Transcript of the Freeserve online chat

Welcome to this evening’s live chat with Kim Wilde who shot to fame with her first single “Kids in America”. In the early 1990’s Kim’s passion for gardening blossomed and she started studying horticulture, appearing as a guest designer for ITV’s Better Gardens in January 2000. Now is your chance to ask her a question!

Lloyds [a question from the sponsor of the event; Lloyds Bank – ed.]: Which moment from your life would you like to bank?
There have been a lot in the last five years… If I had to pick one it would probably be the birth of my first child Harry.

John: Did you feel pressurised into music because of your father?
I did feel it put upon me which was a certain pressure the only pressure to do well in my career came from myself.

Bertie: How do you find going back to education?
Firstly I love it more than I ever did when I had to go… I have never felt very inspired or eager to take in information and I find taking information easier to absorb; it also makes me smile if I get told off for any reason in class… I do get that naughty schoolgirl syndrome which makes me giggle a bit.

Gilbert: Do you have green fingers?
My mum says I have got green fingers; myself I would rather say that I care very much about planting as well as I can and I take time to learn about the plants that I am using for planting. Armed with knowledge everyone can have green fingers.

Andy: Hi Kim, I’ve been a huge fan since the mid-80’s. What’s your view on the current ‘Popstars’ phenomenon?
I only caught up with it on the final selection. I quickly lost interest subsequently, however I will be very interested to see what the first single is like.

Lee Bennett: Kim, how will your fans ever get to hear your unreleased album you recorded a couple of years ago?
Well the fans are still there for me to perhaps rerecord or present as some future project but I have no recording plans imminently.

Brett Ruby: Kim, who do you listen to these days?
I like Moloko… I like Craig David. I think it was a real shame that he didn’t get something at the Brits. It would have delighted him as much as it delighted me when I won it in 82.

JonnieB: Do you plant for the short term or take the longer view – i.e. years?
Both… I think there is a case for both. Predominantly for the longer view.

Barbwire: Kim, what do you think about Britney Spears?
I haven’t paid really any attention to her career but I’d rather see Madonna.

Cliff: Are you jealous of Billie?
No of course not. I really hope that he has found the right one at last.

Lee Bennett: What happened to all your gold discs when the studios were sold and what does Rick do now?
I have all my discs in a store room in my home which I recently made special shelves for, and Ricki is recording and producing in a studio he has built in his home.

Andy: Kim, the photo on the chat screen here has you with some pot plants – was that taken at your home (PS you still look as beautiful as ever!)
I think so. It was on the cover of Hertfordshire Mag and it was taken last summer in our garden. Thank you very much for the compliment.

Moon: Kim, how did you feel the morning after the Fabba concert?
Elated… I had a great night. It gave me a taste for doing more concerts.

Betina: Kim, do you have plans to perform abroad sometime in the future?
No live performances are planned at this moment but I am considering some ideas for the end of this year.

Andy: Kim, my favourite album of yours in Another Step. Do you have a fave? And what is your fave album from other artists?
I think the Close album was one of the most complete and well written albums that I have made and my favourite album is Hats by the Blue Nile.

Megasonic: Kim, what do you think about the future of Dimestars?
EstherE: Kim, what do you think of the Dimestars?
The Dimestars are just about to embark on the Kylie Minogue tour opening for her and I shall be going to see them when they hit London. And I think they are great of course.

Tapps: Kim, do you still keep in contact with Chris Evans?
No, I don’t.

Tigran: Kim, my mother Knarik loves you too (she says hello too). She thinks you’re fantastic. Her question is: what’s your favourite actor? And if you will have a chance who would you like to co-star in a movie?
I think my favourite actor is John Cusack and I would like to co-star with him.

Andy: I notice your dad is doing a radio slot on Radio 2. Would you consider doing radio presenting?
Yeah, I’m a big fan of radio and it would just take the right situation for me to get involved.

Brett Ruby: Are any of the songs on Close autobiographical?
I think several are. A lot of my songs have been. I have always written from the heart and sometimes being a little more honest than was good for me. I don’t regret it though.

Sparkz: You used to get involved a lot into the defense of our environment. Does the fact of being a mother make you feel still more concerned about what our children’s future will be, and do you intend to get more engaged about it?
I have been a member of Greenpeace since 1986 so I still actively contribute to them, but I am suspicious of getting involved in certain projects if I feel that their motives are not entirely pure so I take great care as to which projects I attach my name to.

Lee Bennett: Do you keep in touch with any pop star chums from your pop career?
No… Most of my close friends throughout my career were the ones made before I became famous and remain so.

