Music special

2 September 2010
Sat1 (Germany)

At 1.15am Sat1 broadcast the full length rockumentary, which was created by Starwatch to promote Kim Wilde and her new album ‘Come out and play’. Besides snippets from the tracks on the album, you can see Kim visiting the studio where she recorded her first video, RAK Studios and Grove Court, the first apartment she bought in the mid-Eighties. Rose and Harry are also interviewed, as well as Ricky.

The special, which lasts approx. 25 minutes, is subtitled in German.


Hi, my name is Kim Wilde. I’m here in Berlin, shooting a video for my first new single from my new album, ‘Lights Down Low’.

I like ‘Lights Down Low’ because I think it sounds like a proper Kim Wilde song. It’s got a really strong hook, it’s right in my register and it’s sexy, and I love sexy pop music with great melodies.

It’s not one of the songs I was involved in writing personally, but it was a gift from my record company, which I shall love them for forever. It’s very seldom that we’ve had any record company come to us with such strong songs as Starwatch had done. And they’ve done it on two or three songs on the album.

The video is set in a pole dancing club. A few years ago I did a gig in a very famous one in London. That was kindof a strange atmosphere of us and them, us observing them and them observing us. It was a very interesting experience. I thought it would be fantastic to recreate that particular night.

The video has been planned for quite some time. We needed to find a very big, empty industrial location that was private, but big enough for us to set up all this complicated light system that’s gone around the turntable. My band have flown over for today, it’s a one day video shoot. It’s gonna be really hard work. We all got up really early and then put up the make-up – that’s quite hard to do at 7 or 8 o’clock in the morning. We have a great team, a great camera man, great lighting, great director, everything. So I’m delighted. It’s a great team and everyone is working really hard.

Actually, ‘Come Out And Play’ is a line in one of the songs as well as being a motivation for the album. As we talked about it with Starwatch and also with my brother Rick was we wanted to make sure every single song would sound great live, that it would transfer from an album onto the stage and also all the other songs, all the hits we do from the past.

Ricky: Every song that’s on the album, it will be amazing live, and that was what we were thinking about when we were choosing the songs.

We’ve got a really good reputation on the live circuit. We’re always playing live at festivals and gigs all over Europe and the UK. We were in Hannover a few weeks ago. We’re gonna be in Vienna in two weeks time with Billy Idol, which is gonna be so cool.

With this album we wanted to take the great flavours of the Eighties and our sound, my sound, and revamp it for the 21st century. I think we’ve really done that.

The song ‘I Want What I Want’ I thought did sound very Eighties when I got sent the demo. And I didn’t want it to sound quite so, but it sounds like a song that could have been written by Nik Kershaw. A really strong melody and a really brash lyric. I’ve always been a big fan of brash lyrics. They’re great fun to perform. I would say that that’s a strong element of being Kim Wilde. A lot of posturing and posing.

I think after the ‘Never Say Never’ album, with a title like that, I didn’t discount the idea of making another album. I had such a positive experience with that. I did think another album would be great, but I wasn’t really in any rush to do it.

I’m a pretty busy person anyway. I have my own radio show and I also do a lot of consultation work in the landscape industry and of course I’ve got a family, two children and a home. There’s always a lot to do. It wasn’t until Starwatch came to me and said ‘We really want you to do it’.

It felt like a scary decision to commit to such a big project. All that time again, all that pressure, all that stress, all that travel, all that expectation, maybe all that scrutiny. I wasn’t sure and it was scary and I thought: ‘Hang on, this is starting to feel scary, this must be a good idea’. Jumping in at the deep end and putting yourself in scary places is a really good idea from time to time. Whenever I’ve done that only fabulous things have happened.

I write a lot about life. What would my final page be? That’s a question don’t even really want to think about. No-one wants to think about the final pages of their life. But in the song the final pages are that as long as they’re spent with people and the person that you love. And that’s sort of the bottom line.

I grew up in the Seventies. There was all that glam rock. A lot of it was very over the top. But also at home there were very serious singer-songwriter albums played like Joni Mitchell and Carole King and Paul Simon. So I was caught between really appreciating more serious, considered side of music but being completely infatuated with the more exhibitionist side of music, pop music basically.

