Still Wilde at heart

Kim Wilde showed us what the 80’s were about, then disappeared into domestic bliss and gardening. But she’s back and she’s still got it!

Kim Wilde shot to fame in the 80s with hits like ‘Kids in America’ and ‘You keep me hangin’ on’. These days she has a blossoming career as a TV presenter on the BBC show ‘Garden invaders’. Kim, 40, lives in Hertfordshire with her husband Hal and children Harry, three, and Rose, 21 months, is about to take to the stage again for an ’80s revival tour…

Why did you decide to take part in the concert?
In the last few years I’ve been noticing that the ’80s revival has really gathered momentum. A lot of my younger friends tell me that ’80s songs are always being played in the clubs. I’ve got a younger sister, Roxanne, who’s breaking into the business in a band called Dimestars and she says the same. So doing the concert all started to make sense and I thought I quite fancied the challenge.

When was the last time you were on stage?
I’ve been asked to do ’80s tours before and didn’t really fancy it, but about a year ago I did a fund-raising gig in Welwyn Garden City with an Abba tribute band. I sang ‘Kids in America’ and a few other numbes and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I was even more surprised about the reaction I was getting from the audience. That was the first time I’d sung for about seven or eight years.

Do you have to do any voice training before the concert?
I am making more of an effort to yse my voice. I mostly sing when I’m on my own in the car. I don’t put my stuff on though – it’s normally Coldplay or something. I’m always shouting at the kids, so that exercises my voice enough!

Are you nervous about getting up on stage again?
I’ve done some pretty scary things in my life and this is probably up there with them. I’ve always had an insatiable appetite for putting myself in scary situations.

Do you know the other ’80s bands on tour?
I wouldn’t say we were great mates because all of us were too busy pursuing our careers, but I bumped into them all a lot. We met again a few weeks ago to do publicity shots and there was a great feeling and we were all sort of grinning inside.

Are you going to sing any new songs or just the old favourites?
I’m not going to showcase my latest song. I wouldn’t want to burden the audience with that!

But do you think playing live might make you want to get back into the studio?
Yes it could give me a taste for it again. Why not? I never say never to anything, I always said I’d never be singing ‘Kids in America’ in my 40s and here I am about to embark on a very high-profile retro tour singing nothnig but my early hits! But I am really looking forward to it – I think it will be great fun.

You’ve said you enjoyed gardening as an escape from all that. Are you doing TV work?
Yes I’m currently recording a new series of ‘Garden invaders’, which will go out later this year. I love doing it, it’s really creative and rewarding. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to have a new string to my bow.

Why do you like gardening?
So many reasons. I love being outside close to the elements. I love planting a seed and nurturing it. I love the fact that it calls the shots. It has an independence to it. It should respond if you look after it, but it might not. It’s also creative and it smells good.

Are you still studying?
I’m doing a City and Guilds in Planting and Planting Design at Capel Manor Horticultural School in Enfield.

Do you find it hard to balance work and family life?
Having two kids and trying to work is stressful for anyone. Hal takes care of the kids while I’m away. We share the responsibility. Hal’s very flexible.

Have yo umissed being in the pop world?
No, I’ve had such a fulfilling life. I don’t miss all the promotional aspects and the travel.