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The surprise Fleabag cameo you never noticed in Spice World: The Movie

Posted by
Helen Bownass
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Fleabag fans, one of the show’s key characters had an important role in the Spice Girls film…

There has been an air of sadness permeating the Stylist office since Monday evening. A date that will remain forever imprinted in our memories, it was the night that Fleabag aired its very last episode, broke our hearts and crushed our dreams in one 28 minute episode of televisual perfection. (Read our take on the very last episode here.)

That was until picture director and Stylist’s in-house Spice Girls correspondent, Tom Gormer recounted us with some cheering news. He realised that he’d seen Fleabag’s dad, aka Darling, aka Bill Paterson, somewhere before. And that somewhere was playing Brian the café owner in Spice World .

We’ll just let you sit with that a minute…

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Fleabag’s bumbling and emotionally stunted father played the café owner in Spice World in a flashback scene set “a very long time ago” when Sporty, Posh, Ginger, Baby and Scary start thinking about where they come from. In the backwards-looking scene, the girls are poised and ready to embark on their music careers.

More importantly, they order six coffees for the bargain price of £1.50! 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Bill Paterson in Fleabag

Brian then questions them about what sort of music they’re making – reminding them he’s more of a fan of jazz – and is treated to an impromptu performance of Wannabe complete with sugar shaker microphones and Mel C backflipping round gingham clad café tables. 

Bill Paterson in Spice World

Spice World, for those that haven’t watched it since it came out in 1997 (that’s 22 years ago), charts a week in the life of the Spice Girls in the lead up to a big concert at the Royal Albert Hall. It also stars Richard E. Grant, Meatloaf and Stephen Fry, among many other men (read our account of all the film’s celebrity cameos here). 

“I wonder what ever did happen to Brian?” wonders Melanie C as the girls revisit the closed down café in the ‘modern day’ (We suspect those 25p coffees weren’t good for profits.) Well, Melanie, we can tell you in no uncertain terms that he proved to be a huge success: after his Spice World stint, Paterson he went on to play Mr Green in Inside No. 9, Private Frazer in the remake of Dad’s Army and also starred in Outlander

But he’ll always be Fleabag’s Dad to us…

Images: Universal Pictures / Amazon