The Sun: Steps ‘tired of being naff’
From The Sun:
Steps ‘tired of being naff’
By SIMON WHEELER, Showbiz Reporter
CHART sensations Steps stunned fans last night by announcing they are splitting up.
Faye, Claire, Lisa, H and Lee said in a statement: “We’ve decided that it is time to move on.”
They split because they were sick of being branded Britain’s naffest band, pals revealed last night.
The chart sensations sold 12million records during their five-year career — notching up 13 consecutive top five hits, including No1s with Tragedy and Stomp.
The five-piece band — Lee Latchford Evans, 26, Lisa Scott-Lee, 25, Claire Richards, 24, Faye Tozer, 26 and 25-year-old H — were also Britain’s biggest live act, selling out 120 UK arenas on a recent tour.
But despite the success they had to endure endless jibes about being the UK’s cheesiest act.
And last night a friend of the band — created by Pop Idols’ music guru Pete Waterman — said: “They got fed up with being regarded as a joke.
“They began to get frustrated and couldn’t understand what they had to do to gain some respect.
“In the end it became too much and they all decided to call it a day and try something else.”
Lee, Lisa, Claire, Faye and H — real name Ian Watkins — last night thanked fans for their support.
They said: “After five incredible years, we have all decided that it’s time to move on to new challenges.
“We have always said that when the time came we would leave as good friends and go out while we’re on top. And although we are all sad, that’s what we have done.
“We just want to send heartfelt thanks and love to all those who have supported us. You’re the best fans in the world.”
News of the split left young fans devastated.
Emma Partington, 11, from Fulham, West London, said: “I’m really sad about it. I was a big fan and I had most of their CDs.”
Amy Thornton, 10, from Newport, South Wales, said: “It’s a terrible shame.”
Elisabeth Sutherland, 11, from Margate, Kent, added: “I only saw them on TV the other day. I can’t believe it.”
Steps’ image got in the way of them winning any major music industry honours.
Brit Awards bosses caused outrage by snubbing them as Best Newcomer in 1999 despite their popularity.
At last year’s Brits, Steps did get the Best Selling Live Act award — but even that was seen as a token gesture from the industry.
But music snobs cannot deny Steps, who earned more than £2million, their place as one of the most successful bands in recent UK showbiz history.
The band, chosen from thousands of hopefuls who answered an advert in The Stage magazine, proved a hit thanks to their catchy songs and irresistable dance routines.
Pete Waterman said their secret was an ability to entertain all ages.
Waterman, 54, added: “Steps are the hardest-working band I’ve known. They were great entertainers.
“Everybody knocked it — but sooner or later copied it. At the end of the day, they were great at what they did.”