Wednesday, October 22, 2003

TALKING OF KITTENS: As they watch The Sugababes effortlessly overtake them, and head off into the distance, Atomic Kitten do a webchat for the Sun. Watch as Jenny, um, visibly relaxes during the course of the chattering:

Tash – The Spice Girls and The Supremes are the only other girl bands who've actually had the No1 single and album at the same time so we went down in history there.

Gone down in history like those other famous thirds, like the third person to swim the channel and the third person to reach the South Pole…

It's such a great achievement to come from being the band that people didn't have any faith in to being one of the country's biggest exports.

Really? Are we exporting more Atomic Kitten singles than we are steel? Doubtless George Bush will be looking at bringing in some sort of quota.

Liz – Everyone back in Liverpool is so proud of us. Anywhere else in Britain people walk up to you and say "can I have your autograph?" But when you're walking down the street in Liverpool people you don't know shout out, "alright Liz, nice one girl" and give you the thumbs up.

Clearly, things have changed in the last six weeks since we left Liverpool. Back when we moved away, people would certainly shout at the band, but not "nice one girl." And we're not sure its thumbs that would be stuck up there.

Tash – Why did you have a boob job I thought you looked great before? Dennis, Fulham
Tash - I had the boob job because I personally felt like I wanted it and it makes me feel a lot better.

Well, that's cleared that up then. Um… better than what?

Tash - I'm very proud of them, but not in the way that I'm going to be going out with my bra off and flashing them to the world.
Jenny - We have fun on the tour bus. When you have a boob job you've got to massage them you see - so we take turns!
Tash - And my boyfriend is very happy.

Yes. Well done for being proud of having fake breasts. You want to try getting a false leg next; you'll be simply swelling up with your sense of achievement. Mind you, if we were Tash's boyfriend, we'd be delighted that Jenny was massaging her plastic bags for her - it would free us up time to get on with scrubbing ourselves with carbolic soap…

What's it like being sex symbols and are you as sexy in private as you are in public? Dave, Newcastle
Tash – Of course!

Since they're about as sexy as the huddle outside a Scunthorpe comp at Home Time, we certainly believe this one. Interestingly, the band don't answer the bit about being sex symbols, presumably because they elected to stick to subjects they might know something about.

How is baby Josh doing? What effect has he had on the group and does he like your music? Emma, Kent
Tash – Josh loves any sort of music. He even dances to TV jingles.
Liz – He was getting down to Pink the other day in the car and even danced to the EastEnders theme tune.
Tash – His favourite Atomic Kitten song is our new single If You Come To Me, which is out next month. It's going to be the first single from the album.

So, having established that the baby will dance to any old shit at all, they then suggest that we should buy their single on his say-so.

Hi Tash – I heard you're dating one of your backing dancers, Gavin. What's he like and how did you guys get together? Is it true you asked your ex-boyfriend – and Josh's father - Fran's permission? Michael, Leeds
Tash – Gav is gorgeous and we've been going out about seven months now. We work together which is a bonus, and that's how we met. Everything is going really well.
It's so not true that I got Fran's permission.
Jenny – What woman in their right mind would ask her ex for permission to date her next boyfriend?
Tash – Of course me and Fran had only just split up so I did tell him but that's as far as it went – I TOLD him.
Liz – And Tash has definitely got it right with Gav, you need a boyfriend who can dance. Someone with a bit of rhythm.

Oooh… that's your girl power right there, then. We wonder why you'd need to tell - or TELL - someone anyway because "you'd just split up"? We suspect the chronology went something like:
- eye the dancing bloke in his tights
- decide going to date dancing bloke
- announce to Fran you've split up
- announce to Fran you're dating Gav before he has a chance to say "let's give it another go…"
And while we wouldn't want to stereotype any career choice, we're now understanding why Tash has to get the rest of the band to do the breast business…

Tash – Do you still speak to Fran and what do you think about him seeing Jodie Marsh? Lee, Brighton
Tash – I don't really see Fran that much and what he does with his life is his choice.

… and now we start to see why having bigger tits makes her "feel better." Doubtless if it had been Fran who had run off with Gav, Tash would now be making herself feel better by buying a large strap on.

Hey girls. My question is for Jenny. When are you and Dom getting married? Anastasia Matveeva
Jenny – Our plans are no further along, I have no idea when the wedding is going to be. There's no rush - we've been together for four years now and engaged for two of those – we're very happy as we are.

And, indeed, what's the point of booking a church for the summer after next when you don't know who's going to be your backing dancers between then and now?

Liz. Now that you're single again how can I win you over? Richard, Docklands
Tash – Send her a cheque for £1million.

… and he said "we've already estalished what you are; now we're just haggling about price."

Kittens – I need your help. I've just started seeing a gorgeous girl and need a big romantic gesture to win her over. What do you suggest and what have men done to win your hearts? Alex, Reading

Some of these questions, we suspect, may have been prepared by journalists.

Liz – Have a nice romantic evening in. Cook for her, put candles around and have some nice music. You don't have to spend lots of money to make a big gesture.
Jenny – Put clues round the house so when she opens the door she sees rose petals and little clues saying "walk this way" and just be sat there with a great meal.
Tash – But don't set the table and then you can get jiggy on it afterwards.
Liz – I've had a lot of romantic things done for me, but I think the ones that mean the most are when someone tells you that you're beautiful and you can tell they really mean it.

