NEWS & GOSSIP 2001


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MY RITCHIE'S NOT GETTING WED: MUM 28th Oct 2001 - Sunday Mercury
FIVE'S Ritchie Neville is NOT about to get hitched, his Midland-based mum said last night.
It was reported last week that Ritchie, 22, was about to tie the knot with his actress girlfriend Joanna Taylor.
A tabloid newspaper claimed that the pair, who met six months ago, had revealed their marriage plans in an 'exclusive chat'.
But Ritchie's mum, Kim Dolphin who lives in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, ridiculed the claims.
'It's absolute rubbish,' she told the Sunday ...

Ritchie At Honour Awards
19th Sep 2001 - Getty Images
Singers Noel Sullivan, Ritchie Neville, Suzanne Shaw and Myleen Klasse at The Music Managers Forum Roll of Honour Awards held at The Park Lane Hilton on 19th September 2001, in London.


STEPS SLAM 5IVE 'IDIOTS'
4th May 2001 - Daily Mirror
LEE from Steps has launched an attack on two of the members of 5ive - but he refuses to name names. Talking about the biggest egos in pop, the singer tells next week's Top Of The Pops Magazine: "A few months ago, every time we bumped into 5ive they had an attitude. We never really said anything to offend them, I think they just wanted this bad-boy image and it all got out of hand. "Ritchie is a good friend of mine, but it's a shame that one of the band can be such a great mate and two of the band might be acting like idiots. And no, I'm not saying who."

Westlife & Five's £10,000 Rampage
May 2001 - NOTW
WESTLIFE and Five have been banned from a luxury hotel after causing £10,000 damage during a wild party. The bands were staying overnight at the five-star hotel after a joint concert last week. A source said: "Abs and J from Five led the rest of the boys on a mad rampage. It was around one in the morning and the party had been going on for a couple of hours when Westlife came running up and joined in. "The place was just a tip. It was as if the boys were possessed." After seeing the wrecked furniture, mini bars and TV, Dan Hotel bosses in Tel Aviv, Israel, were so furious they barred the stars from returning to the top resort.

Five Party
May 2001 - Star Magazine
(At Bryan/Westlife's 21st birthday party...) "... mixing with Bryan's family are some familiar faces, like Abs Breen from Five - who's come down with bandmates Ritchie and J - and some slightly more unusual guests, like TV talk show king, Jerry Springer. Abs is sporting a new tattoo, the word "DREAMER" in gothic script, down the entire underside of his right forearm. "I had it done about 4 days ago," he grins, tenderly stroking the raised skin, "So it's still healing. I've no idea why I got it except I woke up one morning and wanted 'dreamer' down my arm." All three 5ive lads are spotted talking to a bevy of beauties during the night, but Abs isn't entirely happy about that. "There are far too many!", he laughs, before becoming more serious. "The thing is", he confides, "I can talk to them and they're really nice but it's hard to know if they want to get with me because of who I am or because of Five." It's been some months since Abs split from his girlfriend, Hollyoaks actress Dannielle Brent, but he hasn't found a new love. "It's difficult, because I'm still looking for that someone. You have a play around but it gets boring. I just want that one person I can talk to."

Westlife & Five Mates?
6th May 2001 - C3
Shock news from the Westlife camp - they've become very matey with pop rivals Five. The two bands hit the headlines last year when it looked like their feud would come to fisticuffs but now they're causing just as much trouble with their unlikely friendship. Abs reveals: "We were in Dublin with Westlife the other week and me and Kian kept getting separated by our security because we were causing too much trouble!"

A1 Hit Back At Five
26th April 2001 - Worldpop
Mark Read from a1 has challenged Five to an unplugged face-off to discover which band is best after J Brown described a1 as 'crap'. After Saturday night's MTV concert at Ocean, where a1, Hear'Say and Five all performed, J branded both a1 and Hear'Say as 'crap', saying of a1, 'I'm not knocking them but they are crap. Their videos are everybody else's videos and the songs are everybody else's songs but the public goes for it all the time. It completely baffles me.' In response to J's comments, Mark said, 'If he's serious, let's prove it. Let's get on stage together and perform an unplugged session in a face-off and see who's the best band. I don't want to fight him. If he wants to fight he should take up boxing. We're pop bands and if he wants to prove who's the best I'm ready to do it.'

