It touches all of us, eventually, in one shape or form, announces Geri Halliwell. You always think it's going to happen to someone else, but it's like the lottery - it could be you, or someone close to you. She pauses. Only the odds are a lot shorter.
Geri is talking about cancer in general, and breast cancer in particular. As a patron - along with Cherie Blair - of the Breast Cancer Care charity, she'll be spearheading Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a keynote address at a fundraising fashion show at the Dorchester Hotel in London on October 2.
Geri has found herself as part of that lottery: her aunt had a mastectomy, and she herself found a lump in her breast when she was 18, which turned out to be benign. 
All of which helps to explain why she's here today when it seems she'd rather not be. Geri seems tired, proffering the limpest of handshakes and looking distracted behind her Gucci shades. Her publicist says she's exhausted, and she had also attended a funeral the previous day. However, breast cancer is a subject Geri feels passionately about, and she takes each question as an opportunity to extemporise freely. 
I get approached to do a lot of charities, says Geri, but this felt very apt, not only because I've always been very female-friendly but because I've retained that Spice Girls manifesto about looking after yourself as a girl, which covers everything from health to self-esteem.
To read Geri Halliwell's most intimate interview ever as she launches a celebrity breast cancer campaign, see this week's HELLO! magazine, on sale now.


LONDON (Reuters) - For British soldiers in the Oman desert, it's no contest -- soccer beats pop, even if it's a former Spice Girl. Geri Halliwell was to give a morale-boosting concert to 10,000 troops in Oman for a giant military exercise next month. Then organisers realised that the concert clashed with England's crucial World Cup qualifier against Greece on October 6. Now a giant television screen is being erected at their Camp South base. "The show is to be delayed two hours so the lads can watch the football," a defence spokesman said on Thursday.

26.09.01 GERI HEADS FOR MIDDLE EAST From People News

Military show goes on for Steps and Geri
Geri Halliwell and Steps are to go ahead with a planned gig in the Middle East, despite the mounting threat of serious fireworks there. The show was planned months ago as light relief for soldiers who were on long-planned war practices in Oman (as reported by Popbites, of course). Despite the threat of conflict, the show must go on. Steps's spokesman said: 'The band desperately want to do it, despite what happened in America. The MOD told us there are fears that it will be dangerous now, but Steps told them they still wanted to do the concerts.' The spokesman added, 'The same, I am sure, is true for Geri.'.


GERI HALLIWELL was just tu-tu hot to handle as she wowed the 10,000 strong crowd at an awards ceremony last night. Her backing dancers almost dropped her as she gave a raunchy performance of Raining Men at the Disney Channel kids' awards at the London Arena. She seemed a million miles away from worries over her safety when she flies out to give a concert for troops in the Gulf next month. The SAS have promised to protect her and STEPS at their gig in Oman on October 6. Squadrons of RSF planes will patrol the skies. Nuclear subs, tanks and half a dozen battalions will be on standby nearby. Geri and Steps have decided to go ahead with the concert despite security experts warning that the region is a prime target for terrorists 500 miles away in Afghanistan. There are fears that fundamentalists might try to kidnap them. An MI5 officer said: "I admire the stars for not cancelling but it's not the right thing to do. Any terrorist connected with Bin Laden would see an attack on this show as a moral victory.".


One-time couple Geri Halliwell and Chris Evans have pulled off a dubious honour by being named the showbiz world's least sexy stars.
And Evans, was also named villain of the year in a readers poll by Star: The Celebrity Magazine.
Halliwell and Evans had a short fling in 1999, widely dismissed as a publicity stunt to help the singer win a chart battle against her former Spice Girls colleague Emma Bunton.
Evans pipped runner-up Robbie Williams and third placed David Beckham to the title of least sexy male star, although Williams had the consolation of landing the number three slot in the sexiest male category with Beckham ninth.
Evans's teenage wife Billie Piper also faced the wrath of readers by landing third place in both the least stylish woman list - Christina Aguilera was first - and least sexy female category.
Deputy editor of Star, Peter Hart, said: "We all like celebrities to have an element of mystery. When you know every minute detail of their lives from how many snogs they have on holiday to how much cash they earned this week it's clear why they have become stale and boring.".

