Who can imagine a world where we didn’t have the sweet face of Emma Bunton in the Spice Girls line up?
It’s unfathomable and yet, according to an interview in Michael Cragg’s book Reach For The Stars: 1996–2006: Fame, Fallout and Pop’s Final Party, Emma Bunton almost didn’t become a pop star at-all.
When Emma Bunton joined the Spice Girls, the group was already formed as we know it now but with two differences: they were called “Touch” and instead of Emma Bunton, a singer called Michelle Stephenson was part of the original group.
Stephenson was let go and the group’s once manager Chris Herbert said in the book, “Michelle was a very good singer but she didn’t fit in. There were the other girls and then there was Michelle”.
So they needed to replace Stephenson and with the recommendation of her vocal coach, Emma Bunton became their new member and speaking about that time she said, “as soon as I met them we had an instant connection”.
Girl power, you could say.
The Royal Albert Hall was almost Albert Square for Baby Spice
So, what’s the big mystery? Where did Emma Bunton almost find herself?
Well, she almost played the role of the iconic, unforgettable Bianca Jackson in Eastenders! If that name doesn’t feel familiar to you, maybe this advertisement featuring her catchphrase “RICKYYYYY” will:
Yes, instead of the nation’s sweetheart Patsy Palmer playing the role of Bianca, we almost had another nation’s sweetheart belting out Ricky’s name on our screens three nights a week.
Bunton said, “I’d just missed out on playing Bianca in Eastenders. I was down to the last four. I was devastated. Not long after that, her singing teacher recommended she try out for Touch, soon to be the Spice Girls and the rest was history.
If any avid soap-watchers are gutted they didn’t get to see Bunton in Eastenders, she did have one scene way back in 1992 where she played a street mugger. Not quite the wholesome girl that joined our fave 90s girl group!