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Sunday, June 21, 1998 Published at 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK


Four become five in virtual spice

Spice Girls: love their new video

The four become five once again when the Spice Girls appear as fairies in the video for their new single Viva Forever.

Geri Halliwell may have left, but Ginger Spice has been magically restored to the group for the animated video which was commissioned months before the split.

It has been put together by award-winning Aardman Animations, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit.

[ image: Geri: Virtual reunion on video]
Geri: Virtual reunion on video
Video director Steve Box said: "It would have been impossible to edit Geri out without doing the whole thing again, and to do them credit, nobody asked me to try."

The video is being screened for the first time on British television on Monday.

Despite the inclusion of Geri, the other Spices are overjoyed with their new video.

In an interview with the four-strong group on their current American tour to be shown on Monday, Baby Spice Emma Bunton says: "Our new video is amazing.

"When we found out that we were going to become fairies in it, we knew the kids would absolutely love it."

Imagination run wild

Viva Forever is Steve Box's first pop video. He animated the Penguin in Wallace and Gromit's The Wrong Trousers and Wendolene in A Close Shave.

He won a Bafta award for his own short film, Stage Fright, earlier this year.

For Viva Forever, he created five, 12ins-high Spice Girl tin puppets with wings who coax one of two astonished real-life boys into growing up.

"It is a bit like the Victorian legend of fairies at the bottom of the garden. The Spice Girls represent a sort of ideal imaginary world that only exists to children," said Steve Box.

"It was most difficult job I have ever done, because there were five of them and they were all flying, so each shot meant lots of adjustments."

Some days they only managed to record two seconds of animated action, or about 50 frames.

The video took five months to make, considerably longer than it took to make Spiceworld The Movie.

The feature film was shot over six weeks last summer.

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