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S Club 7 now – racism row, unrecognisable and not enough money to buy shirt

S Club 7 taught us to reach for the stars – but a few of the band members came crashing down.

The hit pop band was made up of seven members, obviously, who had die hard fans buying their music and attending their gigs in droves.

Rachel Stevens, Paul Cattermole, Jo O’Meara, Bradley McIntosh, Hannah Spearritt, Jon Lee and Tina Barrett really had a dream come true as they became one of the biggest bands on the 90s.

They were formed by manager Simon Fuller, who came up with the concept the day after he was fired by the Spice Girls in November 1997, selecting the seven from over 10,000 hopefuls auditioning.

S Club 7 spent five years at the top with four UK number one singles, one UK number one album and sold over 10 million albums worldwide.

Massive hits such as S Club Party, Don’t Stop Movin’, Have You Ever and Never Had A Dream Come True have stood the test of time and they even spawned a spin-off teenage band – S Club Juniors.

S Club 7 were one of the biggest bands of the 90s

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They even became played fictionalised versions of themselves in their own TV series, Miami 7, which was watched by 90 million viewers in over 100 countries.

Despite having a script, the series actually mirrored real-life events that were happening such as Hannah and Paul’s doomed relationship and his departure from the band, so it was way before it’s time in terms of reality TV.

Paul’s sudden exit sparked a series of events that caused the band to break up, although the remaining six members attempted to carry on under the new name of just ‘S Club’.

But they failed to achieve the success they once had and in April 2003 during the S Club United tour they made the devastating announcement the band was over – with fans feeling betrayed as only two weeks earlier they had denied claims they were going to break up.

They made a short comeback as a three-piece back in 2008 shortly after Jo O’Meara’s controversial appearance in CelebrityBig Brother, along with Paul Cattermole and Bradley McIntosh, playing at UK holiday resorts and across Australia.

They all reunited for an appearance on ­Children In Need in 2014 and the mega Bring It All Back tour in 2015.

With the band now in talks to get back together and record new music, here is a look at what they have been up to.

Paul Cattermole

Paul was the first member to leave the band
Paul was the first member to leave the band

Paul broke hearts throughout the country when it was announced he was quitting the band back in 2002.

“It had got to the point where things were being handled so badly, I had to go,” Paul told The Guardian.

Paul reunited with some old school friends to form nu metal group Skua, but they split in 2003 after failing to sign a record deal.

Five years after S Club broke up, Paul started performing at nightclub, universities and holiday camps across the UK with Jo and Bradley as S Club 3.

But Paul struggled adjusting to life after the band , was declared bankrupt and by 2018 became desperate and even tried to flog his Brit Awards on eBay.

Paul admitted he had already tried to sign up to shows like I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! but he had been turned down because he was not “famous enough”.

While he also struggled to find work an accident during work on The Rocky Horror Picture Show left him with a permanent back injury.

The penniless singer opened up about his serious money troubles on Loose Women in 2018 and didn’t even have enough money to pay for a shirt for the interview.

Paul left the band in 2002
Paul left the band in 2002

When Jane asked whether any family members had helped him out with his money troubles, he insisted that his “mum has helped in a big way this year”.

He also said that he was very keen to dip his toe into reality TV, citing Dancing On Ice and I’m A Celeb as examples, but quipped: “For some reason they don’t want me”.

Paul had a relationship with bandmate Hannah which they kept secret for six months before going public in 2001.

They carried on seeing each other when Paul left the group but split in 2006.

The pair got back together in June 2015 and were seen snogging on the tube, but they broke up again in November that year.

Most recently, Paul was looking for love on First Dates Hotel, where he admitted his past life had made it tough to get in a real relationship and he wanted to get out of the public eye.

Paul S club hair
Paul looks completely different now

He also claimed he was forced to date Hannah for their Hollywood 7 TV shows as it was “written into their TV contracts”.

“There was nothing natural about it. It wasn’t how people actually hook up and get together,” he said in 2019.

“Lovely person but not at any point did it hint this would actually lead to…I think because of the lifestyle of work.

“If you are being controlled to the point your girlfriend’s being chosen for you you’re going to quit it. So I did.”

This week, Paul shocked fans by revealing his completely different hairstyle as he returned to social media after a year away.

Posting a snap with his long grey hair, he wrote: “Genie Hair #nofilter”

Back in his heyday, the singer rocked dark shaggy hair and changed his hairstyles over the years, but fans were loving his new look with his natural hair and beard.

