GERI HALLIWELL SPICES UP A NEW LOOK AUSTRALIA’S GOT TALENT
AUSTRALIA’S GOT TALENT
Sunday, 6.30pm, Nine
AT THE height of their fame in the 1990s, the Spice Girls juggernaut could close down international airports. Such was their popularity that sometimes, when they flew into a new city, the airport would be shut half an hour either side of their arrival to control crowds.
With global success came scrutiny on a grand scale. Every move, weight fluctuation, romance, power struggle, diva antic and demand – real or imagined – experienced by Ginger (Geri Halliwell), Posh (Victoria Beckham), Scary (Mel B) Sporty (Mel C) and Baby (Emma Bunton) was chronicled mercilessly in the media.
So you’re prepared for a lot of things for a first interview with ‘‘Ginger Spice’’ Geri Halliwell, Nine’s judging recruit for revamped reality show
Australia’s Got Talent.
You’re expecting a media veteran, well-armed with prepared responses to questions about her parting ways with the band in 1998 citing depression and creative differences.
You’re prepared for a publicist cutting off any question about bulimia, break-ups and blow-ups, a bulging security detail and a strict 10-minute schedule.
Instead a make-up-free, Halliwell, hair unkempt, has eschewed a restaurant chat in favour of welcoming you into her hotel room, cheerfully apologising that she hasn’t had time to brush her teeth.
The diminutive star is fighting a severe bout of flu and wrapping up a fitting session for her wardrobe for
AGT live shows, as daughter Bluebell, 7, gives her opinion on each outfit and shows off her current favourite YouTube clip.
‘‘Oh, hello, we’re a bit of a mess here this morning,’’ Halliwell grins. ‘‘I’m sorry I look like a total minger, I’ve been sick all week. Swimming at Balmoral in winter probably didn’t help. But it’s Australia. There was sunshine.’’
With the fitting over, Halliwell, 40, opts to sit next to you rather than across from you on the couch and offers genuine thanks to someone bearing a much-needed cuppa. This is Halliwell in 2013. Laid back, yet professional. No-nonsense, but not prickly.
And loving the chance fellow Spice Girl Mel B threw her way to come to Australia.
A contract dispute meant when Channel 9 bought the rights to AGT last year after Seven dumped it, Mel B couldn’t take up judging duties on the rival network.
Instead, with the Spice Girls having kissed and made up, Mel B suggested Halliwell to fill her spot.