My first home: Kim Wilde

Singer and presenter, Kim Wilde, 43, tells Richard Webber about life at her first home with pop star dad, Marty Wilde.

The first home I recall was a semi in Eastbrook Road, in Blackheath, south-east London. It was an ordinary house, decorated in neutral colours – except for my bedroom, which I shared with my younger brother, Ricky. That room was more like a bomb site – we’d run riot, drawing on the walls. I was very proud of a painting I did at school – of a phoenix rising from the flames – so I hung that on the wall, too.

Downstairs, the kitchen was too small for me to spend much time helping mum. She cooked a lot of boil-in-the-bag meals, though her roast dinners were marvellous.

At one end of our lounge, glass doors opened out on to our back garden; I spent a lot of time out there. There was a big apple tree at the bottom, and I used to pick the blackberries and raspberries that grew through next door’s fence. Mum and Dad weren’t remotely interesting in gardening, so I never had my own little plot. But I did plant a bulb in a little red bucket which I took to Brownies – I received a badge for that!

My dad [singer Marty Wilde] was often away working, so it was mostly Mum left holding the baby. But when he was at home, it was always very special. He had a reel-to-reel tape machine and would record stories on it, then play it back speeded up so it sounded like a gnome. He’d also sing us songs, and he wrote a lullaby for Ricky and me, which he recorded on one of his albums.

There was always music in the house – sometimes Dad’s songs but also songs like Cilla Black’s Anyone Who Had A Heart and Gene Pitney’s Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa. I guess Dad must have had famous people around from time to time but I don’t really remember them, although I do recall speaking to Lulu on the phone once, and meeting Justin Hayward a lot in his pre-Moody Blues era when he was in a trio with Mum and Dad called The Wilde Three. As a kid, I used to have a crush on him and thought he was so handsome.

My parents recently told me that they thought the house was haunted; they believed it contained a bad energy. I felt it, too, but I couldn’t really understand it. We only discussed it years later. But we had some happy times there as well. One year it snowed heavily and my granddad pretended to be Father Christmas. I was sure I saw Santa’s sleigh parked outside in Eastbrook Road, under a street lamp, but it was my imagination.

I lived in that house from the time of my earliest memoreis until I was about eight, when we moved to an idyllic thatched house in the Hertfordshire countryside. One minute we were living in an ordinary semi in a run-down part of London, the next we were in paradise. It was quite a shock.