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Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 09:49 GMT
S Club 7 appeal to fans
S Club 7
S Club 7: "Learning their lesson the hard way"
Pop group S Club 7 appeared on national television on Thursday to apologise for their drugs arrests and show that they want to put the events of the last few days behind them.

The three male members of the group, Bradley McIntosh, 18, Paul Cattermole, 24, and Jon Lee, 19, were cautioned by police on Tuesday for possessing cannabis.


We have been very stupid - we know we've made a mistake and we're very sorry

Official statement
They appeared on GMTV along with the female members of the band, who described their shock at hearing of their band members' arrests.

Cattermole apologised to their fans and told viewers: "I hope the success that we've enjoyed we continue to keep having and I hope that people understand. People can support us in times like this."

The band also appeared on MTV's live Select show on Wednesday night where they made an informal apology.

They took a call from the Sun's showbiz columnist Dominic Mohan live on air, who asked the band: "How do you think this will affect your image?"

Paul and Jon dodged the question but asked Mohan whether he would like to request a music video to be played on the show.

Mohan said: "Have you got The Drugs Don't Work by The Verve?"

'Stupid'

McIntosh, Cattermole and Lee were arrested, strip-searched and cautioned after police found them carrying a small amount of cannabis in Covent Garden, central London.

They later released a statement apologising for being "stupid".

The joint statement said: "We have been very stupid, we know we've made a mistake and we're very sorry."

A spokesperson for the group added: "The band are gutted by this. They rate their fans very highly and they know that they have let a lot of people down. Now they're learning their lesson the hard way."

S Club 7's female members - Rachel Stevens, 21, Tina Barratt, 24, Hannah Spearitt, 19, and Jo O'Meara, 24 - were not involved.

Sponsors 'disappointed'

The group have proved attractive to advertisers, and recently appeared in a spot for BT.

The telecoms giant, which has a two-year sponsorship deal with them, said it was "extremely disappointed" to learn of the caution.

A spokesman said: "The company would never condone the use of drugs.

"Although the campaign of television advertisements featuring the group has ended, promotional activities will continue with no plans to terminate the contract with S Club 7.

"BT will periodically review the contract, as we do with all sponsorship agreements."

Another sponsor, confectionery company Cadbury's, said it was "very disappointed".

A spokesman added: "We are confident there will be no recurrence and regard this matter as closed."

Family groups have urged broadcasting authorities to take action and asked them to remember the "enormous responsibility that they have".

Film ambitions

The band also told GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips that they would be embarking on their first UK tour later this year, starting in Sheffield on 31 May.

A big-screen film is also in the pipeline, following their successful TV series' Miami 7 and LA7.

They have a single, Don't Stop Moving, out in the UK on 23 April.

They told of their desire to have greater success in America, where LA7 is currently being shown on the Fox Kids TV network and where they will also play live shows this year.

The group have had a string of hits including Reach and Never Had A Dream Come True, followed.

Their fun, clean-cut image has endeared them to thousands of young fans.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Dominic Mohan, The Sun
"I don't think it'll have a long term effect on their career"
See also:

21 Mar 01 | Music
Clean images up in smoke
03 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Charity hit for S Club 7
26 Oct 00 | Entertainment
S Club 7 launch poppy appeal
18 Jun 00 | Entertainment
S Club reach for the top
13 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Five stars in cannabis call
21 Mar 01 | Music
S Club 7: Multi-media pop stars
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