Mel B: The reason I couldn’t be called Scary Spice today

Melanie Brown, also known as Scary Spice, performing live on stage with the Spice Girls
Melanie Brown says her nickname derives from the 'plain fact' that she is 'a bit scary' with 'larger than life hair' - JMEnternational/Hulton Archive

Mel B wouldn’t be named Scary Spice today as someone would take offence to it, the singer has said.

Melanie Brown said in this “day and age” the name wouldn’t be as accepted as the world was “a bit too politically correct”.

But the 48-year-old said she loved the nickname and that despite some 30 years passing since the members of the Spice Girls were given their monikers, they are all “still the same”.

When they formed in 1994 and had their first hit with Wannabe two years later, she and Victoria Beckham, Geri Horner, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisolm were given their corresponding Spice Girls nicknames of Scary, Posh, Ginger, Baby and Sporty during an interview with Top of the Pops magazine, which stuck.

When asked how she felt about being nicknamed Scary Spice, Brown told the How To Fail podcast: “I think now we’re a bit too politically correct.

“I calmed down in these last few years. Before, if you were to interview me I’d be like ‘Show me your questions’. I’d be the protector of the group that comes in there like ‘Hold on a minute’.

“That can be seen as maybe being a bit too Northern, or maybe being a bit too feisty, or scary, so that name was given – and I love it.”

Melanie Brown, also known as Spice Girl Scary Spice, or Mel B
Mel B says 'I calmed down in these last few years' - Clara Molden for The Telegraph

Brown said her nickname derived from the “plain fact” that she was “a bit scary” with “larger than life hair”.

She added: “That’s just me.

“But, in this day and age, somebody would have taken offence by that. But I don’t take offence by it.

“Whether you’re black, white, mixed, there’s a bit of scary in all of us.”

She added: “And, I just want to be clear, when those names got given to us – it was by a lazy journalist from some teeny poppy magazine and he couldn’t be bothered to remember our full names.

“So he was like, well that one looks a bit scary because she has already snatched my notes and she’s got all this crazy hair and leopard print nails, so he just named us off the rack like that.

“We were all like, God, I quite like my name.”

The Spice Girls
The Spice Girls pictured in 1996 - Shutterstock

She added: “It’s funny because to this day, Emma loves pink, and if she could have her way she’d put her hair in ponytails.

“Mel C, you can never get her out of a tracksuit, and she always has her hair in a ponytail.

“Victoria’s very slick and elegant. Geri she’s gone through a bit of a change, but she’s still that vivacious Union Jack girl underneath her being the lady of the manor.

“We’re all exactly the same, which is lovely considering we started when we were 17, 18, 19, and we’re now 48, 49, 50.”