Well, are they? It's the question on everyone's lips. But nobody got the cold, hard facts. Until now...



“Are you nervous?” says the PR boy.
I nod. I’m always fucking nervous. Interviews can eat my ass. When are they fun? Maybe one out of twelve hundred times.
“You should be nervous. See that guy over there? White hair?”
I look to my left.
“He had brown hair this morning. Didn’t you, Neil?”
Neil runs his hand over his scalp, grimaces assent.
‘And then he met the Sugababes.”





Mutya. Keisha. Heidi. These ladies is famous. They’ve had trillions of number one singles (three). They’ve won a Brit award. They are paparazzi victims. They are tabloid fodder. They are POP PRINCESSES.


Ooh, Sugababes! is what everyone says, because everyone’s heard of them (unlike most of the people I interview). And then: Are they bitches? Were they mean?

Did they stand on either side of Heidi, and grab her long yellow wings of hair in their hands, and go YANK YANK YANK YANK till her head was bouncing between them like a little rubber ball?

Did they let you watch? Did the photographer take photographs of it? Did they talk in front of Heidi in a made-up bitch language that sounded like the ululations of a thousand toasting cats?

Um. No. They did not let me watch. I think you have to pay big dollar to see stuff like that these days. But yeah, I know. It’s my job as Top Investigative Journalist Of The New Girl Order (I just made that up) to find out important shit like Sugababes: Are They Bitches.

And it’s not as easy as you think.


I mean. What am I supposed to say? *insert stupid reporter voice here*:

“What about those rumours that you were such cunts to former member Siobhan that she nipped out for a slash during your tour of Japan and just NEVER CAME BACK?

What about the rumours that you invented a secret language so you could talk about her behind her back actually in front of her back!!??!

What about the rumours that you have done exactly the same to Heidi, that you are mean mean mean evil bitches from hell, a toxic dyad formed of childhood friends who are so inextricably intertwined that you shall never be cleaven apart; that you poison all who come near and that there is clearly some massive repressed homosexuality going on here so why don’t you just get it on and get it over with?????!!!!”

Um no. Can you imagine. I would be made dead, I think. And I only like to risk death when the publication in question is paying AT LEAST 30 pence a word. Nono. We must approach with caution, using a variety of warlike tactics, in order to discover the important answer to Sugababes: Are They Bitches?

Tactic #1: Sneak Into Their Dressing Room While They Are Poncing Round Getting Ready For A PhotoShoot

Clump clump clump clump down the hall. Knock knock knock at the door. Hello! I’m here to interview you! (Right, do a quick spy round the room while they are taken by surprise).

Heidi is there in her bra (calm down, boys), flicking through some clothes on a rack. Keisha is sitting a on a stool while a blonde lady paints colours onto her eyelids. Mutya is nowhere to be found (which is good because she is way scary).

I quickly examine Heidi’s exposed torso for bruises, punch marks or other signs of bullying (calm down, boys) but there are none. With a wide, beatific smile on her pretty, slightly-too-orange face, Heidi ushers me from the room, telling me to wait in the restaurant. Bah.



Tactic #2: Ask Them Questions That Are Designed To Get Them To Reveal That They Are Actually Bitches Even Though The Questions Seem To Be About Other Stuff Altogether

Every other journalist in the universe has asked them ‘Are They Bitches’ straight up, you see, and they ever never get an interesting answer.

These ladies is slippery. They probably went to special Be Slippery With The Press classes. All the other journalists get in response to ‘Are They Bitches’ is stuff like “You know, the thing is, the girls don't pick on me. If I was getting bullied, I wouldn't be doing this.”

YAWN, Heidi! Boring boring boring! Luckily I can be a slippery minx too, look, and I didn’t even go to journalism college, so I have invented these special questions...


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