‘Kids In America’ is the perfect piece of pop. It’s the holy grail, what people in the industry are looking for.

Ricky: I remember I wrote ‘Kids in America’ and I took it up to Micky Most, and Micky said, ‘That’s gonna be a smash hit’. And generally whatever Mickie said happened.

This is the building where we filmed the ‘Kids in America’ video. It was obviously the first video I’d ever made. I remember going in and I couldn’t believe that someone had painted this huge backdrop of American symbols, Sgt. Bilko and the statue of liberty and a few other pieces. And all this for me! It just seemed like this huge set. I was so overwhelmed, I thought ‘Wow’.

Video was very, very young, MTV really was going crazy at the time and really helped break the record.

Everyone has used this room: Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello… and when I first came here, when I was 20 years old, my brother Ricky was working in that studio on a song he’d written and I was doing backing vocals and Mickie walked into that studio and he saw me and he said to my brother: ‘Who is this girl?’, and he said ‘She is my sister Kim, she’s doing backing vocals.’ And he said: ‘Oh, she sings!’. He went back that night, because we were all living at home with my mum and my dad at the time, and he wrote ‘Kids in America’. I remember being in the bedroom and he was nextdoor in his room and I could hear this pulse going ‘du-du-du-du-du’. I thought ‘If he doesn’t shut up soon, I’m gonna go and punch his face in’.

Ricky: We finished up Kim recording one of the tracks that I was gonna be doing as my solo thing, it finished up being on Kim’s album and then the whole thing turned around and Kim was the artist and I was the producer, which is exactly how I wanted it.

So this is where you’d come in and have a cup of coffee in between doing your recording. There’s this really funny picture on the wall. Elvis Costello worked here, I used to really love this. It says ‘To Mickie with love, I’ll never work with you again.’

I remember coming into this office when I was 20 years old and being so overwhelmed by all the discs on the wall, by this chair, by this desk and by, of course, Mickie himself. He knew about promotion, got me on international trips straight away. I was spending months and months travelling in and out of Germany. Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, Cologne, TV’s, Musikladen, Bravo. I just believed I could conquer the world, I was 20 years old, it’s what 20 year olds do. If you don’t think you can conquer the world when you’re 20, then you’re never gonna think it.

So this is my very first home. This is the flat that I bought after I did so well selling so many records with ‘Kids in America’. And all of a sudden I could afford to buy my own place. So I bought this place in Grove Court. This is very close to RAK Records, where we were recording. And really it was just a base, I used to stay here before I’d leave here to go to the airport, to come to Munich or Hamburg or somewhere. So it really was a stopping off point.

I think I really did need my own space. Everyone wanted a little piece of me. And also at that time my mum just had two more children. The house at home had babies in it. So it was kindof nice to find a place where I could really just quieten down a bit, listen to music, learn how to write songs.

This is Abbey Road Studios. I’ve done a bit of recording here in the past. Of course it’s an iconic studio. The Beatles did all their stuff here. Probably the most famous recording studio in the world. What people do here is they come and sign their names on the wall. And of course it’s graffiti, you’re not really supposed to do it, but everyone does it and every now and again they come and paint it all off. So I thought today I’d add my signature as a tribute to the Beatles. And hope we don’t get arrested (laughs).

Two of the most fantastic episodes of my career were working with Michael Jackson in 1988 and a little bit later on with David Bowie, two of my musical heroes. I remember thinking when I was working with Michael that we were in this incredible circus, it was a great ride. But there was something also kindof empty about a circus. It’s ephemeral and it’s all singing and all dancing and lights, but the tent has to come down and all the artists have to go away and all the kids go home. It did feel like when that would happen for Michael there wouldn’t be a lot left. It seemed to me like he had to keep the circus going constantly. It was a beautiful moment of perfection and it was just wonderful to be associated with that for that time, but I do remember thinking ‘My God, if this is what fame brings you, I don’t really know if I want to pursue it this much. It wasn’t very long after that, that I did get out of the business because of that. And I’m glad I did. And I wish Michael had.

