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The Big Reunion

The Big Reunion

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up unBand reunions are hardly shocking news these days, as disbanded pop groups have been reforming left, right and centre over recent years to try their luck with the music industry once more (Take That, Spice Girls, Steps etc.). Six chart topping bands from the nineties and noughties reunited to perform a UK tour and to reveal everything about what it’s really like to be a world-famous pop icon. Throughout The Big Reunion series, we have seen how the bands formed, their soaring highs, their devastating lows, and, of course, their epic fall-outs.

Unless you lived on another planet during the nineties and noughties, you’ll be well acquainted with the stars of the series: 5ive, 911, B*Witched, Honeyz, Atomic Kitten and Liberty X (Blue were added to the line-up at the last minute, much to the irritation of the other bands). Most of us were guilty of singing their songs into a hairbrush, plastering our bedroom walls with their flawlessly airbrushed faces, convincing ourselves that one day we would marry one of the members, and avidly reading all the magazine interviews we could lay our lust-driven hands on. However, despite having crazed, adoring fan-bases, life for the bands was not perfect beneath the surface.

Each episode focused on the bands and their stories; we were given an insight into their battles with depression, struggles with alcohol and drugs, the pressures of working in such a demanding industry, and the hostilities between some of the band members. Self-confessed delinquents 5ive disclosed their turbulent relationship, which eventually led to Sean’s breakdown and departure from the group. The seemingly sweet girl band Honeyz also exposed the cracks in their friendship. Heavenli left the band, only to return after her replacement, Mariama, later quit the band due to her increasing discomfort (interestingly, lead singer Celena Cherry did not appear to consider the possibility that her band mates were tired of living in her shadow). Atomic Kitten had the most unsurprising tale to tell. Anything involving Kerry Katona is hardly going to run smoothly, and the girls explained their numerous catty arguments.

It wasn’t all gloom and doom, though. Throughout the series, we have witnessed the bands setting their differences aside to rebuild their friendships whilst rehearsing for the nationwide tour. I half expected the band members to be balding, beer bellied and wheezing through their vocals, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. 911 can still perform somewhat astonishing dance moves for their hit song Body Shakin’ without looking utterly ridiculous, and Michelle Heaton from Liberty X has militantly rehearsed and performed despite her recent double mastectomy, proving that the bands are not mere has-beens.

The series was, at times, a bit too sentimental, but it was mostly enlightening, funny and endearing. The Big Reunion may have drawn to a close, but there is much more body shakin’, Irish dancing and dramatic swaying yet to be done on the tour in May.

★★★★

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