Ritchie's Heartache Cure
26th April 2001 - Megastar
RITCHIE NEVILLE says he has found the perfect heartache cure after splitting up with Billie Piper - playing the field with a string of beauties. Now he has a twinkle in his eye for sexy songbird Samantha Mumba - and EastEnders star Michelle Ryan - AND Big Breakfast presenter Donna Air. The Five singer was devastated when he split with Billie last year. She is, of course, now dating DJ Chris Evans. But rather than sitting at home and licking his wounds, Ritchie has been living the high life. And he's enjoying every minute. Ritchie, 21, says: "How to get over people? Go out and have a complete mad one. That's what I did and I met lots of beautiful women. I am as free as a bird now. I have got my eye on several famous women, but I can't tell you who." However, a pal of Ritchie's added: "He's got a real soft spot for Samantha Mumba, and Michelle Ryan, who plays Zoe Slater in EastEnders. "But he's waiting for the right moment to make a move. I think if Donna Air showed some interest, he'd be up for it. Ritchie's wild at the moment. He and Billie were a hot item, but it's over. He's a young single lad now - and he's always got his eye on famous girls. It is true that he's more interested in dating stars than ordinary girls off the street." Ritchie and Billie split for good last year after a stormy two-year romance. Their first break-up was last May, when Billie claimed he had dumped her. A few weeks later, Ritchie said she was the one who gave him the push - by leaving a blunt farewell message on his mobile. The pair later kissed and made up. But they parted for good last November. Soon after, Billie, 18, began dating 35-year-old Virgin Radio presenter Chris. They are tipped to marry in August. Ritchie claims there are no hard feelings between them since she dumped him, but then he hasn't spoken to her for months. He admitted: "The break-up with Billie had its moments of pain, but I thought to myself, 'I'm 21, I'm in a pop band and now I'm going to have some fun'. And that's just what I'm doing. Billie and I don't talk any more. Apparently, she and Chris are getting married. Good luck to them. I have no animosity towards them." The singer claimed recently that Billie had been "a nag" while they dated. He says: "For me there's no longer a great worry about getting home before midnight and I don't have anyone to answer to. I've got a new flat and there are no disputes. I wasn't particularly messy, but Billie was a fanatic about tidiness. Now I can do what I want and don't have to put up with all the nagging." However, Ritchie would like to settle down eventually. He says: "The best thing about living with someone is waking up in the morning with them. That's something I miss."

Ritchie Speaks Out About Pot
23rd April 2001 - The Sun
IT'S spot the difference time, folks. Here is Five's Ritchie Neville speaking out against smoking pot after the S Club 7 lads were nicked. Ritchie says sternly: "They have got a responsibility to the kids. "At the end of the day, kids look up to them and now their fans may have it in the back of their heads that they want to try it because the boys from S Club 7 did." Can this be the same Ritchie Neville who just six months ago said of cannabis: "It should be made legal - because it grows, because it's natural. And if you believe in God, how can anything that grows be illegal?" Five pal Scott Robinson backs the new policy, saying: "It's not right to pass it on to kids. We don't like drugs."

Ritchie @ SMTV
6th April 2001
Below we see Ritchie rehearsing at SMTV on 5th April 2001. >>>>

J's Mum Sick!
March 2001
J's mom Marilyn Brown was admitted to a hospital in Florida last Monday (March 19th) after becoming ill on a family vacation. She was rushed into surgery and J immediately flew to America to be by her side. J's appearance on 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks' (UK TV) scheduled that day, was obviously cancelled and he missed his court date in Dublin on March 26th for the bar brawl he & Rich were involved in during their December UK Tour. J's court sentencing has been rescheduled for Oct 10th.

