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TURNING THE OTHER CHIC; It's the latest thing for hip female celebs to do ... get lippy with a close friend.

FEMALE stars are taking lesbian chic up a gear in an attempt to grab the limelight.

Singers Geri Halliwell and Kylie Minogue were the latest celebrities to stage a passionate kiss for the cameras, just as their new books were published.

Their embrace on Channel 4 show TFI Friday came as Ally McBeal star Calista Flockhart declared: "It's hot to kiss a woman."

Television lawyer Ally will share a full-blooded French kiss with her rival, Ling Woo - played by Lucy Liu - in a new series of the American show.

British viewers will have to wait until next year to see the lawyer's lesbian kiss, which is screened in America next month.

They will see Geri and Kylie's smooch on this week's TFI Friday.

It happened when former Spice Girl Geri appeared on TFI Friday last week with struggling solo artist Kylie.

After the final credits rolled, the pair arm-wrestled with one another across host Chris Evans's studio desk to decide whose book was best.

A live audience watched their play-fight turn in to a lingering kiss on the mouth as the cameras continued rolling.

But what looked like a spontaneous show of affection was little more than a stunt to boost the stars' images, according to psychologist and image consultant Ros Taylor.

She said: "It could have been the mood of the moment, but it was more likely to be sheer exhibitionism.

"It was something which was bound to get headlines for its shock value. Stars know that a little titillation goes a long way.

"Homosexual men have had their day - this month it's heterosexual women kissing."

TFI Friday spokeswoman Jo Linsey insisted the kiss was more a genuine show of affection than a stunt, although both women knew the cameras were still filming.

She said: "Chris had asked them to arm-wrestle. After he realised they had run out of time, he said they should record it anyway and show it next week. Geri and Kylie got closer and closer and then kissed for three or four seconds.

"They are very friendly anyway, but they are entertainers who decided to put on a bit of a show for the camera."

Kylie, who was dumped by her record company after her last album flopped, was on TFI Friday peddling her untitled coffee table tome, a hefty retrospective of photographs and tributes.

Geri, who launched a solo career after leaving the Spice Girls, was publicising her new autobiography If Only. She is donating proceeds from the book to the Breast Cancer Care charity.

At the very least, their kiss was a fashion statement.

It puts Geri and Kylie in the same camp as stars like Madonna and Sandra Bernhard, who flirted publicly with a lesbian relationship and Courtney Love, and Amanda de Cadenet, who spiced up an Oscars ceremony by kissing one another repeatedly.

Ros, director of Plus Consulting, said: "Madonna was doing it years ago and now she's a mother who is looking a bit Laura Ashley and worrying about her daughter."

In the 80s it was air-kissing - now the full-on version is becoming an acceptable way for good friends to greet one another.

Channel 4 soap Brookside has been quick to jump on the lipstick lesbian trend as beleaguered Lindsay Corkhill and her new friend Shelley teeter on the edge of a relationship.

Viewers will discover nearer Christmas whether she accepts more than that from her lesbian friend.

Even Vogue has jumped on the trend, labelling it "bi-try".

The cover feature of this month's issue describes it as "the new trend for autumn" and illustrates it with a photograph of a giggling brunette sticking her hand down the dress of a smiling blonde.

The "bi-try" trend was spotted by lesbian writer Stephanie Theobold, who explained: "The new swingers in town were often doing no more than that - trying."

SPICE IT UP Kylie Minogue and Geri Halliwell on TFI Friday

PARTY MARTI Martine McCutcheon romances a stranger

LUVVIES Amanda de Cadenet and Courtney Love show that they are just good pals

NECKING Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss

GET LIPPY Tamara Beckwith and socialite Miss Dee

NO SAINT Shaznay Lewis and Melanie Blatt of All Saints get friendly for the nearby cameras

ALLY PALLY Calista Flockhart makes Ally McBeal, who has no luck with men, get friendly with, left, female colleague Georgia (Courtney Thorne Smith) and, right, rival lawyer Ling Woo (Lucy Liu)

LIP WAX Geri Halliwell shows Ruby Wax how a good clinch should be

DEMI LOVE Actresses Demi Moore and Anne Heche are just good gal palsMATERIAL GIRLMadonna and nightclub queen Ingrid Casares

THE SOAP STARS WHO BOOSTED THE RATINGS WITH THEIR SHOCKING CLINCHES BROOKSIDE: Anna Friel and Nicola Stephenson outraged the whole Close with their affair

HOLLYOAKS: Terri Dwyer and Elly Fairman embrace

EMMERDALE: Leah Bracknell and Rachel Ambler kiss

THE BILL: Joy Brooks and Billy-Claire Wright shower

HIGH ROAD: Sarah Gudgeon and Amanda Beveridge

BABY KISS Baby Spice, Emma Bunton gets lippy with Nicole Appleton of All Saints
COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Morgan, Kathleen
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 26, 1999
Words:830
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