently the A-listers who attend things like the MTV awards walk away with unbelievably lavish goodie bags laden with all sorts of pricey clobber from top-grade toiletries to gadgets and accessories. It's as if they've won a trolley dash at Harvey Nicks.

You'd think the super-rich wouldn't be bothered about such freeloading but the truth is, everyone loves a little gratis gift, no matter how much cash they have to flash.

I've always adored getting free stuff - fancy foods, the latest drinks, CDs, DVDs - I rarely get round to eating, drinking, listening to or watching this stuff, I just like receiving it, opening the Jiffy bags at the office. Ever since I was a kid I've liked collecting things, playing shop. It's an instinct that I don't believe will ever leave me.

The best freebie I've ever had, aside from holidays and an electric scooter (honestly!) was liposuction! What should I try to blag next, I wonder?