Scott's Fiance` Attacked
25th March 2001 - Megastar
FIVE star Scott Robinson's pregnant fiance has been involved in a bustup with jealous fans. Kerry Oaker was left shaken after she was confronted by a group of girls who hurled abuse at her during a night out. They are said to have been furious Five fans, jealous of Kerry's relationship with Scott - which they think threatens the future of the chart-topping boyband. One onlooker said: "About three girls spotted Kerry from the other side of the road and recognised her as Scott's girlfriend. "They started shouting at her, calling her names. They then marched up to her and carried on abusing her. "Kerry was scared - and worried for the safety of her unborn baby. Eventually, things calmed down and the girls ran off." Alice Williams, 23, who also saw the incident, added: "She was being shouted at by a group of girls who were no older than about 16 or 17. "After saying their piece they scarpered, because everyone had stopped to see what all the fuss was about."

Singer Scott rang Kerry as soon as he heard about her ordeal to make sure she and their baby were OK. Kerry is four months pregnant with the couple's first child. They plan to marry in September, a month after the birth. Despite being shaken by the incident, which happened near her home in Essex, Kerry was unhurt. But it has left her worried about a further backlash from angry fans. A source at Five's record label RCA admitted: "She has to be careful. It's one thing when you only have to think about yourself, but quite another when there's a baby involved." Kerry is the second partner of a member of Five to feel the heat from fans, who hate the thought of their idols having girlfriends. When Scott's bandmate Ritchie Neville started dating Billie Piper in 1999, she was booed at gigs where both acts were appearing. In January, we told you how Kerry's relationship with Scott was causing a rift within the band. The other lads - Ritchie, J, Abs and Sean - feared that he was more concerned about his relationship than the success of the band. In a bid to smooth things over, Kerry joined them in Brazil for their gig earlier this year.

Ritchie Speaks Out
21st March 2001 - Megastar
FIVE star Ritchie Neville says he's glad he didn't marry ex-love Billie Piper - and reveals that they haven't spoken since before Christmas. Until now, Ritchie has kept quiet about his bitter split from the troubled teenage singer. But just 24 hours after it was revealed that he had finally found love again, the star decided to break his silence. Ritchie and Billie, 18, went their different ways in December when she started dating DJ Chris Evans. The couple had been together, on and off, for 18 months and even talked about getting married. But it all turned sour late last year - and they haven't spoken for nearly four months. Ritchie, who is now dating Lara Croft model Lucy Clarkson, says of his time with Billie: "The relationship was great while it lasted, but people grow and change." We'd run our course. It was one of those puppy-love relationships that had to come to an end. I haven't spoken to Billie since before Christmas. It's all in the past. "I'm glad I'm not married and settled down. The break-up with Billie had its moments of pain. But at the end of the of the day, I thought to myself, 'I'm 21, I'm in a pop band and now I'm going to have some fun'. And that's just what I'm doing." It is his first serious fling since Billie - and he's determined to enjoy life again. Talking about Five's trip to Brazil in January, he says: "It was an amazing feeling to perform in front of so many people. "There was lots of drinking and the Latino girls were so beautiful. Happily, I managed to hook up with one or two." Despite not being on speaking terms with Billie, he stopped short of criticising his ex-lover's relationship with millionaire Evans. He is also tight-lipped about Billie's recent court appearance, when the 18-year-old came face-to-face with a fan who sent her death threats. He said: "I don't know much about the court case, but when I was with Billie I tried to reassure her that everything would be all right." Everyone's asking me about her and Chris Evans, but it's nothing to do with me. If they're happy, that's cool."

Ritchie's Secret Dates
19th March 2001 - The Sun
FIVE singer Ritchie Neville has fallen for Lucy Clarkson, alias Tomb Raider babe Lara Croft. The pair have been on a string of secret dates since getting together last month and made their public debut at last night's London premiere of new film Miss Congeniality. Computer game character Lara is based on Lucy's image and the Yorkshire beauty plays Lara at promotional dos. Ritchie dated singer Billie for two years but they broke up when she fell for DJ Chris Evans. Ritchie, who told me Evans was "too old" for Billie, then went to Rio where he cavorted with local girls and said: "I'm enjoying single life."

