Kim Wilde in an exclusive interview

7:30 a.m. Kim Wilde has been up since 5 a.m. – and yet the 80s pop icon looks like it has been peeled off the egg. In a good mood, the 53-year-old British woman answered questions from our editor Christina Rings in an exclusive interview and revealed why she and husband Hal Fowler are still totally happy after 17 years of marriage.

Pretty early for an interview. When did you have to get up today?
I fell out of bed at five o’clock (laughs), but I’m used to that because we do a lot of breakfast TV. And somehow I actually like that – waking up when the rest of the world is still asleep. There is something about it.

So you’re an early riser?
Back when the kids were little, definitely. And when I’m at home, we rush to school very early in the morning anyway. There is also nothing to sleep in.

How do you manage to look so fresh and rested at half past seven in the morning?
This is a pretty good mask here (laughs). Also, I went to bed very early yesterday. This helps.

Are you still excited before performing live?
Performing live is very special because you’re always on the alert. The pace is extremely high, pure adrenaline, everyone is electrified, rushing around. You just have to concentrate very much on why you are there and not get distracted by the whole thing. Stay calm, take a deep breath, that’s the most important thing. But I already know that.

Let’s talk about your current album ‘Wilde Winter Songbook’: For a long time it was your big dream to bring out a record with Christmas songs. Why did that mean so much to you?
I absolutely loved the songs in school. Then when I was a teen, all those cool pop Christmas songs by Slade, Wizzard and Elton John that hit me like a bomb went off. These songs have survived to this day and are played up and down again every year. As a singer and songwriter, I naturally wanted to create something of my own for Christmas. I just love this time, it’s so great to be with family and friends.

There is also a duet with your husband Hal Fowler on the album. What was it like to be in the studio together again?
Oh, that was great. I already sang a Bowie song with him on my cover album ‘Snapshots’ and this was a great opportunity to work with him again and produce this piece. The text he wrote for me has become very, very intimate. It tells about our love, our marriage – the song is a love letter on music.

You have been married for 17 years. That’s a long time – especially in the fast-moving music industry. What is your secret?
I just love him so much (laughs). Marriage and being with people in general is basically very difficult. You probably know that: You go on vacation with your best friend and – as much as you love him – he drives you crazy after a few days. The reality of a relationship has its ups and downs, but when you love someone, you can get through it together. Hal is just incredibly talented and I still find it very exciting to live with him. We have a lot in common: We have our daughter Rose, who is now 13 years old, and Harry is 15. Oh, and of course we also have our dog Jessy (laughs).

Are you taking Jessy on tour too?
That would make me so happy! I would love to put her in my handbag and just take her with me. But the problem is: she’s huge. Seriously, she’s really big, that wouldn’t work (laughs).

Besides, you’re always extremely busy: Until recently you were on tour in Australia, now there are a few more gigs with Nik Kershaw and in March you will be back on stage in Germany. With your tight schedule, where is there still time to sit back and relax?
Right, I don’t have much free time. But I’m one of those lucky people who do what I really love. It doesn’t feel like work at all – and I can’t believe I’m getting paid for it. No really, I would give you money to sit here with me and do this interview (laughs). It’s a great privilege to sing, to write, to do all of these things. But resting is of course still important. I take the time. Then I’m outside a lot, working in my garden – we have a huge garden that needs a lot of maintenance. I also go out with the dog and have a trainer with whom I do sports in between – even when I’m not very good at it (grins).

We already talked a bit about Christmas earlier: How will you celebrate this year?
It’s going to be totally traditional. We are with our children with my parents, I will also take the dog with me – no matter what the others say (laughs)! My mum and Hal will cook while I sit by the fire in front of the fireplace, watch one terribly cheesy film after another and let myself be pampered. Then I finally have the leisure to review the great December.

Do you already have all the presents together?
No, not at all. Just a few little things. The plan is to get up very early on Christmas morning, write me a list and then get everything in one fell swoop. I will avoid the big shopping streets like Oxford Street and stick to the small back streets to avoid the hustle and bustle. This is a real first for me and I know that it will be quite stressful. But unfortunately I just didn’t have the time until now and now it has to work as well. The good thing is that the shops tend to reduce their stuff at Christmas, so hopefully I can still get a bargain or two.

Can you shop in peace at all, or are you constantly being recognized by fans who want a photo or an autograph?
That’s tough, especially because I’m doing a lot of doctorate at the moment and my face is constantly present in the media. Of course, people have me on their radar and recognize me, no matter where I go. They say “Hey Kim, nice to see you”, almost like we’re old friends (laughs). I think that’s really cute. To them it really feels like we’ve known each other forever because they grew up with me. But I hope that at Christmas people will be so busy with their own shopping lists that they don’t have time for long conversations and that I can shop in peace.

Thanks for the nice conversation, dear Kim.