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Thursday, April 8, 1999 Published at 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK


Seven up for pop fame

S Club 7: Hoping Miami 7 will propel them to success

Seven wannabe pop stars are getting their big break in a new BBC drama - as the stars of Miami 7.

The group S Club 7 already have one thing in their favour - they are the brainchild of the Spice Girls' former manager, Simon Fuller.

The show sees the group stranded in Florida thanks to a crooked contract and an unscrupulous manager, played by Gary Whelan.

They are working without pay in a faded resort hotel, but the script promises adventures such as experiencing a hurricane and getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle and re-emerging in 1974.

Among the team who worked on the script are Red Dwarf writer Paul Alexander, and Jenji Cohan, who contributed to US hits Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Single to be released

[ image: Say cheese: Fuller made the Spice Girls a marketable commodity]
Say cheese: Fuller made the Spice Girls a marketable commodity
There are also plenty of opportunities for them to showcase their music - with the real-life group's debut single, Bring It All back, coming out on 7 June.

S Club 7 are Paul Cattermole, 21, Jon Lee, 16, Bradley McIntosh, 17, Jo O'Meara, 18, Hannah Spearritt, 17, Tina Barrett, 21, and Rachel Stevens, 20.

The group have already had their brushes with fame. Jon Lee played Oliver at the London Palladium, and went to the Sylvia Young Theatre school - once home to Baby Spice Emma Bunton. Jo O'Meara has had a chart hit in Germany, while Bradley McIntosh's parents are both in the music industry.

Pop pundits will be watching to see if the usually publicity-shy Simon Fuller can pull off the same spectacular success he did with the Spice Girls in 1996.

'Sixth Spice Girl'

He became known as the "sixth Spice Girl" after steering the then-five-piece to fame with his 19 Management company - named after the first single he made a hit, 19 by Paul Hardcastle.

But his relationship with the Spice Girls went sour. Reports said it was because they became weary of the endless marketing opportunities he used the group for.

He was sacked in November 1997, with a reported £15m payoff. But that came after Spice Girls sweets, cameras, deodorant, and other products filled the shelves.

He still represents footballers and pop stars today, though his most famous client is Annie Lennox.

Pop fans' parents would do well to watch Miami 7. For if it is a success, S Club 7 look set to be all over the supermarket shelves - and thousands of children's present lists - by Christmas.

Miami 7 runs on Thursdays at 1710 on BBC One.

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