Emma Bunton spices things up as the host of Five’s new Glee-style talent show Don’t Stop Believing (Sundays)…

It’s more than 15 years since Emma Bunton made her name as part of the biggest-selling girl group of all time. Now, as the host of Five’s new Glee-inspired talent show Don’t Stop Believing, the tables are turned for the one-time Spice Girl, as she oversees a search for Britain’s best all-singing all-dancing musical group. She tells us more…

How do you feel about hosting Don’t Stop Believing?
“I was so pleased when they asked me. It’s the first time I have hosted a show on my own and I’m both excited and terrified.”

What in particular appealed to you?
“It’s very uplifting and I love the fact that the groups are being given a fantastic opportunity to grow and develop. Not only must they be able to sing, but they also have to put clever routines together, which is tough. I get to wear lots of glamour and glitz, too, which is great because I love dressing up.”

Are you a fan of Glee?
“It’s a great show and such a phenomenon. Like Glee, Don’t Stop Believing will be positive too. We don’t want to be nasty to the groups and put them down.”

Would you like to return to the music business yourself?
“Not at the moment because I’m loving working in TV too much. I really enjoy the fast pace. The brilliant thing about Don’t Stop Believing is that it gives people a chance to shine. It’s so tough getting into the music business nowadays.”

Did you enjoy being a judge on Dancing on Ice earlier this year?
“It was brilliant. I hope people thought I spoke my mind and that I was honest with contestants. There is no point being nice all the time. You have to give them criticism that can then help them. I’d love to do the show again, but we will have to see. We are currently having talks.”

Do you still get called Baby Spice?
“Oh, yes. I was 18 when I started out with the girls and so much has happened since, but I still get called Baby Spice. I don’t mind because I’m going to be 35 soon and being called that makes me feel young still.”

Are you in regular contact with the rest of the Spice Girls?
“We will always stay in touch because we are all so close. We ring each other up, gossip and have a laugh. Everyone has children now and that’s fantastic to see. All the girls have done so amazingly well and I’m proud of them all.”

Is another tour on the horizon?
“Never say never, but we are all mums and busy, so it’s just too tricky. We are discussing ideas about a Spice Girls musical with producer Judy Craymer, who was behind Mamma Mia! We feel really lucky to have her on board. It takes a long time to put a musical together and we’re still in the early stages, but it is very exciting.”

Did you give Geri any advice when she was a guest judge on The X Factor?
“I didn’t try to tell her what to do. You have to go on your own route.”

Would you like to work with your Pineapple Dance Studios pal, Louie Spence?
“Oh, I’m so proud of my Lou Lou. I have known him for such a long time and he really is such a generous soul. I know he is loving every minute of what is happening to him. We’d probably laugh all the time if we worked together. He is such a great person.”

You covered for Lorraine Kelly on GMTV recently. Would you like to do more daytime TV?
“I read all those stories saying I was joining GMTV permanently and I laughed as nobody had told me. I really enjoyed trying it out and it would be nice to go and fill in for Lorraine again if she goes on holiday, but I like the variety of what I am doing now.”

Do you still do ballroom dancing?
“Sadly not. I worked so hard when I did Strictly Come Dancing and I loved the experience. I am hoping it is like riding a bike and it will all come back to me one day.”