With a reality show about to air on the E! TV channel, we’ll be seeing a lot more of The Saturdays in the coming weeks. Just don’t expect Kardashian-style catfights and conflicts, they tell Jane Gordon.
There is something special about The Saturdays. The five girls – Vanessa, Mollie, Una, Frankie and Rochelle – possess that rare quality that enables a girl band to survive in the music industry longer than the average group. Five years after they were put together by their record company Polydor, The Saturdays are not only still going, they are going global this year in a reality show on E! – Chasing The Saturdays – that follows the girls as they invade the States and record their new album in Hollywood, and is being hailed as ‘the new Kardashians’.
‘At the point at which everyone thought we would go quiet, we’re coming back louder than ever!’ says Frankie, 24 (the one with the short, dark hair who has been dating footballer Wayne Bridge for two years).
‘But we aren’t the new Kardashians – we’re nothing like them. We love their show, but what do they do? We’ve performed professionally for years. People used to call us “the new Girls Aloud”, and we have worked with them and they are lovely, but if we are the new anything then “the new Spice Girls” gets us more excited,’ adds Rochelle, 23 (the tallest one who is married to Marvin Humes of boy band JLS).
It is obvious to me, after ten minutes in their company, that the quality that makes The Saturdays the perfect choice for the American cable channel – and the same quality that explains their longevity as a girl band – isn’t their talent for singing in harmony, but their talent for talking (often hilariously) in harmony. At the end of a day that started at 8.30am, the girls seem unfazed by following up their photo shoot with an interview. Which is impressive when Una, 31 (the red-haired Irish one married to rugby international Ben Foden), has had her ten-month old baby Aoife (pronounced ee-fa) with her all day (without a nanny) and Rochelle is expecting her first child with husband Marvin in June.
When Una announced her pregnancy the other girls were worried that it might signal the end of The Saturdays. But quite the opposite happened, and it cemented the family feeling they already had.
‘I was determined not to let the girls down, and luckily when we went on tour I was six months pregnant; the time when you get a burst of energy. So it was fine – six months gone, dancing and high kicking on tour,’ Una says with a grin.
‘Una was wicked during that tour. We never heard her complain once,’ Rochelle says.
‘Well then, the pressure is really on for you now Rochelle, isn’t it?’ Mollie, 25 (the blonde nicknamed ‘Barbie’ by the band),
adds and everyone laughs, especially Rochelle.
‘We take the mickey out of each other all the time. That’s our relationship. We give Mollie a terrible time when we see her talking to the mirror, saying, “Hello! My name is Mollie, nice to meet you!”’ says Vanessa, 23 (the smallest one who is the youngest by a few months).
‘Prince Harry was out of my league. We met a couple of times, but he was just a friend’ Mollie
‘Well, there’s no point standing still in front of a mirror, because you don’t know what you look like in motion. So I walk and talk a bit,’ Mollie says with a giggle.
The banter between the girls is like that between sisters. ‘It really is like being sisters; we can’t fool each other. We’re aware of the tiniest changes,’ says Mollie.
‘Yes, we know everything about each other – like Rochelle loves sushi. At lunch one day, we ordered sushi for her because that’s what she always has. But when she turned up and they brought her order, she said, “Actually, I don’t like sushi any more.” And that was the giveaway that she was pregnant,’ Frankie says.
Like family, too, if any member of the band seems to have a problem the others will have ‘the sisterly chat’ with them. They gave Una a ‘sisterly chat’ about how thin she had become after giving birth (she is now back to normal) and they all keep a watchful eye out for signs that Vanessa (the cutest and curviest of the band) might be dieting. But they all admit they feel pressure – and more so now with the E! show – to look perfect in pictures.
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