Hannah Spearritt

Hannah Spearritt attends the St John Ambulance's Everyday Heroes awards
Hannah Spearritt attends the St John Ambulance’s Everyday Heroes awards

After leaving music behind, Hannah turned to a fabulous career in acting.

She had parts in the films Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London and horror movie Seed of Chucky.

But her biggest role came as Abby Maitland in ITV’s science-fiction series Primeval, playing the lead role for five series and winning praise from critics across the industry.

Hannah, who previously dated bandmate Paul for five years until they split in 2005, got together with Primeval co-star Andrew-Lee Potts in 2008, but they broke up in 2013.

After undergoing breast implants in 2013, Hannah suffered with chronic fatigue, memory loss and hair loss.

The former pop star had the implants removed in 2016 and made a slow return to health.

Hannah played Kandice in EastEnders
Hannah played Kandice in EastEnders

As well as appearing in Casualty, Hannah landed the role of Kandice Taylor – the younger sister of established character Karen Taylor – in EastEnders in 2017.

The singer started dating partner Adam Thomas in 2013, but they split in 2015 before getting back together in 2018.

Adam said they had been wanting a child but were worried Hannah’s past health problems could lead to complications and she suffered several miscarriages.

They were thrilled to welcome their first daughter Taya in December 2018.

After keeping her pregnancy a secret from the public, Hannah gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Tora in December last year.

Joe O’Meara

Jo had a reality TV scandal
Jo had a reality TV scandal

We all thought Jo would have a glittering singing career ahead of her as she often took the lead vocals when S Club 7 were together.

But the blonde beauty only released her first hit in September 2005 with debut hit What Hurts the Most, which reached number 13 in the UK Singles Chart.

She followed that with her album Relentless but it flopped and her solo career ground to a halt.

She joined Hollyoaks actor Chris Fountain in 2006 for Just the Two of Us, with the pair performing Never Had a Dream Come True, and then decided it was time to branch out into reality TV.

Jo appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2007 and was embroiled in the Shilpa Shetty ‘racist bullying’ scandal alongside Danielle Lloyd and Jade Goody.

“Oh my god,” came the reply from grinning Jo when she was told about the controversy her actions had caused.

Jo in CBB
Jo during her CBB spell

After watching a concerning video package, Jo claimed: “You’ve made it so much worse than it was.

“It does look very bad. Looking at it like that it looks terrible. It didn’t feel like that in there.

“I’m not a racist person at all. My cousin is married to an Indian man for one and my cousins are half Indian and their family is with me all the time.”

Jo expressed some dismay and questioned whether she had said things that were just shown to her on tape.

She continued: “I didn’t ever mean it in that way. I’m not a racist person at all. I know that I’m not. I didn’t even know I was doing it then, it wasn’t a personal attack on her.”

Since then, Jo formed S Club 3 with some of her former bandmates and gave birth to son Lenny in May 2008.

During the pandemic, Jo has been supporting British healthcare workers by singing their requested songs.

Jo s club
Jo has opened up on how she felt being compared to the other girls

This month, Jo said she could identify with Jesy Nelson following her dramatic exit from Little Mix because she also felt like the “ugly” one in her band.

Jo explained she felt like she was constantly compared to the other girls and would sit with a cushion on her stomach during TV interviews.

She told The Sun : “When I look back, I wasn’t that big really. But because I was standing next to three absolutely stunning girls, I was always ‘the ugly one that sang the songs’.

“It made me feel very insecure as a singer and as part of that group. I did have a hell of a lot of insecurities to overcome.

“Obviously there wasn’t social media back then. But the headlines would be ‘Fat Club 7’ and ‘Flab Club 7’ and it would be a photo of me.”

Jo, who has just relaunched her solo career with single Sweet Surrender, added: “I can totally relate to Jesy and how she feels because it’s a very real thing, body shaming. It’s a horrible thing to be on the receiving end of.”

Jon Lee

Jon has barely changed
Jon has barely changed

Loveable Jon kept his love of music alive after S Club split by going back to the theatre.

The blonde hunk has appeared in everything from Les Miserables to Jersey Boys, before releasing a debut solo album Fallen Angel in 2013.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly the chart topper he was used to with his S Club pals.

Jon has also appeared in Jersey Boys, Aladdin and played a patient diagnosed with motor neurone disease in Casualty in 2010.

That year, Jon explained that he is gay and had come out to his friends and family at a young age.

“It’s never needed to be a huge change that I’ve had to tell everyone about,” he told Gay Times Magazine.

In 2017 he performed in band Boys Allowed as part of Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief and the following year appeared on ITV’s Dinner Date.

Lee barely looks a day older than his S Club days, which he credits to a healthy lifestyle as a vegetarian, going to the gym and practising yoga.

