Do you remember the very 90s cultural phenomena that was the Spice Girls? This British girl group got so big, they even got their own movie, “Spice World.” The 1997 film featured an insanely cool bus driven by legendary singer, Meat Loaf.
The bus itself is a complete fever dream that pulls a full-on Tardis by being way bigger on the inside than its double-decker façade should allow. This vehicle was able to host Baby Spice’s swing, Posh’s catwalk, Sporty’s workout equipment, Scary’s aquarium, and Ginger’s collection of 60s décor. While each member’s individual color palettes created a wild clash of interior colors. Despite this, the “Spice World” bus maintained an overall modern and space-aged look. At the end of the film, the bus is destroyed but in real life, it is ready to “Spice up Your Life.”
25 years after the film’s release the bus is permanently parked on the Isle of Wight. It is owned by Suzanne Godley who renovated the entire interior in 2019. And if you’re lucky she even lists the “Spice World” bus on Airbnb sometimes. While the interior is drastically different the outside still sports its distinctive Union Jack paint job. Production designer, Grenville Horner, decided on this exterior look when he saw Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell) wearing a British-flag minidress at the Brit Awards in 1997.
A recent interview shows that Horner is still very proud of his work on “Spice World.” Revealing he still has his original script, sketches, and other memorabilia from the film. One of these items is a miniature version of the bus itself. This was used is a sight gag in the film when Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham) has to jump the bus across Tower Bridge, as the drawbridge is being raised. If they miss this jump they will be late for their concert at Royal Albert Hall! For the scene a clearly fake miniature bus with fishing line attached with superglue was used. Just in case anyone in the audience was trying to take this film seriously.
Horner even earmarked a page in the script where screenwriter Kim Fuller described the bus in great detail. “There are no seats,” Horner reveals. “Instead, the whole area is luxuriantly carpeted and sectioned off into areas for each girl, each of these being designed according to their Spice character. Note: There should be five of everything. Five towels, five bathrobes, five toothbrushes, five clothes racks. Emma: fluffy chair, pink wall, lots of teddies and My Little Ponies. Mel B: mystical, Gothic, leopard-skin throws and oriental wall hangings. Geri: ’60s pastiche, posters of Charlie’s Angels. Mel C: exercise bike, posters of Liverpool Football Club. Victoria: Vogue-ish, sleek, rail of expensive clothes. There is also a kitchen area with drinks and food vending machines.”
The overall design of the “Spice World” bus took a team of quilters, drape makers, metal workers, and set decorators to perfect the overall look. “It was a mobile dollhouse for grown-ups,” Horner said. He also assure fans that the carpet design looking “quite vaginal” was purely by accident, and not some heavy handed “Girl Power.”
The Spice Bus was actually an airbnb for awhile.