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Atomic Kitten Interview...

Scraps with Jordan on Jerry Springer, dodgy paparazzi shots and two unexpected number one singles - no wonder Atomic Kitten is constantly in the news.

Sinead Fitzpatrick hooks up with the trio in Dublin's Fitzwilliam Hotel Things didn't always look this good for Atomic Kitten. Several failed attempts at a number one single plus the departure of their highest profile member, Kerry, put the girls at risk of fading into oblivion.

But since the unexpected number one success of Whole Again and the subsequent hit Eternal Flame, these kittens have had a lot to purr about, and are still willing to hold on to their title as the hardest working band in the pop.

I slipped into Dublin's Fitzwilliam Hotel to find out what makes these laidback Liverpool lasses happy, sad and frightfully angry.

Over a few coffees, the trio was more than delighted to name names in a miniature catfight. Life as a celebrity must have its moments.

Have you ever met someone really rude?

Liz: You meet someone like Jordan, Miss Page Three herself. Class in a glass, not! She looks at you as if you are insignificant because no one's got boobs like hers! Well, of course we can't have, because not all of us have been under the knife. She's acts like: 'Hmmm, you've got a nice figure, you could be a threat!' Especially with Natasha because she has such an amazing figure. But then again, that's not important to us because we think it's pathetic.

Perhaps it has something to do with Natasha snogging Jordan's ex, Dane Bowers?

Liz: Yeah, Tash and him were quite friendly. Did you ever have a full-on argument with her?

Liz: Only once. It was said that she and Natasha had a huge fight but that's not actually true. Jordan was always making threats through the tabloids, but the only thing that ever really happened was in the green room of the Jerry Springer Show. Jordan was on set being interviewed and Springer asked her if she had a choice, would she drown a kitten or a puppy, and she answered 'a kitten, definitely'. Springer then said: 'It's funny you should say that because Atomic Kitten is waiting in the green room'. So Jordan started booing, but the audience didn't boo along with her and she got really embarrassed. Then when we went on I said 'If that cheeky cow does that again I'm going to break her nose'. I was asked why I'd break her NOSE in particular and I answered: 'Because it's the only part of her that's bigger than her boobs!' Her mother was sitting in the audience and seemed to be quite embarrassed of her.

Something a little tamer now ladies. Has having number ones made a difference to your lifestyle?

Liz: Yes, in a lot of ways - people treat you differently, it's mad. Some people are arrogant towards you, they say 'You don't deserve it' because they don't know how hard you've worked. Other people are really nice to you, almost TOO nice, you know? And you're like 'Er, why are you being like that?' We were told everything would get a lot more chilled out when we got a number one and we said 'cool!' but it's not, it's a thousand times worse! We got loads of free Faith shoes and Adidas clothes now that we're in the public eye.

Do you think Kerry would have stayed if she had known how massive the band was going to be?

Liz: Kerry was so in love with Bryan [of boyband Westlife fame], and they were always apart. But they just wanted to be together. She didn't like all the travelling, and just when Bryan would be home, Kerry wouldn't be. It was a nightmare and we all really felt for them. She couldn't decide if she was going to leave or not, but then she got pregnant so it was a sign for her. She's happy, though; you'd think most people would say 'damn!' but she's so happy.

Do you think other bands looked down on you because you weren't experiencing massive successes, even though there was a massive push by your record company for the band to succeed.

Liz: No, a lot of the other bands were really encouraging, saying 'Come on, you can do it'. There wasn't a lot of effort being put into us by the record company; it was the effort we were giving to our work that changed things. People used to call us the hardest working group in pop, and now they call us the hardest working group in music! We work non-stop every day, 24/7.

So Kerry found love with another boyband - do you have your eyes on anyone special?

Jenny: I used to fancy George Michael but I fancy Ravinelli more.

Liz: I like Enrique Iglesias.