‘The Greatest Journey’ is a song that I wrote with my brother. We’d been discussing all kinds of things to do with spirituality, the universe and the meaning of life. We try and express our belief that there is some greatest journey yet to be had and that it doesn’t just stop when you hit the floor. Ricky and I don’t often have conversations like this. They’re normally much more humdrum and usually end up with us laughing hysterically on the floor.

Ricky: We’ve always had a very close relationship and she’s great to work with, very professional. We just kept on going. If it ain’t broken don’t fix it.

This is some of my old record collection. Of course this album, ‘Penthouse & Pavement’ and ‘Fascist groove thang’ and of course Glenn Gregory is on my new album, so I’m really chuffed to get to work with some of my heroes. Both Ricky and myself are huge fans of Glenn Gregory and Heaven 17. And he couldn’t wait to come to the studio and he came down, did an amazing job. I get to work with Kajagoogoo, of course I work with Nick Beggs, he generally plays bass in my band and Nik Kershaw. He’s gonna be on the album, he sings on one of the songs as well.

I used to love working with Bravo. They were completely crazy, they always wanted a new story, and then I ended up getting all these Ottos.

All my gold discs and awards were kindof locked away. But now, I’m looking back retrospectively over my career, I’m finding myself becoming very proud of them indeed.

Nena gave me some of her discs when she sold so many records for ‘Anyplace Anywhere Anytime’, there’s another beautiful one down here, which is lovely.

These guys, the ‘Crazy Gang’, they used to follow me around when they were kids. They gave this book to me years ago. There they all are.

Jane Davalle: Well I’ve known Kim for a very long time. We went to school together and we just became very good friends. When you’re in your teenage years you do mad things. Really I suppose we’ve never changed. When she became famous that was the most important thing really, that she still had time for us here.

This exhibition is in aid of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer. This is our friend Patrick. Patrick is the guy who I wrote ‘King Of The World’ about, on the new album. I wanted the song to be a really great, positive celebration of this fantastic personality, he really was just great.

I had this idea it would be great to live in a barn that no-one had ever lived in before. And as it happened, one was for sale, this one was for sale. I walked in and I just fell in love with it. When I moved here, there wasn’t a garden here at all. I wanted to create a place when I got married, where the children could grow up in. Horticulture sort of replaced music for me. All my passion that had gone into music went into the garden. I went and studied horticulture at college, I had to get in assigments, had to do my homework and be a student again and take exams…

For me gardening certainly began as a therapy. It was totally different to the made lifestyle of airports and people… and then I ended up doing garden design shows and won some medals. I did so well at it on a professional level, but all the time that was never my ambition, all I wanted to do was create a paradise at home for my children to grow up in.

Music and creativity runs in our blood. My father is 71, he’s still performing, he still does a lot of concerts. He celebrated 50 years in rock ‘n’ roll a few years ago and I did a big campaign with him here in the UK. People love him here in the same way they love Cliff Richard, these are people, the pop pioneers. Amongst the first popstars that were ever on the planet. My mother was in a singing band, the Vernon Girls, she was part of one of the first girl groups. She fell in love with my dad and then she went on to manage the early part of my career and did a great job of that. My brother, he’s a great songwriter and a producer, and now my little daughter Rose, she sings beautifully and loves to play the piano, I’m sure she’ll end up going into the music world.

Rose: I find it inspiring that maybe when I’m older I can join her band maybe and sometimes play in her gigs. So I’m kindof excited about that as well.

Harry: William is in Ten Volts, the band, and he’s the bassist, this is Rose, our singer, this is Sebastian, we call him Tiggy for short, he’s the rhythm guitarist and they’re background singer. Mason is one of our guests who might be in the band, he’s my cousin. We’ve been like friends for a long time, we thought we could make a band, so we did.

I have performed with Ten Volts before of course, as a guest appearance. They’ve been together for quite a few years. It’s so fantastic, it’s very moving. I’m so proud of them, they play their instruments so well.

I was really proud of the song ‘This Paranoia’, because I created a space for my son Harry to do a guitar solo. And I had thought about it, and then I thought ‘Oh, everyone is just gonna think ‘Oh, roping in the family’. Then I thought ‘Oh sod it, I don’t care’. Sometimes you need to do it with people, not just your family. You need to give people faith.

