Kim Wilde

I first Kim Wilde at Capitol Radio when her father, Marty Wilde, came to do an interview with me for the Sunday Supplement. He arrived with the then unknown Kim only as he didn’t introduce her we all assumed she must be his ‘bit on the side’. An assumption which made me very indignant as I knew his wife Joyce and believed them to be incredibly happy together. It was only in the pub afterwards that I learnt the truth (and, phew, yes Joyce and Marty ARE incredibly happy together). Basically she was being ‘kept under wraps’ as a huge launch was imminent. I remember thinking what an unspoilt sensible girl she was, as did the Rabbi who had joined us for a pint. (Capital’s religious guest speakers are a sociable lot). That was three years ago. Now established as one of rock music’s contemporary figures it would be hardly surprising if success hadn’t changed her a little. Of course it has, she’s much more confident, far more stylish and musically more refined. But her warmth and naturalness haven’t diminished. Considering the sycophants who slither and grovel round her it takes a strong character to remain unchanged. Her background helps. Until last month she lived at home in Hertfordshire with her parents, elder brother Ricky, baby brother Marty and four year old sister Roxanne. She adores the little ones and thinks of them as her own. Indeed she’s the chief nappy changer – and there’s nothing like a loaded nappy for keeping things in perspective. Kim moved a couple of weeks ago to a flat in Regents Park. The only things she’s bought so far is a piano (sleeping on its o.k. it’s the cooking on it that’s a bit more difficult), Ricky and Marty have written most of the songs so far, but with a piano all to herself she’s hoping to improve her songwriting. “I feel it’s important for an artist to do their own stuff as well as other people’s, otherwise fans eventually get bored. Unfortunately – or fortunately as the case may be – Ricky’s written some great songs which means he’s set a high precedent. On the one hand that’s good, but it could mean I may not achieve his standards – and I can’t take second best.”

There can’t be much time for finding out over the next few weeks as she’s now in the middle of a European tour to promote the new album “Catch As Catch Can”. Needless to say Kim with her black leather and unintentional Aryan looks goes down a storm in Germany, and in France the sexy pout makes her a kind of retrospective Bardot.

Kim is not alone in her ingeniousness, todays rock stars, on the whole, have few pretentions. After all the moments of glory are all too transitory and a couple of hit records does not safeguard against the dole queue. Kim will probably never queue for anything ever again and could be forgiven for behaving like a ‘star’ on a bad day. But she doesn’t. Maybe she doesn’t have a bad day.