FIVE GO MAD IN THE RECORDING STUDIO
14th March 2001 - NME.com
FIVE have recorded a cover version of DEF LEPPARD's 1987 classic 'POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME', NME.COM can exclusively reveal. And Leppard frontman Joe Elliott has given the rapped-up pop version his seal of approval. Although there have been rumours in the pop world that Five - who topped the charts with their Queen cover, 'We Will Rock You' - were fans of the song, it had not previously been clear whether they had actually recorded it. But Elliott revealed that he has received a demo version, and declared it "quite cool". He said: "It's absolutely true - I've heard the demo. I've got a work-in-progress, and, honestly, it's not bad. It's different. What I heard was quite interesting. The chorus is the same, they rap the verses. It's not the finished version, but it's quite cool. "At least of all the boybands that exist, they have got one foot in rock, for want of a better expression. They've done Joan Jett [whose 'I Love Rock'N'Roll' they sampled for their hit 'Everybody Get Up'], then Queen and moved on to us. It makes sense - if they were going to play three songs together, I would have put money on it being those. It's all the same song! It would, by virtue of how popular they are, quite possibly be a hit," he predicted. It is as yet unclear whether the song will ever see the light of day as a commercial release, and Five's spokesperson made no comment. But Elliott enthused: "On 'Everybody Get Up', I remember thinking, 'At last somebody's had the good grace to sample a rock song.' There are so many people at this moment in time thinking it's uncool to have guitar. But it's the emperor's new clothes. It only takes one person in a position of authority to stand up and 'You're all wrong!' It takes one person to say, 'This is cool' and you can actually get your success back, having lost it, because somebody stands up for it."

Scott Sets A Date
11th March 2001 - NOTW
FIVE singer Scott Robinson will marry girlfriend Kerry Oaker on September 22, I can exclusively reveal (says RAV the showbiz columnist at the paper). They will get hitched a month after Kerry gives birth to their first child. A pal tells me: “They’re really excited about the wedding. They just can’t wait.” Scott and Kerry have been dating for two years. They got engaged in secret in December 1999 when the Five star presented his girlfriend with an £8,000 (about $12,000) ring.

Ritchie Moves On
20th Feb 2001 - Mirror
There were extraordinary scenes at Red Cube as those raunchy Popstars were let off the leash for a daring night out. On their first experience as Saturday-night celebrities, the manufactured TV band revealed how they're already learning the important lessons of the fame game. Full marks to mother-of-two Kym Marsh (nicknamed Babies Spice) for realising, like Billie Piper before her, that if you're going to make the grade you have to go out with Five star Ritchie Neville first. Yup, as soon as Kym and her fellow wannabes - now called Hear'Say - arrived at the Leicester Square club, Ritchie was in there like a shot. Within what seemed like seconds, the boy-band hunk was smooching on the dance floor with the pretty newcomer. The couple then retired to a discreet alcove where they whispered sweet nothings to each other for the rest of the evening.
Suave Ritchie appeared to have won Kym over when he invited her to a late-night party. Kym was set to go when Hear'Say's very sensible Myleene Klass stepped in. Myleene reminded Kym of all the thought-control programming inflicted on the group by those nice people at ITV. Dating someone without consulting the management could have ended in disaster. So, at the last moment, Kym declined. But we can reveal that Myleene was no angel herself. While Kym cavorted with Ritchie, Myleene was busy renewing her acquaintance with model David Sebastian.

Scott To Be A Dad!
7th Feb 2001 - The Sun
FIVE'S Scott Robinson is to be a father. Scott's fiancée Kerry Oaker had a hospital scan yesterday and he was SO excited. Scott is the SECOND boyband star with a child on the way - Bryan McFadden from Westlife is expecting a nappy event with girlfriend Kerry Katona. Both babies are due late summer. The Five star told me: "This is the best thing ever to happen to me. It wasn't planned. We've always said we want lots of kids - we just weren't expecting it to happen so soon. We went into the baby department at Tesco the other day and we both got really excited. And we saw the scan today. The doctor showed us the baby's heartbeat and it was incredible. It will be born probably about a week before Bryan's. I'm going to phone him to talk babies."
Scott reckons the baby was conceived while the band were on tour - either in Birmingham or Manchester. And in a cheeky dig at Posh and Becks, who conceived their son Brooklyn in New York, he joked: "We're thinking of calling it Birmingham." He added: "I don't want to know what sex the baby is, but Kerry does. So she'll have to hide the clothes she buys it - otherwise I'll find out!" Scott said he knew having a baby would mean major changes in his life but he was willing to sacrifice everything for it. He said: "This baby will be the most important thing to me."