Harry: When my mum asked me to do the solo on ‘Paranoia’. I wasn’t sure, then I heard it, it was a really good song so I went to Ricky’s studio and did the solo.

Rose: At first he didn’t do a great job but when he heard it he really liked it. He didn’t really know we were going to squash all the really good bits together.

They haven’t really been exposed to me as a famous person, ’cause a lot of what I do happens over the sea. It’s not like they’re confronted with my fame on a daily basis. Now and again.

The last few years we’ve had such a great experience being on stage. I’m a very different performer now than I was back in the Eighties. I’ve grown into being me. I wish I could have done it earlier but I was doing some other things, like having babies and doing a different career. But better late than never.

Ricky: She’s come back and totally refreshed and loving it more than she’s ever loved it. We’re all really excited about it, especially for the live side of it, we’re doing a lot of shows. We have a lot of fun doing that.


25 November 1992
MCM (France)

In a special on the French music channel MCM Kim is interviewed for about an hour by presented Patrick Willard. A few videos are also shown, including ‘Million miles away’ (by Kim), ‘Paradoxale systeme’ (Laurent Voulzy) and a video by French band Niagara.

You are coming directly from Japan?
Yes, almost.

What were you doing in Japan?
I went to the Grand Prix, met Nigel Mansell and Renault, doing television there, which is gonna be in France in December. So I went over there for a few days. It was really, very interesting. I had a good time.

What did you do there?
I got to sit in his car.

With him? It’s too small, no?
Absolutely, yeah, just… he showed me around the garage. I met Bernard Dudot who designed the engine and Frank Williams whose team it is and… I met everybody, it was really good.

Why did they choose you, why did you choose to go there?
I was asked to go. There were comparisons with Nigel Mansell being a British person working with a French team, the Renault team, and the analogy was that I also work with the French very well, so there was a parallel there. And also Nigel Mansell was a fan of me. (laughs)

So is there a love story in the air?
No (laughs). It not like that. Obviously he has a family, he’s married… Doesn’t count in France, right? You told me that before, you told me.

In England it never happens? A married man with a lady? An unmarried lady?
I guess it does happen but I wouldn’t really be interested myself. I’m very oldfashioned about these things.

(Music video for ‘Million miles away’ is shown)

What do you think? Do you like to see yourself on television?
Well, I had a lot of fun making that video with the model. His name is Jason. Sometimes work isn’t so hard to do when you’re doing it with someone like that.

So you have a new album, which came out a few months ago. How do you feel about it? Is it a personal album?
Well, I worked very hard on the album, on the songwriting and I did the best that I could. I always do that when I make an album. I just put everything into it. That’s all I can say. I’m very proud of it. It’s worked very well for me, mostly in Europe and the UK, and it’s very successful in Japan now, so I’m very, very happy.

How long did you work on it?
We worked… most of the year writing and the last three or four months recording. We recorded some of it in Los Angeles with Rick Nowels, we made Love is Holy and two other songs and the rest we made in our studio in Knebworth in Hertfordshire, my own recording studio, that’s where I live. Most of the year I spent writing, which was great. I really love writing songs. I worked together with a lot of different writers. It’s a very good way to spend the day.

Does it mean that you are never satisfied with your writing and that you always need to add another session?
I find songwriting easy to do. In the years that have gone by, I’ve been writing for about seven years now. Now I have a lot of confidence to write songs. I find it easier to do them now.

But are you satisfied easily?
No, I’m not.

Do you rewrite them, and rewrite them?
Oh no, I write songs pretty quickly and finish them pretty quickly but I always think the next one will be better and I think my future’s better than my past…

A hardworking girl…
Yeah, I’m a bit of a perfectionist but I’m not too selfdestructive on that.

So you try to be the best
Yes, always, on everything. So whether I’m cleaning the house…

You clean the house?

Yes. (laughs)

Do you have an apron and everything?
No, I should get an apron. Anything I do I try to do the best I can. I really try hard to do that.

