Kim Wilde is the dazzling chart-topper whose sultry blonde looks and shimmering sexuality have proclaimed her the Bardot of pop. Fans see her as the ideal woman, but she pours scorn on comparisons with the French sex symbol.
"Bardot is a natural beauty and I am not," insists the 26-year-old singer who recently hit the charts with You Keep Me Hangin' On. A months after leaving college she zoomed to stardom with her first single, Kids in America, written by her father, 50s rock idol Marty Wilde, and brother Rick. Hit followed hit, along with albums like Catch As Catch Can. She was mobbed and feted. Her concerts were sell-outs. But, just as quickly, it was over and for four years her recording career languished in the doldrums.
Then a sort of miracle happened. Just before Christmas she recorded the Supreme's hit, You Keep Me Hangin' On. An album followed entitled Another Step. Next month she releases the album's title track as a single. She is sifting through film offers, appearing live at British venues like the Wembley Arena, and this year is touring Europe, Japan, Australia and the US.
Kim is right back on top again. "Something very positive came out of the dip in my fortunes," she claims. "I've stopped taking myself so seriously. When my records stopped selling here I became involved with EST (Ernhard Seminars Training, a cult using brainwashing methods). "I knew the whole thing was going to be scary, but I came out of it much stronger. I used to be sensitive about a lot of things. Now I don't really care any more."
Two other factors have contributed to the reformed Kim Wilde: a dynamic self-respect stemming from her new role as a songwriter, and the support of her family.