EstherE: Do you ever take a look at internet sites which were made about you?
My husband does. He uses the net a lot.

Andy: Kim – is this your first internet chat? Are you enjoying it and would you consider doing it again (maybe through Marcel Rijs’s excellent I’ve met you twice (once after the last night of Tommy) but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to meet with my all time idol!
Yes it is and I am enjoying it very much. It’s incredible.

Marcel: Do you miss having a Fan Club?
I miss having the time to devote to my fan club but I feel that that time is better spent with my children these days.

Sparkz: If someone had to make a cover of one of the songs you personally wrote, which one would make you the most happy?
I would love to see someone record Four Letter Word again. It was such a superb song – but I didn’t write it, Ricki and Marty wrote that song.

Barbwire: Kim do you listen to dance music and what are your views on today’s music?
Yeah I listen to the radio a lot and find that I am more drawn to Garage and RNB sound predominantly coming out of America but also done fantastically here by several artists including Craig David. I love the variety of music that gets into the charts in this country. And it has always been like that and it’s one of its strongest attributes.

Barbwire: Are you planning on doing anymore theatre or even tele work in the future?
Probably not theatre. It’s too time consuming and very hard work. I leave that to my husband who is in Under the Doctor in the West End… I have got a gardening programme called Garden Invaders where I designed 20 small gardens which is going out in April.

Barbwire: Do you find it peaceful in the garden, and knowing you grew something and gave it life?
Yes, I think the reason I have become so absorbed by the gardening world is because it formed a kind of therapy for me during the hectic popstar years, and now I find it just as inspiring as a piece of music.

EstherE: If one of your children thinks about going into the music business, what would you advise them?
I would give them only the advice my dad gave me which was to work hard and play hard. I would encourage them in anything they felt passionate about.

Brett Ruby: In your many years in the business, what is the strangest thing you ever experienced?
I think the strangest thing that happened only just recently to me is the transition from music to horticulture. It is rarely that you surprise yourself but I really have this time.

Sparkz: Would you write as many lovesongs as you used to do now that your private life is quite a happy one?
I found meeting Hal which was in 96 as the catalyst for me wanting to stop writing songs as I was living the dream instead of fantasising about it. I haven’t written a song since. I am too busy living it.

Moon: Since we can’t write to the studio anymore, is there any way to send you our cards and stuff?
At the moment there is nothing organised for incoming mail but I am thinking of establishing somewhere for mail to be sent so that I can still receive it.

Wishmaster: Do you miss the big time that you had in the 80’s when you had so many many hits in the charts?
I don’t miss them. I am incredibly grateful for that time. I think of them fondly.

Emz: Does gardening come naturally to you, or do you think it is a learnt art?
I think it’s both. It is certainly going to St. Alban’s College of Art and being interested in painting that happened before I became a popstar helped me now, but I think it is very much a learnt art which is why I am still at college.

Andy: What did you enjoy the least about your pop days? I always imagine that the TV interviews must become very tedious – answering the same questions over and over again?
That’s true, especially very personal questions and I am glad to not have my private life intruded upon as it used to constantly be. It’s a relief.

Andy: I’ve been a huge fan for over 15 years and other than for Michael Jackson you never toured. I’d LOVE to see you in concert. Since your fan club is no more – how do you plan to publish your concerts should you do some?
Hopefully in the event that I am out on the road again doing any concert the publicity would come from the promotors, but that isn’t really on the cards just right at the moment.

Brett Ruby: You were and are my first musical love. Lately I’ve been using Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann and Nelly Furtado to fill your void. What do you think of them and who is your choice to follow in your footsteps?
Unfortunately I haven’t heard of any of those artists. I don’t think of other following particularly in my footsteps. Everyone has their own steps to tread.

Moon: You told us you hadn’t been much on the Net. Have you visited the Kim Wilde webpages yet?
I have from time to time but I don’t surf the net.

Andy: Kim, my garden’s a bit of a mess. Fancy popping around to sort it?!!?
I’ve got a series coming out in April which is a daytime show, and I am currently looking at several different ideas for expanding my gardening experience on TV as well as I doing a couple of private projects right now which are taking up my time, one of which is the Tatton Garden Show in Cheshire where I am designing a garden for their show in July.

Larsen: Kim, are you still crazy about France? Do you speak French?
Yes, I celebrated my fortieth birthday in Carcasson and France will always have a very special place in my heart.

[After this, Kim concludes by saying that she enjoyed the chat, and that she now has three good reasons to be at home, and who knows, she may have FOUR good reasons by the end of next year.]