There were tears, tantrums and a build-up to a climactic gig that felt like it lasted longer than the careers of half of the acts involved, but last night The Big Reunion finally came to an end with a glorious 90 minute special featuring high­lights from their London show.

There was of course the oblig­at­ory high drama – 90% of which was provided by Michelle Heaton spec­tac­u­larly over­re­act­ing to a barely notice­able stage slip — but on the whole it was actually rather lovely.

It would have been very easy for this series to encourage us to laugh at the faded dreams of second-tier acts like 911 and The Honeyz, but instead it allowed us to see what fleeting fame had cost these people, and how difficult it had been for them to adapt when it was all snatched away. A closing shot of The Honeyz clinging tearfully to each other after a tri­umphant per­form­ance of 'Finally Found' was an unex­pec­ted lump-in-throat moment.

screenshot_192Even the char­ac­ters you expected to view as villains – Heaton, Kerry Katona, Sean from Five — were presented as fully-rounded human beings rather than cari­ca­tures. When Katona joined the show despite having left Atomic Kitten after just four singles, I expected it to be nothing more than another half-hearted brand extension for her seemingly endless low-rent reality TV career, but reuniting with her pop sisters and actually having a tangible goal to work towards seemed to give her a sense of purpose, and as the weeks went on she emerged as one of the most sym­path­etic figures on the show.

So now they get to go off on an arena tour and live the dream for a little bit longer.

As the show was a big hit, a sequel seems inev­it­able, so I’ll close with some sug­ges­tions for the one-time stars I’d like to find myself writing about this time next year:

Another Level

Like the time his wife’s band did a duet with Mathew Marsden out of Corrie, Jay Z probably doesn’t talk about – or even remember – the time he made a record with Dane Bowers and chums. But it happened, readers, it happened. Also 'Freak Me' was a bit of a tune.

S Club 7

Obviously.

artist_13480_12821Eternal

Huge in the 90s, unjustly forgotten now. Get Louise Redknapp back into the fold; force them all to talk about the time the Bennett sisters dumped Celebrity Love Island star Kelle Bryan by fax (fax!) and you’ve got yourself a show.

A1

Like Blue they never tech­nic­ally split up, and in fact they’re still big in Norway where Ben Adams was recently a con­test­ant on their version of Dancing With The Stars. But with 'Caught In The Middle' they proved it was possible for boybands to 'go a bit serious' without becoming unspeak­ably dreadful. For that alone — and 'Be The First To Believe', which was incred­ible — they deserve another shot.

all-saints-151701All Saints

Amazing songs, obviously. But even if 'Pure Shores', 'Black Coffee' and 'Never Ever' weren’t solid gold 11/10 pop moments, the round-table con­front­a­tion scenes between this lot would make Five’s infight­ing look about as dramatic as an episode of Chasing The Saturdays.

East 17

Because I can never hear the story about Brian Harvey acci­dent­ally running himself over after a baked potato binge too many times.

I leave you with a reminder that this happened.

Abshat