Natasha: No comment

You've been quoted as saying you're massive fans of Brian Dowling from Big Brother. Why do you think he was such a big hit?

Liz: From the very first day he went into the house he was entertaining. Everyone else was too interested in how they looked, and were totally conscious of the cameras. He was just totally natural. If it wasn't for Brian, Helen, and Bubble the show would have been crap. We're going to meet him next week when he's introducing us at our show in London.

Okay, so you're over here for a brief sojourn. What do you think of our capital city so far?

Liz: I'm really, really scared about the signing in Virgin today because it gets really mad in Dublin. Usually, people are pressed up against the window of the van when we're arriving and we're using our hands to say 'Go away' so that they don't get run over - and then they think we're waving at them going 'No! Back off!'

You've been dressed up by some of the best stylists in the business - have they ever put you in something you absolutely hated wearing?

Jenny: They've not ever made us wear anything because they know what we like and they bring the ideas. If we don't like it we just go 'No way!' So if you've ever seen us wear anything bad it's because we've chosen to wear it!

Liz: We had to do a shoot in the same style as the infamous Robert Palmer video for Addicted to Love. That was really bad because of the make-up and the dresses with big shoulder pads.

Most bands are obviously trained to give certain answers to the media and give the same responses in every interview? You seem to have no problems in that department, any faux-pas you'd like to mention?

Jenny: We certainly don't get trained to answer questions, which you can probably tell! We haven't been told what to say but sometimes we will say something and we'll see everyone going 'DOH!' and we'll be told NOT to say that again.

Photographs of you have gone around the world - what's the worst picture that's ever been taken?

Jenny: When we met Prince Charles at the Party in the Park in London we were so nervous and the picture was on the front of every magazine. When we saw it we were just like 'Oh NO!' We looked minging. I also had one taken when I was coming out of a nightclub and I did this (sticks her tongue out in silly face pose). The picture made it look as though I was really drunk even though I was really sober.

Natasha: One night I was coming out of a club with my boyfriend and there was this tramp following us asking us for money, and we literally didn't have any - we'd left the club to go to the bank. There were all these photographers, and the tramp kept running after us and trying to grab me and my boyfriend was trying to get him away, but while he was doing it we were both laughing and it looks like he's groping my tits. Of course, the Sport published that picture.

Okay, give us the lowdown. Do you really think Robbie and Geri are just good friends?

Natasha: Are they REALLY, though? I genuinely do think that they did have a little thing going on but Robbie's not the kind of person who wants to have a big relationship.

Liz: I think personally, that they did it once and he's trying to get rid of her but she keeps hanging on to him.

Jenny: She's the kind of person who needs to be adored all the time. She needed to have newspapers constantly following her and she loved it. She's not friends with George Michael anymore because he said that Geri just used him.

Natasha: I do think she looks amazing. Everyone's having a go at her saying she's too thin but then everyone had a go at her saying she was too fat before, so she can't really win.

Liz: I think she looks good but my cousin, who is a beautiful voluptuous girl, used to love Geri Halliwell wearing hot pants and saying: 'This is how I am, you can take it or leave it, I like myself how I am, I'll never change.' But now she's thin. Do you think people in the pop world are fake?

Jenny: We've been quite lucky actually. We're good judges of character, so people tend not to come near us with their falseness. They just see us as three dead down-to-earth normal girls. They don't even bother with us because they know we will see right through them.

Natasha: Although, I have noticed with other bands that more people have been saying hi and been really friendly. A year ago they would have walked right past us. Some people say 'We haven't met before have we?' and we're like 'actually yeah, we have, not that you'd remember because you weren't interested then.'

Jenny: Some people do say: 'Oh hi, nice to meet you!' and I am like 'We've met you about 10 times but you blanked us'. I said it to a certain member of a boyband once, and he apologised, and now we're mates.

Thanks for your time, what are your plans for the rest of your day in Dublin?

All: Go sign some autographs in Virgin and have a good time. See you.

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