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Thursday, 24 February, 2000, 22:05 GMT
Spices split over Geri at Brits

Spice Girls '97
The Spice Girls 'ziga-zig-ah' at the 1997 Brit Awards

Spice Girls Emma Bunton and Mel C are divided over whether former member Geri Halliwell should be allowed to join them to receive the band's lifetime achievement Brit Award.

Baby Spice Emma Bunton told BBC Radio 1's Drivetime programme the band were now a "four piece", and she did not want the 27-year-old solo singer sharing the spotlight at next week's ceremony.

Emma Bunton Emma: Viva four-ever
But in a separate Radio 1 interview, Sporty Spice Mel said she felt Geri, who sang on each of the first two Spice Girls albums, should be allowed to join in the moment of glory.

The conflicting comments come two weeks after Geri issued a statement saying she did not wish to take the stage with her former colleagues.

Emma told Radio 1: "Obviously, the five of us were in the Spice Girls, but we have sort of moved on and we've done an American tour, and done another single and had a Christmas number one, so I think we've moved on and become a four-piece."

But Melanie C said: "I firmly believe that she should be up there with us. But there's five girls who have to make that decision."

When told about Emma's comments, Mel added: "We haven't even talked about it - that's how caught up in it we all are.

Mel C Mel C: Geri should be there
"We've not even discussed it. Geri is not really someone we talk about, because we've got our own lives."

Speculation that a reunion might be on the cards at next Friday's ceremony was fuelled when Geri and Mel were seen having a 20-minute chat at a charity concert in Manchester at which they were both performing.

The two are now known to be back on speaking terms, a fact underlined by their individual decisions to appear on the same edition of Channel Four music show T4 to promote their new singles on 12 March.

Geri Haliwell Geri: Due to perform her new single at Brits
But until now, Geri's announcement that she would prefer to leave the remaining Spice Girls to pick up their award alone was seen as the last word on the matter.

Suggestions of a disagreement among the girls over the Geri issue come as further rumours abound about the nature and scale of the performance she is planning for the Brits.

The Sun newspaper recently reported that she was hoping to upstage the foursome by entering the set through a pair of giant inflatable high-heeled legs, before performing a raunchy version of her new single, Bag It Up.

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See also:
24 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Spice Girls lose motorcycle case
29 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
Spices win lifetime award
21 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
Ginger and Sporty square up
05 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Spice Girls 'worst group of 1999'

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