(Music video for ‘You lied to me’ by Cathy Dennis is shown)

(Myriam Callas does the gossip column)

(Music video for ‘Paradoxale systeme’ by Laurent Voulzy is shown)

He’s a good friend of yours. Even before meeting you he had a song about you.
Yeah… and then he sent the song to our studio and I listened to it with my brother and we really liked it. I’ve been a big fan eversince of him and his music.

He has a lot of talent… for a Frenchman.
He’s very talented in any sense. In any regard, you know.

Did he ever propose to write songs for you?
Yeah, we’re gonna write some songs together. That is our project.

He’s very slow.
He is, but he gets things right. That’s the way he works and it works well for him. But I would love to write some songs with him. I’d love to write a song with him and sing in French. That would be good.

It’s why you are learning French?
I’m learning French anyway because I love the language. I learnt it since I was seven years old. Quand je suis à Paris je le parle tous les temps avec les gens.
La langue Français est comme la musique.

Et l’Anglaise, non?
Non… pas le même.

It’s tougher, English?
Oui. La Français est comme musique, comme une chanson.

La prochaine fois que tu viens a cette émission, tu parle Français.

You work very much with your family. Especially on this album, you have your sister singing with you?
Yeah, Roxanne.

For the first time?
For the first time. She’s thirteen. She did some backing vocals on a song I wrote with my guitarist. And also I always work with my brother Ricky, who is my producer and composer. So we’re a team.

It’s the Wilde mafia.
Oui (laughs).

Do you fight a lot?
No. I don’t fight with anyone. It’s not in my nature.

Too good to be true.
I’m not a fighter.

When you have a discussion with your brother, who wins?
It depends. He’s very strong about his direction, he is very single-minded. He has very positive ideas about things. Usually I go along with that but he will listen to me.

(Music video for ‘Love me do’ by the Beatles is shown)

When you were young, did you listen to the Beatles or were they already finished?
They were being played a lot [at home] because I was born in 1960 and I was 3 or 4 years old when I started to understand the music. They were very influential.

Your father was a singer and your mother was a singer, not together but…
They were on the same TV show. They met and they fell in love instantly.

How long have they been married?
33 years.

That’s a nice love story eh?
Yeah, and they’re still very in love. L’amour vit.

Do you have any memories of seeing your parents singing?
Um… Together? As I grew up I watched my father sing live very often. And when I was sixteen my mother and I, we joined him and did backing vocals for a little while.

So that’s how you started in the business?
Well before that, we were in the studio quite a lot, trying out different songs, you know. So I’ve been in a recording studio since I was twelve.

When did you find out you wanted to have this career?
Well, I knew when I was a very little child.

When you’re a little child it is just a dream. When did you know for sure that you wanted to be a singer?
When I was a little child.

Oh really? À quel age? Five years?
Oui. I asked the same question to Nigel Mansell. He said from when he was eight years old he knew he was going to be a Formula 1 driver. So I think a lot of children know what they want to be, very young. Children are very wise and I think they know. A lot of them know what they want. That’s why I have a great respect for children because I never think of them as being half-witted or stupid.

(Music video for ‘La fin des étoiles’ by Niagara is shown)

Your first hit was ‘Kids in America’. That’s a lucky choice, wasn’t it?
It was a song written for me by my brother and my father, and it was a huge hit and I really wasn’t expecting it. Suddenly I was travelling all over Europe, places I’d never been before. I couldn’t take it all in. It took me years to get used to the fact that I was famous. Sometimes I’m still not used to it. You never get used to it really.

Why don’t you like to be a star? You don’t think you are one?
I enjoy it sometimes but I just never consider myself in that sense. I don’t consider myself as a star. I just remember too much about how I was when I was at school, and how I was when I was at college. I have the same friends that I had in school. My life actually changed very little. I still feel like the person I was before I was famous. That’s the way I feel.

Because you don’t like being hassled by fans?
That part of it is something I can enjoy. There’s a lot about being famous and being called a star that I enjoy but I don’t live that dream. It’s something that is separate, part of my job. And then I have my private life and that is really me.

(Music video for ‘Uh huh oh yeh’ by Paul Weller is shown)

You have written and sung so many hits… which one do you prefer?
I love ‘You Came’, that’s a very special song. And I really love ‘Cambodia’ because it really broke me here in France and it meant that I had to keep coming back here, so it’s a very special song for me.

