Fans of hit ITV series The Big Reunion will know that the show exploded onto our screens at the beginning of this year, and was such a hit with viewers that the decision was made to send the featured groups on a tour which subsequently sold out some of the biggest venues in the country…
Now, the show’s headed back to ITV, with a brand new set of pop stars, all of whom are hoping to relive the music biz dream.
From BRIT Awards to brawls, to arrests, platinum discs to debts, all of the acts who’ll reform for the new series at one time dominated the UK pop scenes in the mid nineties, and all sold millions of singles and album.
Collectively, they achieved 57 top ten hits and nine No 1’s, so starring on The Big Reunion is, for some, another chance at success, while for others, it may reopen old wounds as they prepare to face demons they thought they’d buried forever.
So who are these bands? Let’s take a look…
Eternal: Singers Easther Bennett, Vernette Bennett, Kelle Bryan
Easther said, “It’s like going through a divorce. Sometimes you speak to your partners, sometimes you don’t.”
The series will reveal what happens when the dream goes wrong, and will follow Eternal – the first girl group to have an album sell over one million copies in the UK – as they try to work through the issues that caused the group to be dogged by rumours of in-band spats in the nineties.
Talking about former band mate Kelli and their subsequent split, Vernette Bennett said, “We have a band member who doesn’t want to be there.
“What do you do with that?”
Kelli added, “We never communicated. It festered into something very ugly.”
A1: Singers Ben Adams, Christian Ingebrigtsen, Mark Read
Christian said, “I really wanted to jump from that balcony, I’d hit rock bottom”
The nineties pop band sold out arenas around the world and won Best British Newcomer at the BRIT Awards, but they struggled to come to terms with a tragic accident where four fans were fatally crushed at a signing. It was this that eventually caused the band to split.
Damage: Singers Jade Jones, Andrez Harriott, Rahsaan J Bromfield, Noel Simpson, Coree Richards
Management fallouts and crippling debt resulted in a bitter break up for this R&B group, of which Jade confessed, “Lots of things were swept under the carpet.”
Andrez added, “Drugs came in, that’s when it went wrong.”
Rahsaan said, “You could see the punches being thrown left right and centre. (I said to the band) Don’t call me I don’t want anything to do with you again.”
3T: Singers Taj, TJ, Tayll Jackson
Taj said, “We have to work double hard to prove that we’re talented in our own right.”
Born into music royalty, the Jacksons 3T should have reached stratospheric heights, instead the brothers’ careers went down a rocky path as they were continually caught up in the controversy that dogged their family members.
The band regularly moved labels as the music industry distanced themselves from the notorious Jackson family, and in Big Reunion, we’ll take a look below the surface and reveals insights into how ruthless the music industry can be.
Girl Thing were promised a career as big as the Spice Girls, but after having the Eifel Tower hired out for their launch as part of a million pound promotional campaign, Simon Cowell has since said the band was his biggest mistake.
After their first single failed to reach the top spot, things began to quickly unravel for the band. Their third single Pure and Simple was taken from them and given to Hear’Say. Going on to be the fastest selling single in the UK.
The band claim to have co-written it and that their backing vocals are still on the record. Anika Bostekaar said, “Everything around us was a rip off of the Spice Girls.”
Linzi Nartin adds, “There was rows, catfights, the lot.” Whilst Jodi Albert confesses, “This reunion for Girl Thing could be wonderful or it could be a nightmare.”
The Big Reunion 2014 will reveal their unique story, with the concert potentially offering them the chance they never quite had the first time around.
Finally, in a new twist, series two is set to see a brand new super-group formed from solo artists Gareth Gates, Adam Rickitt and Kavana, along with Another Level’s Dane Bowers and Blazin’ Squad’s Kenzie.
For some, it will be their first experience of being in a pop band, while for others, it’s an opportunity to try a completely different style of music.
The series will follow the band, who are called 5th Story, as they adjust to being part of a completely new ensemble; each offering revealing insights into the difficulties that fame threw at them – will this be the start of something special, or will new inter-band rivalries flare up before they’ve even begun?
Revelations include Adam Rickitt’s candid memories of his depression and bulimia, saying: “I used to make myself sick up to 20 times a day.”
Gareth Gates talks about his relationship with Jordan and reveals his biggest regret, “This picture was painted of this angelic choir boy, I don’t quite live up to that.”
Dane Bowers reveals how his life was affected by allegations of sexual assault, Kavana reveals how drugs affected his career and how he currently lives out of a suitcase, “I would go for it, it would go into (drug) binges and it wasn’t pretty.”
And finally, Kenzie reveals that after being number one in the charts on Sunday, he was back in school on the Monday.
Here’s a reminder of last year’s show…