Kim Wilde is late. About 45 minutes late. The photographer is tidgeting with his equipment. His studio time is fast dwindling.
She walks through the studio door. No make up, all in black and crumpled. Her washed out features are far from the familiar glossy pictures. She is full of excuses about the traffic and the difficult location. She disappears into the dressing room and emerges a few minutes later - it's a transformation that would have done the ugly duckling proud. Out stepped the honey blonde, every inch the Kim Wilde we know and love.
After two years of fame she knows how to handle a camera. She pouts, looks moody and flashes the occasional smile. After she's warmed up she casually admits she's overslept. Her face creases into a disarming laugh. Afterwards, chatting in between mouthfuls of cottage cheese and rufflings of the famous blonde thatch, she seemed calmer and eager to talk.
Kim's been a bit on the quiet side since she ended her British tour last autumn. She's been around Europe on tour and visited the Far East. Not an uncommon occurrence when you consider that 80 per cent of her record company's business is conducted abroad.
Now she's back -fighting fit and full of confidence - with her new single 'Love Blonde'.
The song is written, as before, by brother Ricky and Dad, Marty Wilde. "They've been slogging away in the studio for the single and a new album due in the autumn," she says.
"It's been reallv getting to them - trying to be better than the past. They're under a lot of pressure and life hasn't fiowed as easily as it can in our house."
So why hasn't she helped out?
"I've always had a self-defeatist attitude about it but I've bought a flat to write in. I needed space to do it - without my little brothers and sisters asking me to teach them piano every time I sit down. I feel too many eyes are watching and I like to get on with it in my own time."
But what makes Kim wild? - either with delight or irritability. She told us in her own words.
I think Phil Silver is a natural funnyman. There's something about him I love. He's in a class of his own. Few people can make me laugh like that. I rarely watch television but I'll make a special point of watching 'Bilko'.
I also watch 'The Munsters'. I love the macabre humour. I'd really love to live like that in a spooky house with cobwebs. There's something very magical about it all.
I love people who allow me to be exactly how I feel without imposing their code of cocnduct on me. For instance, if I'm feeling quiet, I prefer to be left as I am and not cheered up or called a miserabIe cow. Those people are few and far between. I like having people over to dinner. I can cook anything. My favourite is Mexican style cooking things like mixed bean stew, chili con carne and guacamole (avocado dip). I'm really good at salad dressings. That, a bottle of wine and a lot of laughing is a perfect evening.
I like working my body till it sweats. I like feeling the hardness of my muscles instead of flab. I found when I was promoting the early singles I got really unfit. I tried running but I gave it up because it's not supposed to be very good for women either internally or from a physical beauty point of view - the jolting of jogging makes the face appear jowlish. Also it's a real fag with the weather. I've run in rain, heavy wind and even snow. Even worse, it's lonely.
I now got to a club in London, it's really nice. Nobody raises any eyebrows and I can go in without make up. It wasn't easy the first time. I found I used my fame as an excuse not to go. Now I've opened myself up. I do two hours a day. I do repetitions rather than heavy weights - it firms me up and doesn't build up muscle. I know I could put on weight very easily.
Grover Washington's 'Winelight' album makes me feel good all over. I like Elton John, especially his earlier romantic stuff. He's got a great voice and delivery. I was a fan of his as a little girl so it brings a lovely song and a lot of good memories when I play him. I met him at 'Top of the pops' last year. He was charming and put me at ease. It's great meeting your heroes. Gary Glitter was one of mine. I met him on 'Pop Quiz' recently.
I listen to a lot of old rock 'n' roll. I listen to a lot of Dad's old demos. Unfortunately he wasn't much of a collector so we don't have many of his records at home. Since discovering that I'm making sure I get all my records. You can add Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Joni Mitchell and Elvis Costello to my list. The best place to listen to music is driving around.
Getting a letter
I don't get many but I like juicy ones. An old friend of mine went to South Africa with her husband. She wrote me a letter that told me she's left him and met another man who was married and had kids. I was really stunned. It was really a surprise to get one with so much juice.
I don't write many but I make the effort to contact friends. I get quite a few letters from fans. A lot have touched me. It's great to get little three or four year olds who send you their pictures. Sometimes I get some from people who are ill. I like the ones that are plain and don't ask for anything but tell me a lot about the person writing.
Finding a fiver in my back pocket
I did it the other day. I was doing 'Pop Quiz' and as a trick I psyched up the other team. I pretended I'd got the answers from somebody. Everyone was getting worried. Gary Glitter, who was on the other team, asked me how I got it. I took the fiver out of my pocket and laughed. It was so cool. Everybody believed me. It's not often I do something cool. I have a real mischievous streak in me that gets worse as I get older. I'm sure I'm going to end up totally eccentric.
I'm a real fan of Japanese food - it's good plain cooking. I eat out in London a lot. I remember I turned my nose up at the raw fish the first time but it's now a real passion of mine. I've become more concerned about what I eat for health reasons.
I appreciate good design in architecture, clothes and interiors. My clothes I get off the peg. I like going to 'Joseph' which has branches in Sloane Street and Kings Road. They do a lot of black clothes which have a rough edge to them and aren't too nice. They're made of interesting fabrics, they're incredibly stylish... and expensive. At school I studied Roman and Greek architecture and going to art college developed my awareness of what's around me.
A game of rounders
I play on a village green near Knebworth with some mates. I'm not very good at hitting the ball but I'm great at bowling and at fourth post. It's a wonderful feeling scoring a rounder but I don't do that very often.
Flying to a different country
I don't like the actual flying. I have problems getting all my hand luggage on and I'm always squashed up. But arriving is great.
Japan has beautiful trees and countryside. It all looks like a miniature garden. It's very scenic, very lush and green and has a warm atmosphere. The people have a great sense of humour.
I love New York. You get a view of the skyscrapers from the Triborough Bridge. It's breathtaking on your first trip in from the airport. It was around sunset when I arrived and what made it more exciting was that I was in a Cadillac. When you get into Manhattan it looks like an American TV serial.
But what of the things that make Kim wild with anger? Even though she found it difficult to change her positive frame of mind she dredged up a few annoyances in her life.
I hate being around people who won't allow me to be the way I am. In personal affairs I can usually have an argument but in business people are so busy evading the issue an argument would be a luxury.
In my personal life I feel people think I'm too detached from my old way of life with them and am above it all now. But I'm not above anything. But being put on a pedestal can be nice sometimes. Sometimes people will carry a bag for you or bring a bottle of champagne - you know, little things.
Naff wallpaper really puts me off. I've walked into people's houses and it's been so offensive it's nearly made me ill. Also there's few hotels I've been to that I wouldn't completely redecorate within two minutes of stepping inside.
I don't like animals in the house. You know, smelly dogs licking me in the most personal places. We used to have a few cats and dogs, but I'm glad they've disappeared.
I used to go but now they're like rundown prisons. They were built too many years ago and haven't been modernised. The animals are so sad when they're caged.
Big lumps of meat
I prefer big lumps of fish or small portions of meat. I know people who have claimed to be less aggressive and have stabilised their weight slnce becoming vegetarian. They also say they've become less anxious and happier with themselves. I'm not a fanatical vegetarian ~ I couldn't get fanatical about anything - but there seems to be something in it.