Date: 25 April 2001
Originally published in: What's on (UK)
Written by: Sally Brockway
Ever since she ditched her pop career, Kim Wilde’s fortunes have blossomed.
Kim Wilde breathed a huge sigh of relief when she discovered that Carol Vorderman wouldn’t be working alongside her in the new BBC1 series Garden Invaders. It’s not that Kim has anything against Carol, it’s just that she’s too glamorous by half.
‘I worked with Carol on Better Gardens and she made me feel a right scruff because she looked so good all the time,’ says Kim. ‘I kept sneaking off to the loo to put make-up on, but after toiling in the garden for half an hour, it all ran off. I gave up in the end.’
In Garden Invaders – which is presented by Mark Evans and Nick Clark – Kim joins forces with fellow garden designer Nicola Mager and a team of student horticulturists. Their mission is to transform various gardens in a day.
‘The gardens were in a particularly bad state, so we had to work incredibly hard,’ says Kim, 40. ‘I was designing, but I had to pitch in with the hard labour, which was back-breaking. I wish I’d taken it a bit easier because I’d only given birth to my daughter, Rose, five months earlier and my body hadn’t recovered.’
Kim caused a stir when she dropped her pop career five years ago to pursue her love of gardening. After a string of hits, including Kids in America (1981) and You keep me hangin’ on (1986), she’d had enough of the music business.
‘After 20 years as a singer, I was ready for a change and gardening fulfils all the creative urges I turned my back on when I went into pop,’ says Kim.
Gardening also allows her to spend more time with her husband Hal and children – Rose, one, and Harry, three. ‘I’m more fulfilled now that I’ve ever been,’ she says.
Although Kim has no intention of going back into pop, she did appear on stage again recently, at a local charity event near her Hertfordshire home.
‘Some neighbours asked if I would sing for charity and I thought, “Why not?”. It was great. I got such a warm reception, even though I kept falling over in my stage boots. It was hell on my ankles, but I loved it.’