S Club 7’s Paul Cattermole has died at the age of 46. A noughties pop icon, Paul’s rollercoaster life saw him experience the highs and lows that fame can bring.
He achieved incredible success with his bandmates, with hits like Reach and Bring It All Back, and was set to reunite with them for a recently-announced comeback tour this year.
After spending just three years with the original group, Paul was the first to leave in 2002 – but not before becoming a global heartthrob, making headlines with his relationship with bandmate Hannah Spearritt and being caught up in a cannabis scandal.
He also produced a string of number one hits and claimed two Brit awards – one of which, to the shock of his fans, he would auction off as he dealt with money struggles in his later life.
News of his untimely death broke today, with a statement released by his family reading: ‘It is with great sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of our beloved son and brother Paul Cattermole.
S Club 7’s Paul Cattermole has died at the age of 46. A noughties pop icon, Paul’s rollercoaster life saw him experience the highs and lows that fame can bring. Pictured in 2018
S Club 7’s Paul Cattermole became a heartthrob among his legions of teenage fans around the world
Paul made headlines with his relationship with bandmate Hannah Spearritt. Pictured together in 2004
‘Paul was found yesterday, 6th April 2023 at his home in Dorset and was pronounced dead later that afternoon.’
The tragic news is said to have come as a ‘shock’ to his fellow bandmembers, including his ex-girlfriend Hannah Spearritt who has been left ‘inconsolable’.
Here, MailOnline charts the incredible rise and fall of the beloved musician.
Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, as a young man Paul reportedly dreamt of becoming a rugby star, but opted to pursue musical theatre instead.
He studied at the National Youth Music Theatre and appeared alongside future bandmate Hannah in Pendragon (1994). He was just 17 when they met while Hannah was 14.
While at college, Paul also reportedly duetted with Emma Bunton, who would later become Baby Spice in 90s girl group the Spice Girls.
Paul had also been in a rock band with some friends, his preferred style of music to the pop genre he would later master.
Paul studied at the National Youth Music Theatre and appeared alongside future bandmate Hannah, in Pendragon. Pictured in 1999
Reunited: (L-R) Rachel Stevens, Paul, Jo O’Meara, Jon Lee, Hannah Spearritt, Bradley McIntosh and Tina Barrett were gearing up to reform for a 25th anniversary tour later this year
His big break came when Spice Girls manager, Simon Fuller, spotted him during a show and picked him for S Club.
After a string of auditions, he became one of the band’s founding members along with Hannah, Tina Barrett, Jon Lee, Bradley McIntosh, Jo O’Meara, and Rachel Stevens in 1999.
S Club 7
His bandmates, like him, had tried other avenues before they were picked for the group, including acting, modelling and dancing.
During their five years together, the band released four number-one singles and one number-one album in the UK as well as fame globally.
They had a string of popular TV shows all named after the number of bandmates – Miami 7, LA 7, Hollywood 7 and Viva S Club.
The band went on to record four studio albums, released 11 singles that all entered the Top 5 in the UK charts, and sold more than 10 million albums worldwide.
After a string of auditions, Paul became one of the band’s founding members along with Hannah, Tina Barrett, Jon Lee, Bradley McIntosh, Jo O’Meara, and Rachel Stevens in 1999
Relationship with bandmate
Paul’s passing is said to have come as a ‘shock’ to his fellow bandmembers, including his ex-girlfriend Hannah Spearritt who has been left ‘inconsolable’.
The tragic news comes shortly after Paul and Hannah rekindled their friendship and called an end to their seven-year feud.
Hannah and Paul’s friendship predated the creation of the noughties group after they became friends in their teens while at the National Youth Music Theatre.
Their friendship blossomed into a romance and the pair first got together in 2001.
Hannah and Paul’s friendship predated the creation of the noughties group after they became friends in their teens while at the National Youth Music Theatre. Pictured out together in 2004
They kept their romance private with Paul later revealing he would sneak to and from Hannah’s house in the early hours of the morning to avoid being spotted by fans.
They split after five years before briefly rekindling their romantic connection as the band toured in 2015.
The couple went their separate ways again soon afterwards, with Hannah returning to a previous relationship with personal trainer Adam Thomas.
After years of feuding, Paul and Hannah recently made amends and were back to being close friends before his passing.
A source close to Hannah told MailOnline today: ‘She is absolutely devastated and inconsolable. This came as a massive shock, and she is struggling to believe he is no longer with us.
Paul’s passing is said to have come as a ‘shock’ to his fellow bandmembers, including his ex-girlfriend Hannah Spearritt who has been left ‘inconsolable’
‘Just as they rekindled their friendship, the worst happened. The band are all in pieces.
‘They were all looking forward to the reunion tour and reliving their amazing memories together.
‘Paul has and always will be a huge part of Hannah’s journey. Right now, she is just beside herself.’
In 2001, Paul and his bandmates Bradley and Jon were arrested for using drugs, shattering the band’s squeaky-clean image for many.
Paul, then 24, and his bandmates, were spotted smoking cannabis in a back street off Leicester Square in London.
