I spent many of my teenage years in a state of incessant boy band worship. And not just one particular boy band either - over the years I have been known to frequent appearances of boy bands at every level of ‘celebrity’ - from Menergy to Bad Boys Inc. to Take That. (The first one in case you missed it was M-e-n-e-r-g-y - a particularly crap soft-porn style group with awful leather trousers. Although at the time, I thought they were gods).
I used to bunk off school to wait outside the television studios for a glimpse of my heart-throbs. I was convinced that one of them would spot me one day, and, recognising me as their biggest fan, whisk me away to be married in a ridiculously over-the-top pink meringue dress. I got to know which hotels they would stay in, and even managed to sneak in a couple of times - although I never got any further than the ladies loos - my trick was to pretend I was going to be sick on the hotel forecourt, and the porter would quickly usher me inside before I did something he’d have to clean up off the tarmac.
At concerts I would always strive to have the biggest, brightest, most witty banner in the crowd. It wasn’t enough for it to say ‘Mark - I love you!’; it had to involve some sort of clever or amusing quote from one of the band’s songs - ‘Dan - you’re my Everlasting Love’ was a personal favourite (World’s Apart, for those not in the know).
Of course, I wasn’t the only one. Hordes of girls at school would plaster fresh-faced boy band stickers all over their notebooks, or scratch ‘I love Robbie’ into their forearms with a compass and biro. Naturally, though, none of them were as dedicated as me.
I can’t remember exactly when the banners and all-night hotel vigils died out - maybe around the time I got myself a job and didn’t want to be sacked for calling in with food poisoning or some other ailment every time Westlife were in town. But even then, I still managed to find the time to turn up to the odd TV appearance or concert. It’s true, the stalking stopped, but my interest in boy bands flickered on. Every time a new all-male group appeared on TV or in a magazine I experienced a small flutter of excitement , taking me back to my carefree early teenage years, when my greatest concern was whether or not the last bus would get me home before my mam realised where I'd been.
So here I am, a mere...ahem...twenty years later, getting ridiculously excited about The Big Reunion. The first series had me totally hooked, and I still haven't worked out whether that's because I liked the groups featured, or, more likely, that the music reminded me of a time when Blue's 'One Love' was a Baja anthem (If you don't know what I mean by Baja, see here). I've got to admit though, I am more than a bit disappointed that series 2 doesn't feature the aforementioned (and one of my favourite boybands) Bad Boys Inc. If you're reading, ITV2....!!!!
Who were your boyband faves?