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Bubblegum pop outfit Scooch formed in 1998 when Mike Stock and Matt Aitken, two-thirds of the prolific production trio responsible for the careers of Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, and Jason Donovan decided to manufacture a new boy/girl band to compete with their former partner, Pete Waterman's, chart-topping project Steps. Natalie Powers, from Sutton Coldfield, Russ Spencer from Bournemouth, Caroline Barnes from Leeds, and David Ducasse, from South Shields, were chosen from hundreds of auditionees and after signing to EMI pop imprint Accolade, the band released their debut single, "When My Baby," at the end of 1999. Following supports slots on B*Witched and Five's U.K. tours, they reached number five with the follow-up "More Than I Needed to Know," and launched their debut album, Welcome to Planet Pop, in Japan, and later in the UK., where it was renamed Four Sure, but due to its disappointing sales, the quartet were dropped in mid-2000. Powers launched a brief solo career, while Spencer attempted to pose as a girl-band member in E4's gender-swapping reality show Boys Will Be Girls. But in 2007, the group launched a surprise comeback, when their campy, innuendo-laden track "Flying the Flag" was chosen ahead of the Darkness' Justin Hawkins and East 17's Brian Harvey's efforts to represent the U.K. in the Eurovision Song Contest. Although it only finished 23rd out of a possible 24 countries, it became only their second Top Five single, and was the highest-charting U.K. entry since 1997. Scooch have stayed together ever since, and despite the lack of any new material, they have become a regular fixture on the gay club scene. ~ Jon O'Brien