PR guru to help Honda

Simon Fuller made his name as a record and television producer who is best known as the manager of the Spice Girls and as one of the creators of Pop Idol and its spin-offs including American Idol. He runs a company called 19 Entertainment Limited, which he founded in 1985. His first breakthrough came in 1985 when he discovered Paul Hardcastle and was soon managing Annie Lennox as well before the arrival of the Spice Girls. A big sports fan he managed soccer player Steve McManaman and was also involved with David Beckham (husband of Spice Girl Victoria Beckham). Since the break-up of the Spice Girls he ran a band called S Club 7 and then moved into TV with the Pop Idol idea. Early last year Fuller sold 19 Entertainment for $192m but remains chief executive and will now work with Honda Racing F1 to give the team a more exciting image, working under a five-year deal to market the Honda name.

"The competition now for an audience is not just within motor racing but comes from Desperate Housewives and Chelsea Football Club," said chief executive Nick Fry.

The deals is being lauded by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone who told The Guardian newspaper that this is "exactly the direction the teams should be taking to broaden the entertainment and sporting appeal of Formula 1 to a global audience."

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