When I was ten I was given a yellow Walkman for Christmas and it was the best thing that had ever happened to me until I discovered MSN Messenger. It went through batteries in two hours (shorter if I played it louder, and you better believed I cranked them S-Club beats) and it couldn’t rewind, though it did a commendable job with fast-forward.  The best part about it was that it played FM radio too, and I spent many an evening (spare batteries on hand) listening to the Top 40 countdown from my bed.

The Top 40 was always good, but the best four weeks of my life (also the most exhausting four weeks, since the last song didn’t play until ten o’clock) were when 5ive were at Number One with “Keep On Movin’”. Oh 5ive, with their strange aversion to starting proper nouns with capital letters, and ending words with a “g”; their inspiring lyrics and that odd propensity to break into rap – they had me at “Slam Dunk (Da Funk)”.

5ive album cover
They’re staring up at you because they idolise you.

I didn’t notice when they broke up – I’d already moved on to other greats like The Bloodhound Gang and Blink-182 (love me a male coterie) but I reverted immediately to that sleepy-eyed 10-year old clutching her yellow Walkman when (be still my beating heart) I heard that they had reunited!

(I will not mention J, I will not mention J).

Fuck J, by the way. Who does he think he is, with his natty eyebrow piercing, blue eyes and ability to look like a sexy forty-year old at the age of twenty? Did you know that his real name is Justin? Neither did I. What’s he doing now, that 4ive are so reduced? I don’t know. I don’t care (I do care). If we’re judging from appearances, I’m going to say he’s that guy in the used electronic store trying to make the word “dongle” sound dirty (it does sound dirty, though).

Curse my timeless ability to be diverted by men with eyebrow piercings.

No, I didn’t notice when they broke up, like I didn’t notice when Atomic Kitten and Bewitched went the same way. But knock me down and call me Nick Carter if I didn’t sit up and take notice when they all got back together again. Is this burning an eternal flame?

It’s on ITV2 (which should tell you just about everything you need to know, including why MAC never re-releases their best lipstick shades, and why you can’t find Schwartzkopf Volumising Powder anywhere) on a Thursday night – The Big Reunion. And it is big.

I was always going to watch it, but even as I sat down with a large glass of red wine and sweaty fingers, I was expecting to be slightly bored (who are Honeyz anyway? They never made it in New Zealand, which can only be their fault). These programmes always seems stuck together with boob tape and bubblegum, all filler and not enough meat.

Shocking Revelation Number #2 (#1 being that J was not prepared to turn his – presumably settled and satisfying polishing his piercings – life upside-down by coming on the show): It was fascinating. Sex. Drugs. Catfights. Nose jobs (Atomic Kitten, I’m looking at you, I don’t even know which ones you are anymore). The BICKERING. I know these guys were all about eight years old when they first got together, but my god. 10 minutes of the second show was spent analyzing an Atomic Kitten video clip wherein the filmography made it clear that two of the girls were excluding the third because she had to be filmed ALONE walking down the ROAD singing about her FRIENDS (can I haz sympathy?). Apparently they once had a fight in the car where one kitten LAUNCHED herself over the seat onto ANOTHER kitten. I’ve seen that gif. And that porn.

atomic kitten ladies night album cover
After Kerry Katona’s eviction. They look like they miss her, no?

911? Couldn’t name a single song of theirs. But did you know they were deported from Bahrain? And remember when 5ive used a cardboard cut-out of Sean in a video clip, after he left the band because of “glandular fever”? Turns out the real reason behind his departure was emotional upheaval from all the bullying he was subjected to (I had to leave the room and re-gather at this stage).

The point is, more than ten years later, they’ve not grown up. They sit in front of the cameras with perfect lipstick and highlights (Abs, I’m looking at you) and get tears in their eyes as they gossip and reminisce.

It’s adorable and it makes me nostalgic, and I want my Walkman. Go away, Gaga.

The point of all of this is not to rub 90’s happiness in your face but to remind you that that you have not missed out. You haven’t! OK, you missed 5ive and Liberty X and Atomic Kitten and 911 because, apparently, you have other things to do on a Thursday night? Nashville starts at ten you guys you can watch both. But in case you need to be persuaded: in next week’s episode: Honeyz and Bewitched. Bewitched! I don’t give a Winnie the Pooh about Honeyz, but Bewitched! Remember the denim? The glitter eyeshadow? Remember how some of them were sisters (twins?) but you never knew which because they all look like Courtney Cox. They’re coming back to your screen and you would have to be some kind of Pansy Parkinson not to care so don’t be shy, straighten up your tie, something about a tree-house, something about skyyyyyyy.

bwitched album cover
WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA

Remember when television used to be good? You don’t have to because it’s NOW.

Remember when music used to be good? SOON YOU WILL.

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