Born on April 17th, 1974, Victoria Caroline Adams had a comfortable upbringing in the family home she shared with parents Tony and Jackie, and younger siblings Louise and Christian. In the 60ies Tony Adams had a taste of showbiz when he was in a band called The Sonics. Today Tony is the director of a successful electrical distribution business. ‘Although my parents were comfortable – we always had holidays and a nice car- we weren’t rolling in it.’ Like many children, Victoria loathed her dad dropping her off at school. ‘My dad had two cars: a van for his business deliveries and another car which happened to be a Rolls-Royce. I remember Dad used to want to take us in the car, and almost every day I’d go, “No, Dad. Please take us with the van!” I couldn’t deal with the hassle I’d get when we arrived. There were days when I’d wish I came from a different family.’
The Adams are a close-knit family, and Victoria regards her mum Jackie and sister Louise-and David, of course – as her best friends. Jackie keeps all of Victoria’s press cuttings, and the walls in one of the rooms in her home are papered with magazine covers of Victoria and the Spice Girls.
Victoria’s sister Louise works as her PA, and when Victoria travels abroad, Louise and her little daughter, Liberty, travels with her and Brooklyn ‘because I love that sense of family’. But it wasn’t always this way. ‘There was a time when Louise and I didn’t get on. We never physically fought, but it really upset my mum and dad because we’d argue all the time over absolutely everything and we couldn’t bear the sight of each other’, Victoria remembers.
‘I think I must have been a kind of jealous, because Louise has loads of friends and boyfriends and was always very popular. At one point, I had hardly any friends at all, so I used to hang around with my sisters and her mates. It was probably really annoying for her to have me there all the time.
‘Louise had a boyfriend before I did. I was always to embarrassed to have a boyfriend. But I was a real Bros fan and had stars and stripes jeans like the ones they wore. I remember screaming and going mental at one of their concerts because I was convicted I was going to marry Matt Goss.
Victoria’s talent for drama manifested itself while she was a pupil at Goaff’s Poak Junior Middle Scholl, where she landed the leading role in The Pied Piper. ‘Victoria was always such a pleasant child, very pretty, not at all loud or pushy’, a teacher says. From there Victoria progressed to the local secondary school St Mary’s High in Cheshunt. ‘She was very conscientious, very quiet. Victoria didn’t really stand out as an amazingly dynamic person. In fact, she was quite a joy to teach- she pays attention and worked hard.’
But Victoria wasn’t so popular with her peers- while they were hanging around the street corners and smoking behind the bike sheds, she was pursuing other interests, namely dance and drama classes. ‘At school hates a lot of people in my class, purely because they hated me . Some of them used to wait for me outside the school gates and beat me up. I had to get teachers to walk me out in case I was attacked.’
‘I didn’t have a boyfriend at school. I was so busy going dance classes that I didn’t have time for them. No once fancied me, anyway. I had crushes on loads of people, but none of them was interested in me.’
‘After a while I started to think: “To hell with you, I’ll have my day” And after a while so many kids realised it wasn’t getting to me, they didn’t bother anymore.’
In drama lessons teachers and people often told her “You don’t look good”, “You’ll never make it”, “You are too fat!” It was because I didn’t have long legs, blonde hair and a natural acting ability. But there were others who encouraged me.
After that time Victoria joined the cast of a small-time touring musical company. Within a few months, however, in the summer of 1993, something happened which was to charge the course of her life forever. A couple of entrepreneurs, keen to create on all-girl band in the style of 80s trio Bananarama, advertised for ‘attractive dancers and singers’ to form a band. Five girls with the right combination of class and cultural background were finally selected. There was Emma Bunton, 18, a pigtailed blonde from north London and a graduate of the famous Sylvia Young Stage School; Geri Halliwell, 24, a former Turkish game show hostess and would-be glamour model from Watford. Melanie Chrisholm, a foot-ball loving, trainer-wearing Liverpudlian, the outspoken Melanie Brown, 20 with her pierced tongue and combat trousers, and finally the brunette, designer label-wearing ‘posh kid’, Victoria Adams.
The band , who were originally called Touch lived together in Maidenhead in a house so small that Victoria had to share a room with Emma and Geri had to sleep in a cupboard. ‘It was a fun time, but also difficult. We did have problems and arguments and I guess, to begin with, I did think, “I come from a slightly different background from the others”, but that quickly evaporated’, says Victoria, who was by far the quietest of the five. ‘When I first met the other girls, they used to leap on tables and dance about. I was the only one who said “I don’t know if we should do that the table might collapse.” But they brought out another, a more fun site of my personality.’ As Touch, they performed in front of talent scouts and made a video which they talked about their hopes and ambitions of stardom. Meanwhile they were living on their dole money- their weekly treat was a chicken korma every Tuesday night. Before lonf, Touch evolved into the Spice Girls, and the group’s original manager was replaced by Simon Fuller. Under his guidance, the girls won a record deal with Virgin and their debut single. Wannabe, stormed its way to number one, where it remained for six weeks. ‘The day the Spice Girls got to No1, I rang my parents only to hear a mad party going on in the background’, remembers Victoria. They had heard about it on TV and they were all yelling: Congrats! At that time I was in Japan on tour. I was lying in bed on my own and crying because I wanted to be at home with them. From then on, the Spice Girls were seemingly unstoppable- their debut album, Spice, also topped the charts and ‘Girl Power’ became their battle cry. Geri presented each of them with a ring from Tiffany’s with ‘Spice’ engraved on one side and ‘one of five’ on the other. Each of the girls had a very individual image and a nickname to go with it. ‘Scary’ Mel B, ‘Sporty’ Mel C, ‘Baby’ Emma, ‘Ginger’ Geri and Victoria was christened ‘Posh‘. ‘Everyone thinks of me as that moody cow’, she laughs. ‘Im supposed to strut this sophisticated pose but I’m actually a real smiler. I don’t mind being called Posh Spice, it’s just a nickname. Actually it makes me laugh, and I suppose there is an element of me that is posh, in the sense that I like nice clothes and I’d prefer to go out to a really nice restaurant than go to a club. But I don’t have a posh accent.’
After ‘Wannabe’ came the follow-up, ‘Say you’ll be there’, and by 1997, they’d had 4 number ones and were the first British group to conquer America with a debut single. The girls even became big-screen stars with their light-hearted feature film Spiceworld – The Movie. In November 1997, the girls severed their relationship with Simon Fuller. Then, seven months later, Geri Halliwell, the oldest and most vocal of the Spice Girls, quit the group. ‘When she left, people thought there was a bust-up, but there was nothing like that’, says Victoria. ‘There had been tensions in the past, but at the time she left, we were getting on much better, I can honestly say that in the few months before she left, it had never been so smoothed. Anyway, one morning, after a plane journey, Geri just announced she wanted to leave. It was a complete shock, we couldn’t understand that.’ The Spice Girls continued to enjoy worldwide success, with the three girls – Mel G, Mel C and Emma – also enjoying success as solo artists.