Arts and Entertainment Andy Burrows tested his songs on his daughter, Chloe

Between them, they have recorded number one albums and have won awards for scoring soundtracks for Hollywood films. But when it came to looking for a sounding board for their recent Christmas collaboration, Andy Burrows and Ilan Eshkeri turned to a five-year-old girl.

The Things That Shaped Our Year: The Rise And Fall Of The Spice Girls

From the death of Diana to the birth of Dolly, and from the rise of Bridget Jones to the fall of the Spice Girls - our writers choose the 10 people and events which made 1997 so special

Film: It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world ...

The World of Spice is a scary place - women rule and men serve only as sidekicks, villains and fall guys. It's not a bad place to visit, Ryan Gilbey says, but you wouldn't wanna live there.

The doctor's cure for over-exposure: a few weeks out of the spotlight

Nothing gives the British press more satisfaction than pulling someone down from a great height. Paul McCann, media correspondent, asks music industry experts if and how the Spice Girls can be saved from a media keen to write them off.

Letter: Boring Spice

Sir: Parents who queue to buy Spice Girls dolls this Christmas may receive a less than delighted response from their offspring. I asked a class of 11-year-olds to invent new versions of worn-out similes. The suggested replacement for "as dull as ditchwater" was "as dull as the Spice Girls".

The Way Out Spices: bringing that extra little something to girl power

The Spice Girls are an alarming phenomenon even at normal size. Translated into a larger-than-life dimension, on average 6ft tall plus stiletto heels, they are truly terrifying. Meet the Way Out Spice Girls, not girls but chaps. Spice-in-charge is Tarty Spice, the pouting, gorgeous, Ginger-Geri-lookalike, aka Steffan Whitfield, 27, poured into a curvy little sequinned number, spider-leg eyelashes aflutter. The rest of the team are Butch Spice (Paul Pure, 27, a dead ringer for Sporty Mel); Leery Spice (Karl Taylor, 25, far scarier than Mel B); Snooty Spice (Giles Bishop, 26, better legs than Posh Victoria) and Spice Rack (Mark Hobbs, 19, demure as Baby Emma herself). The Way Out Spice Girls take their name from the Way Out Club in east London, where they first formed the group as a one-off act. Their half-hour cabaret show includes the Spice Girls' repertoire and favourites like "It's Raining Men", "YMCA" and "We Are Family", and their proudest moment so far has been appearing in the real Spice Girls movie. Driving around London in full costume, the Way Out Spice Girls have been mistaken for the real thing; even in clubs, they claim it takes a while for the penny to drop. "People get within a few inches and suddenly go 'Oh no! They're geezers!'" says the ladylike Butch.

Bank lures graduates

CASHPOINTS

Five little rich girls

The Spice Girls are a modern marketing phenomenon, put together, passed around, and merchandised like soap

Maoris at war with Spice Girls

Maori leaders are on the warpath after reports that the Spice Girls had performed a traditional Maori war dance in jest. The group infuriated Maori cultural experts by fooling around with the Ka Mate haka - the version of the dance used by the All Black rugby team to intimidate opponents - on a promotional visit to Bali last week.

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.

I was groped. So why am I laughing?

Followed home by a fondler, Emma Forrest finds herself playing Barbara Windsor to his Sid James

Spice Girls clean up the Brits

Five feisty young women who do not play a musical instrument between them were confirmed as the most popular group with the public in British pop music last night.

Letter: Keep Spice Girls away from Dad

Sir: What do The Independent and our father have in common? The Spice Girls! ("Spice Girls vote Thatcher the new leader of their band", 13 December; letter, 14 December) What is happening to what has always been regarded in our family as a serious paper? Now, every morning, our father, who is a source of embarrassment at the best of times, quotes long, mostly boring facts about the Spice Girls, and how it must be right because it is in The Independent.

LETTER : Selfish Spice

Sir: It is an interesting facet of modern pop music that the Spice Girls , even though their songs are so tame and unchallenging, wish to be seen as selfish, arrogant, brutal and, ultimately, stupid. ("Spice Girls vote Thatcher the new leader of their band", 13 December)

Spice Girls vote Thatcher the new leader of their band

It would be difficult to imagine Baroness Thatcher in hot pants, a spandex vest and patent-leather thigh boots, but yesterday that is precisely what we were invited to do.

Speaking up for the right to abortion

Political and personal silence on abortion speaks volumes for how the new wave of pro-lifers have hijacked media attention
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape