ELECTION COUNTDOWN : Extra hot Currie may not be so spicy after all

A bid by the daughter of the ex-minister Edwina Currie to become a sexy rival to the Spice Girls began as an elaborate hoax, it was claimed yesterday.

Although Debbie Currie, 22, has now secured a recording contract, her plan to enter the world of pop was initially part of an elaborate television investigation into the behind-the-scenes workings of the pop and media worlds, it was alleged.

Miss Currie, 22, gave a number of television and newspaper interviews last week which provoked much criticism as she told of her sexual exploits and stormy school career.

The former Huddersfield University student said: "There's a Posh Spice, a Sporty Spice. a Scary Spice, a Baby Spice and a Ginger Spice. But there isn't a Sexy Spice - so I reckon there's room for me."

But last night Miss Currie was abroad and unavailable to comment on the claims that her burgeoning career was a set-up by the Cook Report.

It was said the project was dropped after senior music business executives were tipped off.

A spokeswoman for Carlton TV, owner of Central which makes the Cook Report, said there were six weeks before the next series of the programme, and the company would not comment on what stories they might be associated with.

She said: "With regard to Deborah Currie, I understand that she has a genuine recording contract and a record coming out quite soon. From our point of view, I cannot make any comment confirming or denying that we are involved with her."

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