Emma Bunton was "really upset" when she first moved in with the Spice Girls.

Emma Bunton

Emma Bunton

The 44-year-old pop star was just 19 when she joined the group and the night she and bandmates Victoria Beckham, Geri Horner, Mel B and Mel C moved into a shared house together was the first time she'd ever been away from home.

Emma quickly realised they would all be good friends if they could be "open" with one another and they were quick to comfort her when she confided in them about her homesickness.

She recalled: “The first night I got there [to the house] I shared with Victoria and I was lying in bed and got really upset because it was my first night away from home ever.

"I thought, 'I either lie here and cry on my own or I go and speak to the girls.'

"So I got up and went and said, 'Girls this is my first time away from home and I feel like this is going to be special but this is my first time away from home, I feel really home sick and I miss my mum and I don’t know what to do.' They all hugged me and I knew that was it.

"I knew I had to be open with them if it was going to be a long lasting friendship.”

Emma - who has sons Beau, 13, and Tate, nine, with fiance Jade Jones - is thankful she found fame in the 1990s and not in today's digital age because she wouldn't like her personal life to be on display all the time.

Speaking to Clemmie Telford on her 'Honestly' podcast, the Vodafone Digital Parenting Ambassador said: "I was just 19 when it [the band] started and I don’t know how I would have dealt with the social media and the pictures back then. I remember the first time I was out with friends in a club and I saw someone with a camera phone and they took a picture of me and I thought ‘oh my goodness, that’s it now, that’s privacy done and there’s no boundaries’ - it frightened me.

"In the celebrity world of course you put yourself out there but there’s those moments where you’d like to have time with your friends and not have someone being intrusive, but that went in that moment...

"Being a Spice Girl then and now would have been completely different.”

And the 'Free Me' hitmaker worries fans don't properly "take in" the moment when they see their favourite artists perform nowadays because they are too busy taking photos or filming on their phones.

She said: "Our first [Spice Girls] tour was incredible and I remember looking out and seeing faces and now you look out and just see phones. I think that ‘I really hope you’re taking it in’.”

The special episode of 'Honestly' was sponsored by Vodafone and coincides with the launch of the 2021 edition of their Digital Parenting Magazine, which helps families to have positive conversations with children about technology, the internet and digital skills.