Eighties have grown on Kim

Date
Published in
South Wales Echo (UK)
Written by
Alison Stokes

She was one of the pin-ups of the Eighties, but these days Kim Wilde is happier scrubbing around in the undergrowth than strutting her stuff on stage.

Although the singer turned horticulturalist and TV presenter has been persuaded back into the spotlight to join the line-up for the Here and Now Eighties Show, which comes to Cardiff International Arena tomorrow night. Kim, who first hit the charts in 1979 with Kids in America, before going on to notch up 30 hits, turned her back on the pop world six years ago when she landed a leading role in the West End musical Tommy. But she was persuaded back onto the stage after a performance at her local village fete last summer.

Kim and her family - partner Hal, three-year-old son Harry and daughter Rose, 18 months - lead an ideal rural English village life. They live in a converted barn on the outskirts of Welwyn Garden City and Kim, who has presented BBC's Garden Invaders and ITV's Real Gardens, has indulged her love of plant life by expanding her landscaped garden.

'I wanted the children to grow up where growing your own vegetable was normal', said Kim, whose own childhood was spent in the Hertfordshire village of Tewin with her famous family - Sixties pin-up dad Marty, Vernon Girl mum Joyce and brother Rick.

'We grew up with strong family values in a village community, now I live in a village community close to the one I was brought up in and I'm trying to experience the same for my children. Dad always had a healthy attitude towards fame. he was a pin-up but he never took it seriously. He saw it as a tool of the trade and when I was dying my hair and looking like Marilyn Monroe I was into it but I didn't buy it. It was just nice to wear lovely clothes but I began to feel isolated and in a cage. I felt very restrained by it all. There were times that if I put weight on I would get crucified', said Kim.

'I haven't missed performing because I've had a full and busy life', said Kim. 'I had a glam life but it wasn't enough. getting over-excited about shoes and accessories is great when you're young, but as I got older I wanted more. I love my life now. I'm back at college learning about plants, bringing up kids. It's like my whole life has been given a second chance.'

Kim and Co play Cardiff International Arena tomorrow night. The line-up includes T'Pau, Nick Heyward, Go West, Heaven 17, Curiosity Killed The Cat and Paul Young.