"Maybe it's not the most beautiful pair of legs in the world, but at least they're mine and they may be seen". Kim Wilde falls laughing into an armchair. She looks fine, healthy and rested after a silent period. She could finally go on vacation, wasn't constantly followed by photographers and felt no pressure on her shoulders for the first time in two years.
Away from stress
"It was madness", she says, "to try and make a big hit time and again. It's just not possible when your first record is a number one hit, like my "Kids in America". When my last single "Child come away" sold less, we called it quits. I went on holiday for over a month and thought through it all for a while". The result is doing well, because "Love blonde" is once again a charttopper.
"We put a lot of extra effort in it", Kim says. "Especially my brother Ricky and my dad had to do a lot for it. We wanted a hit, but knew we had to try something new as well. Hits aren't delivered to your doorstep."
"It became so stressful that I bought a flat in the Northwest of London. It doesn't mean I wanted to leave home, because I still feel good with the family. But it does give me the opportunity to be alone and to try something without others looking at my fingers."
Everything okay with Gary
A happy Kim, but it doesn't hurt to think about the future. Father Marty and brother Ricky know it's best to be prepared for anything.
"Next month we'll open our own recording studio", Kim says. "For us it will be a big improvement, but we want to do more. We want to make it a place where young talent can learn this. We have learned a lot ourselves and want to help others as well."
Kim gets very reflective at times. "Sometimes I think about the meaning of life. How will things be when I'm sixty? In fact it's a fearful thought, but thankfully it's all very far away still. I hope I will have some grandchildren who will keep me young. I don't think I'll still be recording records. I'd like to have a big house on the countryside, and many people around me. I would perhaps paint some more and I will always be listening to music. I can't imagine that music and I will change so much that we won't love eachother as much anymore. It doesn't really matter as long as I've got my health."
Last question, strategically chosen when Kim shows us to the door. What about the romance with her sax player Gary Barnacle?
Kim laughs. "I knew that question would come out sooner or later! Six months ago I would not have responded very friendly to that question. Now I can understand it better, but that doesn't mean I will hand out my private life to anyone. Gary will be on tour with me and you can draw your own conclusions with that. An English newspaper has written that our affair had ended. We just laughed about that. But answering your question I won't. Let's just say that Gary and I are somewhere at the beginning, the middle or the end of a great relationship. As long as we're healthy, like I said..."
A dress instead of pants
"Love Blonde" doesn't just sound differently, it also introduces Kim Wilde's new image. The hair is combed a bit less wildly, and she doesn't hide her legs in jeans anymore. On the sleeve and on TV you can see Kim in a sexy black leather dress, and she poses in a short black skirt and a white blouse for our photographer.
"I bought it in an Oxfam-store", she laughs, "because in those shops and on the market I still prefer to shop. You can find nicer things there than in the High Street shops. That's just the way I am and that's how I like to present myself to the audience. It's mainly because I am more happy with myself than I have been. When I started my career, I knew nothing. I presented myself as this very self-assured person, but inside I was often very insecure. Many photographers thought that was interesting and they nearly forced me to pose that way. There are some photographs of me which I am not happy about. But that's over now. I am happy because I know I'm being accepted by a large group of people. I can finally be myself now."
Which means that Kim can walk around in a dress for example. "A year ago I wouldn't have dared", she says, "but now I feel like an independent woman. Many people think that I would trade in my dress for pants, but with me, it's simply the other way around."