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Girls to dine, minus Spice

London, Feb. 17 (Reuters): Posh, Baby, Scary, Sporty and Ginger are really, really going to meet up — but are the five going to become one again'

All the members of the nineties pop phenomenon, the Spice Girls — Victoria “Posh” Beckham, Mel “Sporty” Chisholm, Geri ”Ginger” Halliwell, Mel “Scary” Brown and Emma “Baby” Bunton — are set to meet up today for the first time since their acrimonious split five years ago.

British newspapers were rife with speculation that the reunion could be the start of a Spice revival, with some of the band’s members said to be keen on a “greatest hits” album and several one-off concerts after seeing their solo careers slump.

Beckham, who has had only limited success as a solo artist, is reported to have organised today’s get-together but her spokeswoman played down rumours that the former queens of British pop “wannabe” number one in the charts again.

“The girls are meeting up for a social dinner. But it’s not a ‘Spice’ meeting,” the spokeswoman said. “The Spice Girls aren’t getting back together and they’re not planning any concerts.”

Despite official rebuttals, newspapers quoted band insiders as saying a lucrative farewell tour could be on the cards in a few years’ time.

The darlings of the British pop industry sold about 40 million albums and 25 million singles worldwide, notching up nine number one singles in the UK charts alone, with hits such as Wannabe, Spice Up Your Life and Two Become One.

Their “Girl Power!” catchphrase struck a chord with young fans all over the globe, but the success story started to turn sour when Halliwell quit the band in 1998 amid reports of bitter squabbling.

“Monday will be the first time that all five have been in a room together since,” Beckham’s spokeswoman said.

After disappointing sales of their last album, Forever, in 2000, the four remaining band members decided to concentrate on their own careers.

Although Halliwell and Chisholm, who has pledged never to work with the group again, enjoyed solo successes, the careers of the other three stalled, provoking rumours that the band could reform for a lucrative reunion.

Industry experts said a greatest hits album and tour could be a money-spinner but the girls could also find their army of screaming young fans have grown up to be teenagers who might now cringe at their sight of their old favourites.

“Their fan base was very young. To them it would be excruciatingly uncool being reminded of what they listened to as kids,” a record label insider said.

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