By Mike Bedigan and Charlotte McLaughlin, PA Entertainment
The manager of S Club 7 has remembered Paul Cattermole as “a beacon of light for a generation of pop music fans” following the singer’s unexpected death at the age of 46.
Simon Fuller said that he was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the news and that Cattermole would be “greatly missed”.
The singer was found dead on Thursday afternoon at his home in Dorset, his family and the pop group said.
It comes shortly after S Club 7 announced an upcoming 25th anniversary tour, which would see the original band members reunited.
In a statement, Mr Fuller said: “Paul was a beacon of light for a generation of pop music fans and he will be greatly missed.
“We’re all deeply shocked and saddened by this news”.
The seven-piece pop group was created by former Spice Girls manager Fuller in 1998, and were known for hit songs including Reach, Don’t Stop Movin’ and their debut track Bring It All Back.
Cattermole was dating bandmate Hannah Spearritt when he left S Club 7 in 2002 after four years to embark on a solo career.
We are truly devastated by the passing of our brother Paul. There are no words to describe the deep sadness and loss we all feel. We were so lucky to have had him in our lives and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/CFpkjU62aD
— S Club 7 (@SClub7) April 7, 2023
In a statement shared with PA, his family and the band said the singer’s cause of death was currently unknown but that police had confirmed there were “no suspicious circumstances”.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of our beloved son and brother Paul Cattermole,” the statement read.
“Paul was found yesterday, 6th April 2023 at his home in Dorset and was pronounced dead later that afternoon.
“While the cause of death is currently unknown, Dorset Police has confirmed that there were no suspicious circumstances.
“Paul’s family, friends and fellow members of S Club request privacy at this time.”
S Club 7 disbanded in 2003 before returning to the spotlight with a medley of their best-known songs for a 2014 BBC Children In Need appeal.
In February this year they announced on BBC’s The One Show that they would be embarking on an 11-date arena tour, with the first show on October 13th in Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena, set to feature all original members of the band.
Other dates include shows in Dublin, Glasgow, Newcastle and Manchester.
Among those paying tribute to Cattermole was television presenter and DJ Vernon Kay, who said the singer “always had time for a chat” and the news was “so very sad”.
Kay, who will take over Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 slot later this year, wrote on Twitter: “From when I first started in TV all the way through CBBC, T4, TOTP, smash hits poll winners Paul and (S Club) were always there.”
Broadcaster Lorraine Kelly wrote that she was “struck” during her interviews with Cattermole by “how gentle and shy” he was in person.
The 63-year-old host of ITV’s Lorraine chat show added she had been “looking forward” to the band’s reunion.
Following his stint as a solo artist, Cattermole became a member of the spin-off group S Club Allstars, previously S Club 3, with Bradley McIntosh and Jo O’Meara before Tina Barrett was added to the line-up in 2014.
The band was also known for the BBC children TV shows Miami 7 and LA 7, which saw them play fictionalised versions of themselves in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In 2018, Cattermole said he regretted “in a way” putting his Brit Award, which he won with his then-bandmates for best newcomer in 2000, up for sale online after struggling to find work due to a back injury.
He told ITV’s Loose Women he was hoping the eBay bidding, which reached more than £66,000, would be done “quietly”.
The singer said the halting of his pop career had made him consider applying for a job in a shop, and he was “cool with delivering pizza”.