Making Waves


Ok, so what's the best way to get a job in the United Nations?

Well, if you're really keen, you could try a spell in the Aras; or better still, dance around a stage in your knickers and answer to the name "Ginger".

Come again?

Geri Halliwell, the now-retired Spice Girl, has just been appointed a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.

Oh, that's nice - sort of like a modern-day Vera Lynn belting out a few numbers to cheer up the blue berets?

No. There's no singing involved, apparently.

Not even those Spice Girls chart toppers Mama I love you, or If you wanna be my lover?

You're definitely getting warmer; but it's more likely to be their girl power anthem Stop right now, Thank you very much, because Ambassador Geri has been given special responsibility for promoting AIDS awareness and contraception in developing countries.

Goodness, that sounds serious.

Geri is a lot more serious these days and she's far from stupid. Last month she flogged her spangly old stage gear at an auction in London - one home-made dress made a cool £40,000 - and since she retired from the group, she has been at several high-profile charity shindigs. If you don't know all this, then clearly you're one of the few people left on the planet who still think Hello! is just a cheery salutation.

But won't she feel a little, well, out of place when she heads to New York for her briefing with Kofi Annan?

Not at all. It'll be a pretty blase affair all round. After all, in their heyday the Spice Girls cosied up to Nelson Mandela and Prince Charles. And anyway the UN must have a special "pop stars and luvvies" department because in the past they've recruited Cher, Bianca Jagger, Olivia Newton John and Julia Roberts - so there won't be an unsightly autograph scrum outside the General Assembly room when Geri rolls in.

So is this a job for life, then?

There's no fixed term for these things, but Geri should be warned that the invitation to become an ambassador can be whipped away as quickly as it is given. The Duchess of York discovered this to her cost when she was caught with her toe in someone else's gob. An act, come to think of it, that Ambassador Geri might do well to remember when she's giving a class in the middle of nowhere and she's looking for an example for her safe sex flip chart. . .