Awww… bless their sweet little hearts. And there was you thinking they'd just suggest you never make her chop her own line out.

I love the song that Kylie wrote for you. What was she like to work with and how do you think she compares to Atomic Kitten? Dan, Manchester
Liz – We didn't actually get to work with her in person because she was on her Australian tour.
Tash – She demoed the track for us so we had to learn it with Kylie singing, which was just wicked. We loved the song so much that we actually ended up using it as the title track for our last album. When we saw Kylie after the album had been out for a little while she was just so overwhelmed and said that it was a pleasure to write a song for us. And who knows, hopefully we might be able to write a song together in the future. Kylie's just the ultimate pop star, she's like Madonna in that she always re-invents herself, but we love Dannii as well.
Jenny – Neon Nights is a fantastic album and whenever we do a concert and Dannii is playing we all have a boogie and try and copy her dance routines.

Why the sudden sucking up to Dannii at the end of that response? Curious, isn't it? What we do love, though, is the idea that Kylie sat down at a big desk with her thinking head on saying "Today I'll write a song for Atomic Kitten." What probably really happened was Kylie wrote a song, played it to her people who - after they'd stopped laughing - said "Well, you might be able to offload it onto a band who aren't that fussy any more." And Girls Aloud were too busy getting stories straight to use it.

If you could be any other pop babe for a day who would you choose? Robbie, Glasgow
Jenny – I'd be Dannii and just snog myself all day!

Right, so Jenny would want to snog herself - that makes sense, because it's so much easier to wait until you turn into someone else and then try to make your lips fold over each other. Jenny… is there something you're trying to tell us?

I read a fantastic story about you giving your profits from the milk ads you will be appearing in to a young cancer sufferer. Can you tell me more about it?
Jennifer, Hartlepool
Jenny – There's a little girl called Robyn Brooks who is having treatment at the moment in America. She's got neuroblastoma - a rare form of cancer which affects about 80 kids in the UK each year – and this country refuses to pay for her treatment.
Even though Tony Blair said about six months ago that any treatment not available in this country would be paid for, he's still not honoured that.
Liz – So Robyn's family have to raise the money themselves and it costs an absolute fortune.
Jenny – So far the family are in around £500,000 worth of debt. And sadly Robyn has just had a relapse, but she started a new course of treatment yesterday and is in good spirits.
You can check out her website at and it would really help if people can raise awareness or give any donation, however small.
Tash – If every person who reads The Sun Online donated £1 that would cover the rest of her treatment.

Oooh, a little bit of politics there - for just a second, there was a glimmer of Atomic Kitten taking on the government. Seriously, things must be bad for Blair when even a bunch of uber-drilled offence-avoiders forget to smile and say 'great.' This actually makes Atomic Kitten more radical than Bono, if you think about it.

What was it like meeting Prince Charles and did he see your raunchy performance at this year's Party In The Park? Will, Norwich
Liz – Prince Charles is lovely.
Tash – I'm sure he saw our performance.
Jenny – I've heard he's got it on video and watches it when Camilla is away.

Having slobbered over Dannii and slagged off Blair, now Jenny is slapping down the heir to the throne and his shag partner. I mean, seriously, we know that even if Charles had been around for the Atomic Kitten set, he'd have astrally projected himself to some happier place in his mind's eye - like the third chamber of hell or the courtyard of the new British Library building, but even so… we can't help but notice that Jenny is starting to forget she's meant to be in a girl band…

What's the most bizarre – or embarrassing – position you've found yourselves in since becoming famous? Andy, North London
Jenny – The most bizarre one is private! What sort of thing do you mean?

Um… which part of the question does she not quite grasp?

Hey girls. I can't wait to hear your new album, what's it like?
Leanne Bellamy
Jenny – Our new album is bigger and better than the last one. But we've not moved too far away from we've done before, it's the same style of eclectic pop with some R&B and ballads.
Tash – There are 15 tracks on there so there's plenty of value for money this time.

Interesting that the claim that the album is 'bigger and better' is suddenly thought to make it sound like she's suggesting they've tried something different - "it's still actually pretty small and shit, though." And nice obsession with what Jimmy Young used to call VFM - you can take the girls out of Argos, but you can't take the Argos out of the girls…

Have you written any of your new songs yourselves, and if so which ones are most personal to you? Joanne, Belfast

Joanne clearly taking the piss. She should have asked "and what were the words you changed to qualify for the credits?

What's your favourite biscuit and chocolate bar? Kitty, Wigan
Jenny – My favourite chocolate bars are Curly Wurlys, Whole Nut, anything with strawberry in the middle and Kit Kats with cheese wrapped around them. I like chocolate Hob Nob biscuits.
Tash – I love those pink wafers you used to get in selection tins and cookies. My favourite chocolate is Galaxy.
Liz – My faves are Galaxy, Rich Tea and caramel digestives.
Jenny – But all chocolate has to be kept in the fridge.
Tash – I've got a good tip. You know you have those polystyrene bottle carriers for babies that keep the bottle at the temperature you put it in at? Well buy a few of them and stick your chocolate in that, it won't get warmer or go dead cold. They're only £1.

Kit Kats with cheese wrapped around them? Oh Jesus. This webchat apparently sponsored by the good people at Poundland.

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