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Tuesday, December 16, 1997 Published at 08:57 GMT


It was all spice on the night
image: [ A spicy job offer for the heir to the British throne ]
A spicy job offer for the heir to the British throne

The Spice Girls celebrated the world premiere of their first movie by trying to recruit Prince Charles as their new manager and shrugging off suggestions their careers are on the skids.

Though the heir to the throne declined their job offer, he brought his sons along to the screening of Spiceworld at the Empire Cinema in the west end of London.

Prince Harry, 13, had met the group before in South Africa, but for Prince William, 15, it was a first. Each took several friends to the premiere and arrived in a minibus.

[ image: An evening out for the young princes]
An evening out for the young princes
Their five-minute meeting with the group took place behind closed doors before they went in to the film.

Later, in front of the cameras, Baby Spice Emma asked Prince Charles if he had bought the band's new single. When the Prince admitted he had not, the Spices looked shocked.

Ginger Geri announced: "Charles is our new manager." He quipped in return: "I am very expensive."

Spiced out?

BBC Arts Correspondent, Rosie Millard, says Spiceworld will put you in 'Nirvana' (2' 58")
The £16m film is a star-studded comedy romp showing five days in the hectic life of the Spice Girls, in much the same way that Help depicted John, Paul, George and Ringo dealing with Beatlemania in the 1960s.

However, while the fab four were only at the beginning of their career when they made that movie there is speculation that the Spice Girls could already be on their way out.

Sales of the band's second album, also called Spiceworld, have been disappointing in comparison with the record-breaking success of their debut.

A media backlash against the group has been fuelled by the adverse public reaction to the seemingly endless proliferation of Spice Girls' merchandising.

The success of the Spice movie could determine how much longer the girls' brief but meteoric career will continue. Audiences in Britain will deliver their verdict when the film opens on December 26.

Defenders of Spice

Outside the premiere there were few signs that the popularity of the famous five was flagging.

[ image: Sporty Spice: Ever popular among fans]
Sporty Spice: Ever popular among fans
Thousands of fans flocked to Leicester Square to catch a glimpse of the arrival of the five Spices and the numerous stars who have roles in their film.

The comedian, Michael Barrymore, who plays the girls' dictatorial dance manager in the film, insisted the band would last.

"The easiest thing in the world to knock is success, because once you are up on a pedestal it's easy to knock you off. I have been through these phases myself," he said.

Spiceworld's Director Bob Spiers, responsible for television comedies from Are You Being Served? to Absolutely Fabulous, defended the movie.

"To a certain extent, it is made for Spice Girls' fans. They were mainly young girls," he said.

He thought there could be another Spice Girls movie and hoped he could direct it.

The film's cast includes: Richard E. Grant, Stephen Fry, Roger Moore, Jennifer Saunders, Jools Holland, Barry Humphries, Bob Hoskins, Richard Briers and Jonathan Ross.

Elton John, Elvis Costello and Neil Fox are also in the film. But a role played by Gary Glitter was edited out at the last minute following his arrest in a child pornography investigation.

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