Tina Barrett

Tina s club
Tina could have been part of another hit band

Tina was nearly a star in another incredibly successful band as she was in the original version of Mis-Teeq with Alesha Dixon and Sabrina Washington, but left to join S Club 7.

Once the band parted ways, Tina had her heart set on staying musical and most notably took on Rod Stewart hit Do Ya Think I’m Sexy with Natasha Bedingfield and Atomic Kitten’s Liz McClarnon.

The trio formed in the Girls of FHM but were slated for their cover.

Tina disappeared for a while before releasing her debut solo single Fire in 2012, and followed it with Make Me Dance and All Fired Up.

She also ventured into musical theatre, starring in Beauty and the Beast in 2013 and playing the Wicked With in The Wizard of Oz the following year.

Tina became part of S Club 3 with Jo and Bradley once Paul left – and they even flew out to Dubai to perform.

The singer gave birth to her son Roman in 2016 and is still making music, releasing her single Mwah Mwah in January 2020.

S Club 7 star Tina Barrett admits her 'world caved in' after Paul Cashmore split
S Club 7 star Tina Barrett admits her ‘world caved in’ after Paul Cashmore split

In March this year, Tina admitted her “whole world caved in” when she broke up with her ex Paul Cashmore.

The singer closed the doors forever on her six-year relationship with the Hunted star in 2019, with whom she shares her son Roman, and fought back tears while revisiting the painful break up.

Tina said it was “heartbreaking” but she revealed the exes did the best thing by going their separate ways when they did.

She told OK! magazine : “Walking away from our relationship was so hard, it felt like my whole world caved in.”

She added: “When you have a baby, you have the future mapped out – and then when that doesn’t happen, it’s like your whole world caves in.

“I had to decide whether to carry on when it’s not working or end it. Looking back, we did the right thing. The worst thing is clinging on to something when you know it’s not right. It’s heartbreaking.”

Bradley McIntosh

Bradley is doing very well for himself
Bradley is doing very well for himself

Keen to keep the band fever alive, Bradley clung on to his roots and formed a boyband after the split.

The supergroup, named Upper Street, formed on MTV’s Totally Boyband and included members from other disbanded groups such as 911, Steps and Another Level.

Unfortunately, like Jon, we all just missed S Club and it didn’t set the world on fire – with single The One only reaching number 35 in the UK charts.

Bradley has written and produced music for JLS and ex-Sugababe Mutya Buena, as well as performing across the UK and Australia with S Club 3 since 2008.

Away from the showbiz world, Brad is a hardworking entrepreneur runnings Citiboy Entertainment and is Director of a company called Yoghurt Media.

The singer and song writer is also dad to his three-year-old son.

Rachel Stevens

Rachel stevens
Rachel was a very popular member of the band

Arguably having the most success after the band split, Rachel was offered a six-figure solo record deal, before releasing hit song Sweet Dreams My LA Ex.

Rachel reached as high as number two and three in the UK charts with that smash hit, as well as More More More and Some Girls.

However, following a downhill slide after that with her next few songs, her solo career ended after the release of her second album in 2005.

Rachel has still been on our screen, finishing second in Strictly Come Dancing in 2008 and appearing as a guest mentor on The X Factor in New Zealand in 2013.

The singer showed off her cooking skills on Celebrity Masterchef in 2017 and appeared on Celebrity Mastermind that year.

In 2019, Rachel joined the cast of theatre show Rip It Up The 70s alongside Louis Smith, Melody Thornton and Lee Ryan.

Away from the showbiz world, Rachel married Alex Bourne in 2009 and they have two daughters.

Rachel Stevens has spoken openly about her time in the band
Rachel Stevens has spoken openly about her time in the band

Earlier this year, Rachel spoke candidly about how her mental health after finding fame with the band.

She explained that she first started seeing a therapist at around the age of 19 while growing up in the public eye.

“In a band like S Club we were marketed at a very young audience and it was very shiny and happy and everyone saw the sort of finished polished product and we were very packaged,” she said on Loose Women.

“Underneath all of that I had a lot of my stuff going on and my emotions and my things that were going on.

“As soon as the camera’s on and [you’re] going on and singing [hit single] Reach, putting a smile on and putting a show on… but there’s a lot obviously going on behind the scenes.”

She added: “It’s such a weird thing growing up in an industry where you see pictures of yourself all of the time… constantly seeing images of yourself which I think is really unhealthy.

“I went into S Club feeling quite insecure, not really knowing who I was and growing up publicly. I think all of that stuff plays into everything, really.”

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