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Monday, 5 February, 2001, 15:55 GMT
Popstars face the music
The five band members
The five band members arrived at Heathrow from Oslo
The five members of the new Popstars band have said it is a relief to escape the "Popstars bubble" at their first press conference as a group.

 Click here to watch the Popstars talk to the press for the first time

The winners, who have each been paid 100,000, flew into the UK from Trondheim in Norway, where they have been recording their first album.

They unveiled their new rock-style image, wearing punk-style T-shirts, combat trousers and buckled belts, while the band's female members showed off their newly-styled hair.

Millions of viewers tuned in to ITV on Saturday night to watch Kym Marsh, Suzanne Shaw, Danny Foster, Noel Sullivan and Myleene Klass sweat it out before being chosen for the big time.

They can stand on their own two feet and they are not boring

Judge Nicki Chapman
Noel, 20, said they were relieved to be let out into the public arena, adding: "We have been trapped in a Popstars bubble since Christmas. It is nice to finally get out."

They all appeared to be comfortable with their image change, and Myleene insisted it was a "tweak" rather than a make-over.

Then came the inevitable question on whether they had ever tried drugs.

All five shook their heads and Kym, 24, said: "We do not do drugs and we do not think it is cool for anyone else to do drugs."

'No regrets'

Myleene, 22, said she was not worried about pictures that have emerged of her scantily-clad during webcast fly-on-the-wall documentary, The Doll's House.

"I do not regret taking part in it, it was a video diary that got blown out of all proportion. When I found out some of the things that were happening I just left," she said.

The band said they did not feel exploited by the television experiment that attracted audiences of millions.

Kym was adamant that they were "not silly and stupid".

"We are not dummies, we have got opinions and we are allowed to voice them," she said.

Suzanne Shaw
Suzanne Shaw: Part of final line-up
Reacting to remarks reportedly by Spice Girl Melanie C, accusing the creators of exploitation, Kym added: "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but this is where she started."

The mother-of-two said she had found it difficult being separated from her children for so long, and that joining the band was "one of the hardest decisions I have ever made".

"But it was a chance of building a brilliant life for them, or not building a brilliant life together," she added.

Asked what they would do with the financial spoils of their new-found career, Londoner Danny, 21, said he hoped to treat his grandparents to a holiday where they could "chill out".

'Positive response'

Suzanne, 19, added she was "totally excited" about the future.

Nicki Chapman, one of the judges who helped select the five, said after the press conference: "I think the response was really positive and they handled themselves really well.

"They can stand on their own two feet and they are not boring. At the end of the day it's the public who will decide if we made the right decisions."

The painstaking selection was made by the controller of entertainment at LWT, Nigel Lythgoe, Billie Piper manager Nicki Chapman and Paul Adam, head of A&R at Polydor records.

Unlucky five

The band revealed they have a name in mind, but said nothing has been decided.

Inner Spin is thought to be a prime contender for their act, which is expected to release its single next month.

A song called Pure and Simple will feature on it but the band and their record label Polydor have yet to decide if this will be the debut single.

The unlucky five who failed to get in the band said on Monday they hoped to release a record.

Tony Lundon, 21, from Galway, Ireland spoke of his hopes that they could sing together after the rejected five finalists sang Bridge Over Troubled Water live on GMTV.

The five "rejected" Popstars are live on Liquid News on Monday at 2030 GMT, on BBC Choice.

Popstar rejects talk to Radio Five Live
Revealing ambitions to form a rival band

Is this the future of the music industry?
See also:

05 Feb 01 | Entertainment
To Popstardom and beyond
05 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Popstars win ratings game
26 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Bets on for Popstars hit
23 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Popstars wannabe gets second chance
04 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Celebrations for winning Popstars
02 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Pop wannabes battle for fame
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