Everyone’s talking about: Kim Wilde’s rebirth as a gardening expert

Five things you need to know about Kim Wilde.

For a fleeting moment, between Debbie Harry’s slide and Madonna’s ascendancy, Kim Wilde  was the blonde princess of pop. With her infectious energy and Multi-Coloured Swap Shop wardrobe, Wilde was an antidote to those pretentious New Romantics and the post-punk malaise. When she was prancing around the Top of the Pops studio singing ‘Kids in America’ in 1981, few could have imagined that she would one day become the new face of gardening TV.

The 40-year-old is the host and resident expert on BBC1’s Garden Invaders . Wilde stumbled into her new role. Apart from a starring role in the West End revival of Tommy, her musical career had faded in the Nineties. As she said recently, she ‘couldn’t imagine singing “Kids in America” at 50’. She took up gardening as a hobby and was spotted in 1999 at horticultural college by TV scouts hunting for the next Charlie Dimmock. Star pupil Wilde was pointed out and a few months later, kitted out in wellies and donkey jacket, she was on screen with Carol Vorderman in Better Gardens

The format of Garden Invaders owes much to Ground Force . Each show Wilde and her team transform a neglected backyard into a showpiece lawn against the clock. It’s a far cry from the days when she toured with Michael Jackson but she isn’t complaining. A glance at Wacko Jacko is enough to convince anyone that she’s doing pretty well.

Garden Invaders starts on BBC1 on 30 April

Five things you need to know about Kim Wilde

  1. She is doing a City & Guilds.
  2. She met actor-husband Hal Fowler performing in Tommy
  3. She once co-presented The Big Breakfast with Chris Evans.
  4. She lives in a converted barn.
  5. Her sister is named Roxanne after the Police song.