The boys later issued a statement apologising unreservedly to their young fans.
In 2001, Paul and his bandmates Bradley (bottom, second from right) and Jon (top, right) were arrested for using drugs, shattering the band’s squeaky-clean image for many. Pictured together with their bandmates in 2000
‘We have been very stupid. We know we’ve made a mistake and we are very sorry,’ they said.
A spokesman for their record company, Polydor, said the three were ‘learning the hard way’ and ‘deeply regretted’ their actions.
‘The band are gutted by this. They rate their fans very highly and they know that they have let a lot of people down.’
A new direction
In March 2002, Paul said he would be stepping down from the band to go solo, becoming the first member of S Club 7 to leave.
He said: ‘I’ve had some of the best times of my life over the past four years with S Club and I’d like to thank all my fans for that and also the other six guys.
‘It will be a sad day for all of us when I leave and I’ll really miss not being with them every day – they are my best mates.
In March 2002, Paul said he would be stepping down from the band to go solo, becoming the first member of S Club 7 to leave (pictured a year earlier)
‘I’ve reached a point in my life where I’d like to experiment in different types of music as a solo artist.
‘I love S Club to bits and I know they’ll continue to be hugely successful. I’ll be watching them every step of the way and wish them all the best.’
However, he joined the band and members of Queen to perform at Buckingham Palace for the Golden Jubilee that year.
He went on to reunite with his old school friends in the nu metal band Skua.
Sadly, the band had little success and split in 2003, after failing to sign with a record label. In 2014 it reformed, releasing a series of singles and a debut album.
They continued to struggle to promote themselves without a label, and soon S Club would come calling for Paul again.
Reuniting with S Club
In October 2014, the original S Club lineup regrouped for the first time in almost ten years, and performed a few of their best-known songs for the BBC Children In Need appeal.
They reunited again in 2015 for the Bring It All Back tour, which took them to arenas across the UK.
Paul previously said the tour was ‘difficult’ and that ‘not everyone in the band sees eye-to-eye’.
After a run of shows, Paul decided to leave the group behind again.
Return to acting
Paul performing in The Rocky Horror Show tour at Richmond Theatre on May 6, 2016
In 2015, Paul took to the stage again, reprising his musical theatre training in The Rocky Horror Show.
He toured across the UK in the role of Eddie, which he said he loved doing.
‘I was a fan of the show before,’ he told the Oxford Mail. ‘I loved it! So I’m having a great time being part of it now. It’s a brilliant show with so many excellent moments, and I’m having a ball with it.’
He left the tour when received a back injury after a dancer fell on him during an dance number, and later said he was struggling to find work because of his injury.
Selling his awards
In January 2018, Paul made headlines when he sold the best newcomer statuette that he won with his then-bandmates in 2000 for £66,100.
Unfortunately, several weeks later he tweeted: ‘Well I am gutted that the winning bidder was total time waster. He Just wanted to wreck my sale. Grab yourself a bargain! Everyone thinks it’s sold!’
The item was later re-listed and made £61,000.
Paul had a rocky road after leaving the band, becoming bankrupt in 2015 and even putting his Brit Award up for sale on eBay saying: ‘There’s bills to pay’.
He admitted to trying to sign up to reality shows like I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Dancing On Ice but was told he wasn’t ‘famous enough’.
During an appearance on Loose Women in 2018 he admitted he had run out of money, saying he was living off instant noodles and had to borrow a shirt for the show.
The following year he made an emotional appearance on the dating show First Dates Hotel.
Bandmate Tina said at the time: ‘I’m always here for Paul. It is hard when you see someone you’ve worked with look like they’re struggling.’
Touching on his life following the disbandment of the group, Paul revealed how his ‘mental health got worse’ and things were ‘tricky’ in his life.
He told how he knew there were ‘trouble and turbulent times’ ahead as he touched on him being declared bankrupt in 2014.
However, he knew there was hope on the horizon as he started getting strong senses of energy and knew he being ‘called to do something else.’
In February 2023, all original members of S Club 7 announced they were reuniting for a UK and Ireland arena tour in October.
The 11-date tour was expected to see them perform classics such as Reach, Bring It All Back, and Never Had A Dream Come true.
The band said: ‘After eight years it feels amazing to announce that we’re reuniting and performing together again.
Paul made an emotional appearance on the dating show First Dates Hotel in 2019
‘We’re so excited to bring the S Club party back to our fans across the country to celebrate 25 years of S Club 7.
‘We can’t even believe it’s been so long. Music and friendship have always been at the core of everything that we’ve ever done.
‘We hope everyone can join us for one big party.’
Paul pictured in 1999. He began his career at acting college
Paul appearing on Loose Women in 2018
In February, Paul spoke to MailOnline about his hopes for ‘new beginnings’ and ‘good luck’ ahead, revealing he’d studied his tarot cards.
He told MailOnline: ‘I saw wheel of fortune – that’s good, that’s good luck. I genuinely did look at the cards.
‘There were other cards as well, ace of clubs – passion, new beginnings, your cup over-runeth with genuinely passionate emotion.
‘It’s positivity – something to be passionate about.’