21.09.01 GERI GOES G-A-Y From Worldpop

Geri Halliwell is to perform at London's G-A-Y club on 27 October.
The former Spice Girl's show will coincide with the release of her new single Calling and is expected to draw a huge crowd. The first time Geri performed solo at G-A-Y George Michael was in the audience and fans are already speculating about whether her new best mate Robbie Williams will be cheering her on at her forthcoming performance. 
Geri Halliwell has spent the last couple of months concentrating on European promotion. Despite a relatively low chart position for her last UK single Scream If You Wanna Go Faster, she has scored No 1s all over Europe with It's Raining Men. Last week Geri was celebrating the rare event of a UK act going to No 1 in France when It's Raining Men hit the top spot.
You can watch last weekend's G-A-Y show from Victoria Beckham HERE. Look out for exclusive footage from Liberty's G-A-Y show on worldpop next week..

14.09.01 GERI LANDS A POLO MAN From The Sun

GERI HALLIWELL wraps up warm for another hot date with her millionaire coffee mate Bobby Hashemi, 37. For the second week in a row Geri watched "close friend" Bobby, a former New York banker, play polo for his team Java at posh Cowdray Park in West Sussex. In Bobby, 10m Geri has found an eligible man with a bigger fortune. He co-founded 47m chain Coffee Republic - a polo man who's made a mint..


Geri Halliwell is planning to spend 10 million on a new home. The slimmer spice hasn't returned to her Notting Hill pad since it was burgled six months ago and has been living out of designer suitcases in the Lanesborough Hotel. She now has her eyes on a mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens, just around the corner from Kensington Palace itself. She has visited the house four times and told the Iranian owners, 'I want to live here'. Her publicist, Jonathan Hackford, has confirmed that the 28-year-old is searching, but insists that 'nothing is definite'..


SPICE Girls Geri Halliwell and Emma Bunton will reunite on stage in Melbourne in November.
Halliwell and Bunton are spearheading the Rumba festival, a million-dollar pop equivalent of the Big Day Out, which takes over Colonial Stadium on Saturday, November 17. 
Also performing will be chart-topper Shaggy, whose singles It Wasn't Me and Angel have sold half a million copies in Australia alone this year, and 20-year-old British star Craig David, behind hits such as 7 Days, Fill Me In and Walking Away. 
"I'm really excited, I can't wait to get out there and see my fans," Bunton said last night. 
"The Spice Girls came to Australia once but it was very quick and we didn't tour, so I'm looking forward to it." 
Bunton said there was no bad blood between herself and former band mate Halliwell. 
"We've seen each other a bit recently and everything's cool," she said. 
"My understanding is most of the acts will be playing with a live band or performing to a backing tape but singing live," organiser Sean Pickwell said yesterday. 
"It's going to be one of the biggest stages ever built in Australia..


Britain's First Lady Cherie Booth and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell have launched the nation's breast cancer awareness month.
The wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair and the pop princess were joining forces as patrons of the charity Breast Cancer Care.
The singer endured her own breast cancer scare when she was 18 and donated the royalties from her autobiography, If Only, to the charity.
Ms Booth watched her aunt and one of her best friends die from the disease and has been a patron of Breast Cancer Care since 1997.
The pair have told of the "devastating effect" breast cancer can have on individuals and their families.
In a joint statement, they said: "Both of us know from personal experience that a diagnosis of breast cancer can have widespread and distressing consequences for the lives of patients and their loved ones.
"Studies show that women who have access to psychological support will experience an improved quality of life, have fewer symptoms and side-effects from treatment.
"We are both proud to be launching the awareness month which will help highlight the support that Breast Cancer Care provides as well as raise funds to ensure this vital help can continue."
The awareness month, beginning today, aims to highlight the issue of breast cancer, the free support services available and raise funds.
Breast Cancer Care's charity ambassadors - newsreader Kirsty Young, TV presenter Anthea Turner and EastEnders actress Barbara Windsor - were also attending the London launch.
Former 911 lead singer Lee Brennan was also doing his bit by launching a drive to raise funds for the Cancer Research Campaign.
The 27-year-old was chatting about his own experience of Hodgkin's Disease, which he overcame twice during childhood.
The start of breast cancer awareness month comes as the British government prepares to announce its record on waiting times for cancer referral.
More than 35,000 women are diagnosed every year with breast cancer in the United Kingdom and 1,000 die every month from the disease.
Events for the awareness month start this week with a fashion show on October 2 and pink ribbons will be sold in shops across the country.


Tomorrow, another Festival announcement is to be made for what has been dubbed Rumba. Put on by the Austereo Network and based on the radio festivals that do the rounds of America, the line-up for Rumba will include Shaggy, Geri Halliwell, Baby Spice, Kylie, Blue and Ricky Martin. Local acts Lash and Joanne are also on the bill. 5ive may also be on the bill but for the Sydney show only. In Melbourne Kylie will take their place. She will only play Melbourne. Rumba will be held in November with two shows, one for Sydney and one for Melbourne.

