The two women met on Australia's The Kyle And Jackie O radio show
By Samantha Brick
Earlier this week – an unsociable Sunday evening as it happens - I agreed to a request I'd received to be interviewed by an Australian radio show, The Kyle And Jackie O Show.
Its producers were doggedly persistent in pursuing me for over a month, insisting that their hosts were dying to have me on their show.
I'm currently finishing my first book and as a result refusing all media requests. Nonetheless the producers' persistence paid off and I agreed to talk to the show hosts on Wednesday morning (Australian time).
The time difference meant that I stayed up until 11.30pm Tuesday evening in order for the interview to be conducted live on their Sydney-based show.
No one told me that former Spice Girl and Australian X Factor judge Mel B would also be part of the interview.
I, like most British women, have always been a massive Spice Girls fan – naively assuming they were pro-women. All I can say about my encounter with Mel B is this: so much for Girl Power.
On hearing I was about to join her on the show, she immediately snapped: 'Have you seen her though? She's not as attractive as she thinks she is.'
On learning she'd be talking to me live, she immediately halted what I can only assume was the start of a negative diatribe - aimed squarely at me.
Throughout the interview, I had difficulty hearing the host - Jackie O.
When I later listened to the show on the internet, I found her comments to be genuine, warm and friendly, which is more than can be said for the twice-married mum of three.
It's only on the playback that I've realised what the viewers heard. Astonishingly the former Spice Girl couldn't get past the fact that she thought I was beautiful.
Never one to back down, Mel - whose three daughters each have different fathers - repeatedly asked me if this was genuinely the case. Or, demonstrating that she considered me wholly unattractive, whether I'd said it just to cause a stir.
Despite plugging her Jenny Craig contract and, I'd imagine, promoting her judging role on X Factor, she incredulously asked why I had appeared on Channel Five's recent Celebrity Big Brother series.
Now that I've listened to her patronising posturing I can respond to her directly: the same reasons as the shows you appear on Mel, to pay the bills.
Fortunately, Australian listeners rallied round, taking Mel to task and criticising her for repeatedly asking me if I was beautiful.
Two out of the three callers whose views were broadcast live on air were 100 per cent on my side – which is more than can be said for Mel.
For it's fair to say that Mel didn’t take a shine to me – and things only got worse between us. On learning that my husband and I maintain a healthy weight by both getting on the scales each week, Mel declared that my marriage was 'crap'.
I was flabbergasted by her vitriolic response. Weight however, is clearly a sensitive issue for Mel. According to a report in The Sun this week, she has also slapped Simon Cowell for labelling her fat.
I'd like to think I had the last laugh, for however confident Mel is about 'for better or for worse' and her husband loving her for her curves, later on that day she was photographed ‘'unawares' with her personal trainer.
I had always assumed that a female role model with her global profile - and a straight-talking working class girl, just like me – would be the first to applaud me.
Sadly Melanie Brown is far from the Girl Power role model I thought she was.