[TOTP - October 1999]

Fasten your seatbelt and hold on tight! FIVE are about to take you on a hair-rising ride through the pop world as they reveal to TOTP Magazine the dizzy highs and scary lows of life in the public eye.

Woooaaah! The Fame Game

The more famous you become the less privacy you have. Discuss…
Rich: It's true. I was snapped with Billie in Hampstead Heath and I've had my bum grabbed from day one, but that's just fans for you.

What does it feel like to be stared at in public all the time?
Sometimes it's quite nice because you can hear people whispering, 'Ooh, look, that's Scott from Five.' It really makes me laugh when I hear people going, 'No, it can't be…'
Sean: There's not a single day when I'm not recognised at least once. I feel a bit paranoid sometimes. When I'm out in town I'll sometimes think I can hear someone calling my name but there's no one there.

Is it easier to get girls now that you're famous?
Without wanting to sound arrogant it's much easier to get a girl. When I was 18, hanging around the streets doing nothing, no girls were interested in me; now all of a sudden the girls are fighting to get to me! Scott's one of the favourites though so he could probably have any girl in England.

Do you feel more yourself when you're in or out of the spotlight?
There are two sides to me, the pop star me and the normal me, erm, and without both I wouldn't be me. Oh dear. You probably think you're talking to someone who's really ordinary but I'm just loopy, loopy. Like Ace Ventura. A nutter.
Billie and I have our own language. I can't tell you want we say but if a hidden camera was to catch us chatting you'd be thinking, 'What's going on there?!' We're total fruit loops.

Weeeeeey! Frantic Fans

Have you been asked to autograph parts of a girl's anatomy?
I've signed breasts and bums and all sorts. You have to give people what they want! It depends on their age though. If they're really young I just sign their arm.

Do you feel ver responsible towards your fans?
Yeah definitely, because they look up to us and really admire us. You've got to be careful what you say, what you do and sometimes what you wear and whether to get your nose pierced or not. It's mad. There's this girl who's got my name tattooed somewhere on her body.

That must be weird, have you met her?
No, she just sent me a letter and a picture of herself and I was like (looks stunned)… You know what I mean?! What happens when Five are over and she's, like, 45?!

Do you get sent any scary letters?
An Australian called Brenda keeps writing to say she really misses the great times we've spent together but I've never spoken to her in my life. Apparently she's coming to England to visit her mate, Kerry T-Spoon, and I'm really scared. She's a big 'N Sync fan so I would advise her to stalk Justin instead.

Have you had any really rude propositions in the middle of the street?
The worst you can imagine. One girl told my dad he was well fit. I was like, 'Stop it! That's my dad!'
Sean: I don't tend to get that. They just ask for my autograph. I've learnt to sign my name dead fast!
Rich: When I was at Gay Pride this guy came up to me, rubbed my chest and said, 'Woo! When you turn gay, give me a call!'
J: I usually get the mothers and the aunties. It doesn't really bother me as long as I'm not eating. I was on holiday last summer when a woman came over, slapped me on the shoulder shoving my face in my food, and said, 'Sign this!' I was like, 'Say please and I'll do it!'

Do you have to be careful what you wear at home in case fans catch a glimpse through the windows?
Well, I can't walk around the house in my boxer shorts without closing my curtains first. I don't like the thought of people pointing and saying, 'Ooh look, there's Scott from Five in his boxers!'

Waaaah! Caught in the act

What would you hate to be caught doing?
Dancing to a Steps record! Not that I would dance to one but if I was caught messing about dancing I wouldn't like it to be that!
Scott: I'd hate to be caught with my trousers down. (A look of terror sweeps over his face.) By my mum! That would be terrible. Mums are allowed to know 'it' happens but you can't rub it in their face.
Sean: I'd hate a fan to se me drunk and I'd hate a paparazzi photographer to catch me having a fight or kissing a girl.

Would you ever beat up a paparazzi photographer?
You're allowed to take the film from their camera but you're not allowed to break their camera or they'll sue. So, a quick punch to his jaw, take his films, say, 'sorry about the punchm mate!' and leave. Then he can only get you for… well, OK, you've hit him, so he could sue you for that.
Sean: I'd really want to but it's not worth it. You'd get taken to court and you'd have to pay loads of money out.