J - Chris Saved Us!
25th Jan 2001 - The Sun
FIVE'S J Brown reckons Chris Evans SAVED the group by stealing Billie Piper from bandmate Ritchie Neville. He says Five are stronger than ever, now Billie's ex Ritchie has got her off his mind. The group have just returned from Brazil where they played to their biggest-ever crowd - 250,000 fans in Rio. The band flew straight back to headlines about Billie's affair with Chris. J told me: "I don't know whether the Chris and Billie thing is genuine. But I for one am happy because it's good for us as a band and a bunch of mates." J - spotted out in London with TV girl Dani Behr this week - added: "He's done us a big favour. It caused problems between us at times but now that wedge has gone. We were really worried about how Ritchie would take the split and the news that Billie was seeing Chris but he's 100 per cent over it. "In Rio he was out with us all, having a laugh and a beer like old times without a care. "When he was going out with Billie it was a strain sometimes. Wherever we were in the world he was always concerned about calling her and wanted to be back by her side. "And their relationship was the stormy sort where neither wanted to let go, even though it was for the best. I think at times it really got Ritchie down. But now we're ready to get back in the studio and finish off our third album for release in May or June." (!?) J dismissed tales of his own romantic link with Dani - despite calling her for a dinner date as soon as the band returned from Rio. The pair joined a host of pals at London's posh Nobu restaurant, then left together in J's car. But he insisted: "Dani's a friend. We have been out a few times but there's nothing more to it. She's a good laugh and fun to be with."

Ritchie Makes A Splash!
21st Jan 2001 - NOTW
IT’S payback time for Piper as Five go nuts in Brazil — or at least one of them does. The boyband’s Ritchie Neville was head over heels with pop star Billie Piper. Then she found Chris Evans. But she seemed the last thing on Ritchie’s mind as he cavorted on Copacabana beach with three beauties. Five went flying down to Rio last week for a concert but, just hours after landing, Ritchie had pulled brunette Rafaele Pinto and two mystery blondes at the Help nightclub. The next morning he hit the beach with his bikini-clad Rio trio. As temperatures soared to 37°C, they splashed in the sea and Ritchie gave one blonde a piggy-back as she kissed his neck. But he seemed most interested in Rafele, 23, and stroked her hair as she sat between his legs. When the News of the World published pictures of Billie with her new man Chris she said: “Ritchie and I are not together any more.” This week Ritchie, whose hits with Five include Don’t Wanna Let You Go, insisted: “Billie’s in the past and I’m enjoying single life. “Rio is fantastic. I’ve never seen so many beautiful women. Rafaele caught my eye — her body’s amazing. But I won’t say what happened between us. A gentleman never does.”

5ive Duo Appear In District Court
10th Jan 2001 - RTE
Two members of the boy band 5ive have been before Dublin District Court in connection with an incident in a Dublin bar last month. 23-year-old Jason Brown and 21-year-old Ritchie Dobson are charged with being drunk and disorderly and with breaching the peace. Mr Brown is also charged with assault.
In a brief hearing, Peter Charlton SC, who is representing the two men, asked that a trial date be set in respect of Mr Brown's assault charge. He said that no evidence would be needed in relation to the charges against Richard Dobson, but he asked that both men be dealt with together. Judge Miriam Malone remanded the two on continuing bail, to appear again at Dublin District Court on March 26.
The two were driven into the court in a large people-carrier car with blacked out windows. As Ritchie Dobson walked into Court 46, he was stopped by a young fan who took his photograph.