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Monday, 29 July, 2002, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
Ex-Spice Girl to judge Popstars 2
Geri Halliwell
Halliwell is currently writing her memoirs
Geri Halliwell is to use all her experience of life in a manufactured pop band to pick a new generation of stars.

Halliwell will join Pop Idol veteran Pete Waterman on the judging panel in the new series of Popstars: The Rivals, while Big Brother host Davina McCall will present.

The last series made stars of Hear'Say - whittled down from thousands of hopefuls - and "rejects" band Liberty X.


Imagine the judge is naked, that'll take the nerves away

Geri Halliwell
It is with this rivalry in mind that the show will create two groups, a boy band and a girl group, for a pop "battle of the sexes".

McCall as host is not the only similarity to Big Brother, as the 10 contestants of each sex featured in the series will reportedly be brought to live in London while the show is filmed and will be followed by the cameras.

The viewers will vote off a boy and a girl each week and will choose the final line-up of the band.

The judging panel will be rounded off by Irish pop svengali Louis Walsh, instrumental in the careers of Westlife, Ronan Keating, Samantha Mumba and Boyzone.

Christmas spot

Waterman will manage the boy band, while Walsh will compete against him at the helm of the girl group.

Auditions will be held in London, Manchester and Glasgow with just 20 being picked by the judges to form the core of the rival bands.

The show will begin in September on ITV1 and ITV2 and the last programme is scheduled for 16 December, in time for one of the bands to make the Christmas number one.

Pete Waterman
Waterman's acerbic tone won fans
Waterman said: "I think the series is going to be a lot of fun and we promise not to be as nasty as we were before.

"There will be a lot more people taking the mickey than before but we will give as good as we get.

"And when you go for a specific challenge like the Christmas number one then you have got to cheat."

Halliwell is likely to play the "good cop" on the judging panel, insisting: "I'm just going to be myself. I think I'll be honest but with compassion."

Asked if she had any advice for aspiring stars on how to handle the auditions, she joked: "Imagine the judge is naked, that'll take the nerves away. It's what I always do."

The 29-year-old is reportedly being paid 500,000 to do the show, but will not be appearing alongside Chris Evans who dropped out of the running to take part.

See also:

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