Kim’s going Wilde – like Dad

Kim Wilde is not just following in her father’s footsteps – more like striding ahead of him.

Marty Wilde was a rock’n’roll sensation before Kim, 20, was born, but although he had fourteen hits in his career he never reached the number one spot in the charts.
Now his daughter’s first record, Kids In America has hit number one in some charts. In others she has reached third position. And last week she was second in the BBC’s Top Of The Pops TV show.
Kim handles this fame with astonishing indifference. She shrugs and says: “I didn’t know it would get to number one. But I had the feeling it would be a hit.”
Marty, now forty and still writing songs, is Kim’s guide, but she has her own ideas about love, life and rock ‘n’ roll. She turned up for our meeting wearing somebody else’s cast-off clothes.
“I don’t like new clothes”, she said. “Anyway, people can identify with me because kids today DO buy their clothes second-hand.”
Kim, who until recently was at art college studying fine art, said: “I had an allowance which I kept to. I knew I could have all the money I wanted from my parents – all I had to do was ask. But I didn’t.”
She kept her ambition to become a pop star a secret from her college friends.
“I didn’t tell anyone my Dad is Marty Wilde”, she confided. “Our family name is Smith and that was the name I used.”
One of her father’s biggest hits was the 1959 version of “Teenager in Love” (Cliff Richard’s Livin’ Doll was in the charts, too.) And Kim admits that she has been smitten by the love bug already.
“I’ve been head over heels with some boys”, she said. “But I haven’t met anybody who was so important that I’d leave home for him. I want to be with my family.”

Hit record

The family is an extraordinary one, especially for rock’n’rollers. Mother Joyce, 39, once sang with the Vernon Girls, brother Ricky, 19, wrote Kim’s hit record, then comes 18-month-old Roxanne. And it doesn’t end there. Last week Mum brought home from the hospital another addition: a son called Marty.
Kim’s days are now spent recording and appearing on TV in France and Germany.
“Dad has helped me to cope with all that”, she said. “His experience has proved invaluable.”
Next month, Kim’s new single, Chequered Love, will be released, and later in the year she will face the biggest hurdle of her career when she takes a band on the road.
“I’m looking forward to it”, she said, “but I’m nervous.”
No need to be Kim: I’m sure Dad will be at the ready with advice.