Say you’ll be there? New Spice Girls documentary to celebrate 25 years of girl power

The television programme will chronicle the five-piece's successful and groundbreaking career

Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown, Victoria Beckham and Geri Halliwell, aka the Spice Girls, pictured in 1996. Getty Images
Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown, Victoria Beckham and Geri Halliwell, aka the Spice Girls, pictured in 1996. Getty Images

It's been nearly 25 years since the Spice Girls captured our imagination with their debut single, the effervescent ode to girl power that is Wannabe.

In the time between, the band went on to become a pop phenomenon as they conquered seemingly everything – topping the charts, selling-out arenas and taking on the film and fashion worlds.

Fans and newbies now have a chance to relive the glory years of one of the biggest girl bands to ever exist, with British television broadcaster Channel 4 announcing a new documentary that will chronicle the group's ground-breaking career.

Girl Powered: The Spice Girls will air in 2021 to coincide with the band’s silver anniversary.

Rob Coldstream and Clare Cameron will helm the project. The directing duo were behind last year's documentary series Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain, which focused on British television personality Jade Goody.

When it comes to their new project, Coldstream and Cameron will have a lot to work with. It has been reported that up to 72 pieces of archival Spice Girls footage will be used in the upcoming documentary. As of yet, there has been no formal word on whether the group will be involved with the programme.

Viva Forever: preserving the Spice Girl's legacy

There have been numerous attempts over the years to immortalise the girl group in one form or another.

Last year, it was reported that the Spice Girls would return to the big screen in an animated film backed by major film studio Paramount.

Produced by the band’s former manager turned television mogul, Simon Fuller, the film is reportedly based on an idea the Spice Girls had themselves, and will feature the voices of all five members and a plot in which the quintet become superheroes.

But since its announcement last June, there has been no official word from the studio regarding the progress of the film.

One project that did see the light of day was the Spice Girls' very own musical Viva Forever.

Premiering on London's West End in December 2012, the show was viciously panned by critics, who lambasted the script and performances.

"I'll tell you what I wanted, what I really really wanted,” read the opening night review by UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph. “I wanted this terrible show to stop."

One initiative that continues to be well received is Spiceworld: The Exhibition, a travelling memorabilia show staged in various British museums and galleries that features over 5,000 collectables.

What are the Spice Girls doing now?

In the meantime, all members of the group have managed to find relative success in their post-Spice Girls careers.

Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham launched her eponymous clothing label, which has become a fashion empire. "I think I dress in a way that suits me," she told The National last year. "It’s never too complicated, quite simple, good shapes."

Meanwhile, Melanie Chisholm, aka Sporty Spice and Mel C, found success as a solo artist with hits When You're Gone and Never Be the Same Again.

Speaking to The National in 2012 before her Abu Dhabi concert on the Corniche, she recalled how the media spotlight and the constant whirlwind of touring left the Spice Girls drained when they first broke up in 2000.

“I tried to rebel and shed my Spice Girls image,” she said. “We were all trying to find ourselves in a way. People are so familiar with me as a Spice Girl that they are quite surprised when you are capable of doing other things. So I am really loving showing people that there is another side to my personality and to my performing.”

While Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell's solo music career may have flopped, she found success in the literary world with two best-selling memoirs and a series of children's books.

Melanie Brown, known as Scary Spice or Mel B, found fleeting solo musical success with her 2000 debut album, Hot, before entering the television talent show circuit with judging stints in the British and Australian versions of The X Factor, as well as the US production America's Got Talent.

As for Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton, she released two average solo albums and despite their poor sales, she managed to maintain her British national treasure status because of her down-to-earth public persona.

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Read more:

Viva forever: Spice Girls set to return to cinemas in new animated film

Did the Spice Girls' message of 'girl power' really have anything to do with female empowerment?

The Spice Girls, Tamagotchis and Disney: the 1990s are back in a big way

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Updated: July 15, 2020 06:30 PM

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