Jayne Dawson: It’s Geraldine to you, mate says former Ginger Spice

Geri Halliwell. PIC: PA
Geri Halliwell. PIC: PA
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Well then. Can you hear that sound? It’s metal on metal, the teeth-jarring giveaway that knives are being sharpened.

And this time they are being made ready for Geri Halliwell.

Yes, that Geri Halliwell. The former Spice Girl, the ginger one, the gobby one, the one who could neither sing nor dance.

When Geri did the moves on stage, in front of thousands, you could practically see her lips moving as she counted each tricky, limb-confusing step.

I know. I was there. At the arena, watching her fierce concentration on the big screen. With my ten-year-old daughter, you understand. The Spice Girls were way too late for me.

Anyway, good for her. The lack of talent made no difference. It just proved that you couldn’t hold an ambitious council- estate girl down.

Geri struck her wobbly poses and made a mint. Go Geri, I said. She was a self-declared wannabe, desperate for fame and fortune, and she got there.

But now she’s under attack because it turns out Geri’s done a terrible thing. You might have to sit down for this one because she’s … only gone and grown up. Talk about betraying the fans.

At the age of 44, the married mother-of-two has changed. What is she thinking? For starters, she is asking people to call her Geraldine. Not too outrageous you might think, as it’s her given birth name, but you would be wrong.

Apparently it’s a sign that the party girl is going all snobby. That and the fact she is married to wealthy motorsports boss Christian Horner and lives in a massive pile of a house.

Geri’s publicity shots these days don’t feature her patting the bottom of the hapless heir to the throne anymore. She has moved on from those days, even if Prince Charles is still cringing at the memory.

Now, she likes to be featured with objects that signal a country lifestyle. You know, dogs, horses Agas, buns, aprons, tractors, lakes, haybales, even the bloomin’ kids.

It’s led to a lot of sneering but maybe - big shock - this isn’t Geri aping her betters, maybe this is just the new, middle-aged version of a former pop star.

She’s had money for a long time, but now she chooses not to spend it on handbag dogs and designer bikinis.

Because, as it turns out, science is now on Geri’s side. The Edinburgh Project has been published which says that, contrary to what most of us believe, our personalities change as much as our bodies as we stagger through life.

Just as a 60-year-old body is unrecognisable from the way it way it was aged 20, so is a personality.

We don’t just graft a bit of a veneer onto our essential, unchanging selves, we actually change, say researchers.

What they did was track down a group of people who had been put into personality types as children 63 years ago, and then reclassify them all over again. Most of them were dramatically different.

It’s just one study, others will disagree. But they’re the ones who would prefer the mid-life Geri to still be prancing about in a Union Jack dress barely covering her bum, and clomping round Waitrose with her kids in those ugly platform boot things she used to wear.

My daughter swore she would run away to London and buy herself a pair of those boots just the very second she was old enough and wear them for the rest of her life, since I refused to buy them for her. Guess what ? She didn’t. She changed too.

So I’m on Geri’s side. Sort of. Put down those knives, I say, the woman is allowed to change. We all do - and I have experts on my side when I say that.

Just a thought though. Geri’s - oh go on then Geraldine’s - transformation is not yet complete because, although she uses her full name now, she also puts snaps of heart-shaped balloons bearing that name on Instagram.

Not totally out of Spice girl world yet then.


I have a little tip for you, just a tiny something I have gathered up along the way.

If you want a quiet life, don’t do naked pictures. Honestly, just don’t.

I know some of you don’t need this advice. I’m thinking of people who, like me, were quite grown-up before the magic of central heating entered their lives.

You other people, you have no idea how much being permanently cold can alter a person’s view of all areas of life.

No-one of this era would ever be photographed without at least their socks on.

But the young ones, they’re always casting their clouts. And wishing they hadn’t when the results appear all over social media.

But celebrities are the worst for stepping out of their smalls. They seems to hardly ever have their clothes on in their real lives. Kate Moss is the latest to have had naked pictures taken from her and made available online. It is true we have all seen her nakedness before, but these pictures were meant to be private.

Apparently they were taken on the day of her wedding to Jamie Hince in 2011 (the marriage is now over).

Now I know that wedding photographers like to do their informal shots of the day, but I would say that including the butt naked aspects of the day is taking candid a bit far.

If you want to avoid similar embarrassment follow this simple rule: always keep your vest on.


Oh my. I don’t know what to think.

It could be great. It could mess with my memories.

A sequel is being made to the wonderful film that is Mary Poppins, and I am anxious.

The magic nanny means a lot to me. I spent my childhood curled up in a chair, bag of Mint Imperials stuffed down the side, reading her adventures.

I mean, I didn’t. Not my whole childhood. My teeth would have rotted right away. But it feels like I did.

And then when my own offspring were little, I watched the film with them. Far too many times. Oh, that chimney pot dance. Marvellous.

So now Emily Blunt is playing Mary, and Meryl Streep and Colin Firth will be in there too. It will be set in 1935, some 25 years after the original, and it will be clever, funny, slick and brilliant. Probably a 100 times better than the original. I have no doubt.

But it won’t be the same, so I’m worried.