Mel C is ''useless'' around Madonna because she is such a fan.

The former Spice Girl has met her musical idol numerous times and even enjoyed a memorable dinner with her but Mel admitted she gets nervous in the 'Girls Gone Wild' singer's company.

She told The Sun newspaper: ''I've met Madonna a few times. She once called me in my hotel room to invite me to dinner - I was convinced it was one of the girls winding me up. I'm a bit useless in her company being such a fan. I think I may even have offended her once.''

Mel also revealed she and her Spice Girl bandmates Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham, Mel B and Geri Halliwell are closer than ever because they are not in competition with each other.

She added: ''Luckily, we aspire to different things and we're very proud of each other.''

Along with working on her solo career, Mel raises daughter Scarlet with partner Thomas Starr, who she met in 2002 during a holiday in Barbados and Mel admitted she never thought the relationship would last.

She said: ''Tom is lovely and tall, has big blue eyes and a cheeky grin. We had a good old dance to The Prodigy and I thought 'He's my kinda guy'.

''I was sure it would fizzle out when we got back to the UK but it didn't - hurray!''