‘Mullets are bad, nasty things’

Each week Betty, the Sun’s Mistress Of Modern Manners, ferrets around in the private habits of a celebrity. Here top gardener and Eighties singing star KIM WILDE discusses her love of compost, her horror at mullets – and marriage to a man with a power tool.

You’ve had 19 hit singles, but I’m also pretty impressed by the outdoors skills of your second career. So, vinegar or wee – what’s best for a wasp sting?
I will try both and let you know.

Any other handy survival tips you’ve picked up since you added “landscape gardener” to your CV?
Always keep a roll of gaffer tape handy, look after your soil and then it will look after you — and never eat yellow snow.

Your You Keep Me Hangin’ On video has had 9.5million YouTube hits. And yet you say you’re more proud of winning a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. Really?
I’m incredibly proud of both achievements but it is the gold medal that holds pride of place in the family home. My son, Harry, lost it down the crack of the floorboards when he was a toddler. It took me days to get a confession and decipher what he was saying.

You’re heading back on the road to belt out the old hits. There you are, all glammed up one day, wellie-clad the next, covered in mud, nose running in the wind, and thinking, “If they could see me now…”
Yep, makes me grin from ear to ear. I can honestly say that I am as happy in my compost heap as I am on stage.

But performing is still glamorous, isn’t it? I mean, you supported Michael Jackson and David Bowie back in the Eighties. Everything must surely be a bit of an anti-climax after that.
Performing alongside those two amazing talents was an incredible high. Quite honestly though, I probably enjoy performing now more than ever and have more incredible highs than is probably decent for a 50-year-old Hertfordshire housewife.

What happened to all those old outfits, the ra-ra skirts, the leg warmers, the dangly earrings? Did you ditch everything, or keep them? Were there any you look at now that make you say, “What was I thinking?”?
Oh yes, regrets, I have a few. Many of the outfits have gone to charity auctions but I have a handful left for old times’ sake, including my first stage boots from Kids In America.

Still, it’s only a matter of time before the mullet is back. Think you could bear to go back down that hairsprayed route?
Big hair still has its place but mullets are bad, nasty things that should never be seen again.

While I may mock the fashion of the day (I can, because I wore it too) you were also known as the Brigitte Bardot of Rock. How’s the pout? Still pouty?
Oh yes — when in doubt, pout.

Mr B reckons your hubby Hal Fowler’s a lucky man – he married a sex goddess who can grow spuds.
Works both ways — I got married to a beautiful actor and singer who knows how to handle a power tool.

I gather he once turned up stark naked on your mum’s doorstep. That needs some explaining…
Yes, an afternoon in a pub with my brother Ricky ended up with them both stripping off like naughty college students. My neighbour at the time sent a postcard expressing her disgust and asserting that she never again “wished to see a naked man strolling down her drive”. I still have it pinned up in the kitchen — always makes me giggle.

Is touring all a lot less rock ‘n’ roll than the old days? Are all the acts off to bed for an early night with a cup of cocoa when the show’s over? Do tell me it ain’t so!
It certainly ain’t so!

Kim features on Status Quo’s QuoFest tour of UK arenas from December 3, tickets at livenation.co.uk.