05.09.01 LONELY GERI? LOOK AT ME... From Sunday Mirror

YOGA-loving Geri Halliwell is desperate to meet a new man, I can reveal. 
Geri has laughed off reports that she's dating again after being spotted shopping with a mystery fella during the week. 
But her publicist said: "She's single. She'd love nothing better than to have a new man in her life but she hasn't found one yet." 
My email's at the top of the page, Geri..

05.09.01 "GERI WOULDN'T BE WHERE SHE IS WITHOUT THE SPICE GIRLS" From Learning to Fly. Victoria's book. Thanks to Christian E.

"I remember seeing her on the Parkinson TV show without make-up, looking really dull and boring, saying how Ginger Spice was no more. And I thought: 'You might fool Parkinson, but you can't fool me. I know what you're going to do.' So her first single came out and it's Goodbye Miss UN-Nice-As-Pie. Instead it's Geri the Vamp, with those hideous long hair extensions - I don't know what she thought she was doing, but it was vile. Bad-taste Geri was back. In the video for the single there was a big car with a wreath on it that said 'Ginger'. The Spice Girls have a lot of young fans, and I thought that was just not right. Now Geri tries to dismiss everything that she's done in the past. She likes to forget there was ever a Ginger Spice. Yet, at the end of the day, we all know we wouldn't be where we are if it wasn't for the Spice Girls. And for Geri to pretend otherwise is just arrogance".


GERI Halliwell's new single has been put back until November because record bosses fear we're bored with her. Geri hoped to release the ballad Calling in September despite the flop of her album, Scream If You Wanna Go Faster, which has already dropped out of the Top 50. 
Now EMI are pinning their hopes on a Christmas hit to boost the album' s sales.


AFP - Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham admitted for the first time she suffered from an eating disorder - and blamed it on her former band member Geri Halliwell.
Posh Spice had always denied suffering from anorexia after her weight plummeted following the birth of her child.
But now, she admitted that dieting became "an obsession" in the early days of the Spice Girls while the five lived together in a house outside London, and were told to lose weight.
It was Geri, who now has a successful solo career since leaving the band, who encouraged Victoria and Sporty Spice Melanie Chisholm to get up early and go running as they tried to shed the pounds.
But when she introduced Victoria to milkshakes to help curb her appetite, Posh changed from someone who needed to lose some weight into an "obsessive". 


Has Geri Halliwell got a new bloke? The once-ginger singer has been spotted around town with a chap called Bobby Hashemi, the founder of the Coffee Republic chain and rumoured to be worth somewhere in the region of 40 million. Bobby's sister apparently attends the same yoga classes as Geri, and both families share a passion for riding. The 37-year-old investment banker owns several polo ponies and he and Geri are said to have been out riding together on a number of occasions. The pair have also enjoyed numerous dates in London. Said a well-placed source: 'Everybody knows that Geri likes to play the field, but maybe this could be the real thing. It's still early days, but who knows?'. 


British pop singer Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham has admitted for the first time that she suffered from an eating disorder. Beckham, who is married to England soccer star David Beckham, says in her upcoming autobiography that the problem began in the early days of the Spice Girls after she was advised to lose a few pounds. She blames former bandmate Geri Halliwell, who has admitted she suffered from eating disorders, for her subsequent obsession with food. "Geri knew that (fellow Spice Girl) Mel C and I had been told we could both do with losing a couple of pounds so she started encouraging us to get up early and go jogging," she reveals in extracts from the book published in British newspaper the Mail on Sunday. "Then it moved on to food. Geri would say things such as don't put sauces on food, that low-fat things were just as good and that I could try not eating so much.". She says she became obsessed with her appearance and kept checking the size of her bottom in mirrors, but it was only when the band stopped sharing a house that her dieting became completely obsessive. "I began living on vegetables and nothing else," she said. "I used to chop up bowls of spinach and carrots and mangetout and steam them. Or I'd just eat peas -- a whole family pack of Birds Eye at one sitting.". She said when the band toured Japan she couldn't find the vegetables she liked -- just "weird slimy mushrooms" -- so she stopped eating altogether and was pleased to see the weight just drop off. Beckham began forcing herself to eat a balanced diet only when she fell pregnant. Soon after the birth of son Brooklyn she again lost a lot of weight, which she blames on food allergies and a blood sugar problem..