We reveal Claire Richards’ secret life before Steps

We bet she'd rather people never know about what she did before Steps!

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We reckon the Spice Girls must be kicking themselves that their 20th anniversary plans fell apart after spoilsports Posh and Sporty refused to reunite.

After all, the triumphant return of Steps, who are also celebrating two decades in the biz, has surprised not just the public but the band members themselves.

Over the weekend the band’s fourth proper album Tears On The Dancefloor stormed to the No. 1 spot on iTunes.

But while this has given the group their third chart-topping album, success wasn’t always something Claire Richards was used to.

Long before she was singing Deeper Shade Of Blue or getting Scared Of The Dark, the vocal powerhouse was trying to make her mark on the music industry in a girlband called TSD.

The band, which was made up of Claire and two other gals Cozi Costi and Bonnie Rachanski, kicked off their career in 1996 with a very 90s sounding dance tune called Heart And Soul.

Although admittedly it was a catchy ditty with a euphoric chorus, the tune sadly only managed to crawl into the charts at an embarrassingly low No. 69.

But the girls, whose name came from picking three random letters out of a Scrabble bag, didn’t give up.

Their second attempt at chart domination was with a cover of old classic Baby I Love You which sadly didn’t do too much better, peaking at No. 64.

In spite of their dubious chart positions, the girls got to tour with the likes of PJ & Duncan (or Ant and Dec as we know them now) and Peter Andre, but it wasn’t long before their record label told them it was all over.

“I remember I was devastated that we got dropped,” Claire says. “I really thought TSD was going to be the start of things to come. But it had ended before it had begun.”

Several months later, Claire had ditched the gals and before you could count 5,6,7,8, was a toot-scootin’ baby in Steps.

And the rest, as they say is history!