Maybe you should take up a calming activity so you never want to throw that first punch.
Yeah, I definitely need to do something to get my anger out. I'm quite into meditiation but I'd perfer to do a martial art so I could smack something. Running's good for you. I used to do loads but I've been slacking and eating lodas of rubbish. It's bad news.

Have you ever felt like ringing the papers to set them stragith about a Five story they've printed?
No. Anyway, I think everyone's just wrapped up in this Rich and Billie thing so I hardly ever get a mention!
Rich, do you and Billie stop kissing in public in the fear of being photgraphed?
No, we don't care. I was wary in the beginning but at the end of the day I'm a 19-year-old lad and I'm not going to let my job stop me from having fun. Mind you if someone looks at her I'm like, 'Keep your eyes to yourself!' I'm funny about other guys. Luckily she loves feeling protected.

Heeeelp! Five on film

If someone was to film a Five wars 'n' all documentary how far would you let the cameras go?
People should see that bands argue sometimes. They should also see that bands walk out of TV programmes saying, 'I'm not doing this cos it's rubbish.' Ronan [Boyzone] once refused to do a TV show before he'd drunk a cup of coffee. People were calling him pretentious but he'd probably been up since four in the morning. I say full credit to Ronan.
Sean: If they were doing a proper documentary I'd let them go wherever they wanted.

Would you let them film you enjoying a meal at home with your family?
Yeah, but there'd be no dining room table cos we haven't got one. We'd be eating off our knees.
Abs: I wouldn't mind doing a shoot at my house. It's something I've been thinking about cos there are a lot of celebrities who do OK! Magazine. I'd think of the money! It's almost selling out and it's a bit too fashionable but the dollars are there, man!

Geri was filmed talking from behind a toilet door while she was doing the business. Is that too grim?
It is for a woman, yeah. I don't want people calling me sexist but it would be bad enough if it was a man let alone a woman.
Scott: A toilet's a toilet and you don't go into a toilet for your interview. That's private time.

What private moments would you let us see?
Rich blow-drying his hair. It's a true art form. He also has a habit of taking things the wrong way and getting ratty.

Do the others have any bad habits you'd love to show the world?
Well, Abs sometimes goes into himself and acts really quiet. J tends to lose his temper too quickly in front of too many people. Sean has a bad habit of not talking enough in interviews and not smiling enough in photo shoots. He's getting better though.
Rich: Sean also has a habit of head-butting us. You'll be trying to concentrate on something and he'll be butting your head.
Abs: I'd show everyone getting wound up! Rich is funny when he gets to the point where he goes, 'ARGHHHH!' and beats everyone up! Scott's quite boring - he just eats pizza! Sean is laid-back, he's not too strong. J is probably the best one cos he's got two sides which are blocked up and then he explodes.

Would you rather not be filmed during a business meeting or a personal phone call?
I'd let them listen to phone calls if I was speaking to my mum or dad but certain meetings are just with myself and the guys. People can use things in a negative way.

Is that why there are always rumours that you're going to be leaving the band?
Yeah, definitely, because if someone sees that I'm having a argument with Scott or Rich they assume I'm leaving.

Eeeeek! Cunning disguises

Do you ever wear a disguise in public?
I wear a cap, I don't shave and I take my bracelet off but everyone still know who I am. I once asked this girl how she recognised me and she said, 'You've still got your eyes, darling!' I need to buy some brown contact lenses!
Sean: I just zip my coat right up past my mouth.

Do you get days where you really wish no one would realize who you were?
Yeah, especially those days when you get a cold and you wipe your nose so much you end up with a little red sore. You know everyone's thinking, 'Ooh, he doesn't look like that in the magazines'.
J: It was bad when Sean and me moved into our new apartment. We had four days to find beds and sofas but we were getting recognized and asked to sign stuff. When you're on a time limit it stops you doing what you want to do.

Jarvis Cocker dressed as a gorilla at the V98 festival so he could wander around unnoticed. Is that something you'd think about doing?
Abs: I'd do it just because it's something I'd love to do. Yeah, I'd like dress up as a gorilla full stop!

And as the pop sofa screeches to a halt, five green-face, jelly legged pop stars stagger off. Anyone for a sick bag?!