THE Spice Girls have been told by their record company VIRGIN to pay $3.6 million (GBP2 million) each to pay off their contracts - unless they reform.

Mel B, Mel C, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham all signed a five record deal following Geri Halliwell's departure from the formerly all-conquering girl band - but only released one poorly received album, FOREVER, before embarking on solo careers in 2000.

Now Virgin want the four singers to pay up the rest of their contracts, but with uncertainty over the girls' ability to pay the fee, music insiders believe the demand may force the band to reunite for a lucrative comeback - despite Mel C's oft-stated disapproval of the idea.

An industry insider says, "People were always hoping they would reunite after a few years and if that was the case they would be closer to honouring their deal.

"But as their getting back together looks more and more unlikely by the day, they have been given an ultimatum. They've been told to pay or get back together so they can at least partly complete the contract they signed all those years ago."

18/05/2004 09:08