The Irritations of Modern Life: 69. Solo spice girls

THE SPICE Girls - remember them? Sporty, Posh, Baby, Ginger and Scary, dedicated to spicing up our lives?

Spice mania was bad enough in the beginning, but at least only one Spice single, Spice movie or Spice book could be released at a time. Now with all five off to pursue successful singledom, there is every risk that all five could produce individual records at the same time, saturating our musical airwaves. Only this Monday, Geri and Baby released singles on the same day - and it doesn't stop there. They wannabe presenters, ambassadors and models.

It all started with Geri's split from the group in May 1998. The divorce was excruciating for the nation. We were subjected to endless analysis, images of weeping youngsters, and a documentary about the trauma of being an ex-Spice.

For months, the tabloids ranted about Geri's sophisticated new image. Would it work? Well, the UN seemed to buy it, making her an ambassador. But the ultimate stunt in Ginger Productions came yesterday, with the announcement that Geri is officially walking out with Chris Evans. Forced to witness their desperate flirting on Channel 4's TFI Friday, we are now faced with Ginger-loves-Ginger stories in the papers and Geri tunes on constant loop at Virgin Radio.

Then there's loudmouth girly Mel G, almost credible after performing alongside hip-hop diva Missy Elliot and twice presenting the MOBO awards. But have you seen her show on BBC2, Pure Naughty? All she does is hug the guests and talk drivel.

Emma Bunton - Baby Spice - is also trying her hand at presenting for cable channel VH1. In her show Emma she chatters inanely in between music vids dedicated to her family.

And what about clean-cut Sporty Spice? Well, Mel C has gone punk with short, spiky hair and tattoos. She swears and admits that she's tried drugs: "I've dabbled," she told Q magazine.

And Posh Spice? Well, she spends her time appearing in OK! magazine and boring everyone with tales about Beckham and Brooklyn.

So girls, please, we've had enough. If you're looking for a role model, try this one. Howard Donald from Take That, where are you now?

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