The Daily Telegraph
Spice Girls: How Girl Power Changed Britain
CHANNEL 4, 9PM
The Spice Girls as social history – it’s not a bad place to start an exploration of modern feminism. So here’s the story of how five young British women burst onto the pop scene with their Girl Power battle cry and a celebration of youth culture that would reflect and influence a generation. Their debut hit Wannabe topped the charts in 31 countries and rocketed the band to a level of fame rarely seen since Beatlemania; indeed, 1996 became known as the Summer of Spice (I remember it well, holed up in a tent on the Devon coast refusing to come out until I’d got the lyrics down pat).
This new series begins its first episode with the group’s formation in 1994 as the Kellogg’s Variety Pack of personalities – monikers Posh, Baby, Ginger, Sporty, and Scary Spice – fought for success against a backdrop of “ladette” culture and Britpop titans such as Oasis and Blur. Just one year after Wannabe, they became the bestselling girl group of all time; even Tony Blair was on board.
Using archive footage and interviews, and, of course, a fizzing soundtrack, this first episode highlights
how the quintet made feminism welcoming, accessible and fun. Rachel Ward