Brief encounter

Date
Published in
Evening Times (UK)

Pop icon turned gardening guru Kim Wilde is reliving her 1980s heyday tomorrow night when she joins The Stranglers, T'Pau and Toyah in concert at Culzean Castle, Ayrshire. Born Kim Smith in 1960, she followed her rocker dad Marty Wilde into the music business, unleashing smash-hit Kids In America in 1981. She released nine albums between 1981 and 1995, selling more than seven million copies worldwide. Kim wed actor Hal Fowler in 1996, and they live with her kids Harry and Rose in Hertfordshire. She's now a respected gardener.

Are you looking forward to tomorrow's gig at Culzean Castle?
I haven't done an '80s concert for a few months. I've worked with Carol Decker and Toyah before, so it should be great.

Do you mind being grouped with acts from the 1980s?
I've really enjoyed it, although I had my reservations when I initially got involved with the Here and Now tours a few years ago.

You've many fans in Europe. Is that down to Kids In America?
Well it seems to be an incredibly potent song - it's still enjoyed by young kids now just as it was in 1981. A lot of that is because it appears in quite a few video games.

Looking back at your number one singles and millions of albums sold, does it seem unreal?
I never really think that much about it. I have a room that's full of Kim Wilde memorabilia and a lot of that is gold, platinum and silver records piled up against the wall. It is phenomenal the success we had.

Were you flattered by Charlotte Hatherley from Ash recording the song Kim Wilde, a tribute to you, on her solo album?
Yeah, I listened to that song and I thought it was terribly complicated. I haven't analysed the lyrics so I don't know what she's saying, but I really like her voice.

Is it easier to get back into music now your kids are older?
It is a bit now, but they're still really young. Rosie is five and Harry is seven and they're still babies and need me here a lot. I'm really glad I made the choice to get out the music business when I did and concentrate on family life ... and with that came horticulture.

How big is your garden?
I have an acre garden and an acre-and-a-half field which I'm just planting with trees. I hope it's going to develop into a woodland one day. Having the children motivated me to do it.

Was doing Celebrity Detox Camp an eye-opener for you?
I'm very interested in eating healthily and it was an eye-opener. All I do now is eat healthy food, exercise and try to keep away from pies.

Is there more pressure now on female celebrities to be thin?
It's always been the same. You watch programmes on the starlets of the 1930s, 40s, 50s ... there has always been that pressure to be slender. I always accepted that was part of the deal.