And the last one?
I think ‘You keep me hangin’ on’, because it was such fun.

Your version was very good.
Thank you.

Are you going to tour soon?
Peut-être en Decembre. But next year I have my Greatest Hits, it’s being released in the spring. And I’m doing a lot of touring at that time with that album.

Best of already?
Yeah, it’s been twelve years now.

You’re gonna make a lot of money.

What do you do with your money? Spend it on clothes?
I don’t spend a lot on clothes. I pay off my mortgage.

Even stars have mortgage to pay, huh?

(Music video for ‘Love is holy’ is shown)

Do you believe that love is holy?

L’album s’appelle ‘Love Is’. Love is what?
Love is everything.


5 October 1992
M6 (France)

An hour-long interview including footage on location at Select Sound Studios (for interviews with Marty, Joyce and Nick Boyles) and at Kims home. The special starts off in London, where the French interviewer and Kim meet, and then gets them in a car to Hertsfordshire, where the actual interview happens. All through the interview, Kim is wearing her ‘Love is’ dress.

Kim: We were living in the south of London at the time, with my brother Ricky and my father had become a songwriter. So I remember he was either doing gigs or he was songwriting at home. So my first impressions of my father were very much of a man who was committed to music. There was a lot of music in the house. Life was very normal, there weren’t lots of showbusiness parties or showbusiness people that my parents hung out with. Life was very down to earth. It was a family where music was the core of what was going on in the house all the time. Dad was always playing music in the house.

Marty: When Kim first started to record it came really as a bit of a shock, because I didn’t really see Kim as star material. She was a lot different to what she is now. She was an art student locally. She used to wear big jumpers and jeans and I only ever saw Kim as my daughter. I could never see Kim as a pop star at all.

Joyce: Kim was just a normal little girl, like any other baby who showed an interest in music at that age even. But I think possibly it’s more important than the school education and from my own particular background, I used to play classical piano, so I made sure she had that kind of training, as I’ve done with all my children. So I think possibly that might have had some influence on her moving towards songwriting and, you know, what she is doing now. I think she was very interested in music, always.

Marty: At one time, Kim and Joyce did all my backings when we were on the road. But even then I just – I never even thought – In fact I thought that being on the road would probably put Kim off of coming into showbusiness, because some of the shows that I did weren’t always in the most palatial places. They could be very small places, very small smokey clubs and things like that and I thought that might in actual fact put her off completely from being in showbusiness. Because it’s a worry having a daughter in showbusiness, ’cause I’ve been in the business a long time and I worry about my own lifestyle, and to have someone else in showbusiness is double the worry, you know. Twice the worry.

Joyce: Kim did never let me know that she actually wanted to sing. So it was always a constant struggle. She was at school, and she was frustrated at being at school. At college she was very frustrated, she really wanted to sing. And I just didn’t know this and Ricky had already copped out of school, he decided he wanted to leave school and go on the road with his dad, playing keyboards. And they ended up writing songs together and working together, and yet Kim was at home with me then, at an age where she really wanted to be getting involved probably as much with her father as she hadn’t done in the past. That was a constant sort of a problem for Kim, I think. My husband wasn’t really 100% anyway on girls singing, and he felt it wasn’t quite the right thing for girls to be doing  and it might be hard work on her, and yet you see girls on the circuit working so hard and it just all appeared to be just too much for our little girl, really. But she wanted to do it and that’s what she persevered at wanting to do and in the end Kim and I went on the road with her father and we compromised and did vocal backings for him together. For me it was not the right thing I wanted to do. She just carried on. She looked great anyway, and that’s how it all came about really. She’s just so talented, it just had to happen I suppose.

Kim: I think it must have been when I was very young, ’cause I remember ‘Strawberry Fields’ and a song called ‘Anyone who had a heart’ by Cilla Black and ’24 Hours From Tulsa’, I think was a Gene Pitney record. I don’t know, I seem to have a recollection of a year that I since discovered was ’65, so I was five years old. I think music affected me very strongly at an incredibly young age. It’s never changed really. I think I knew very young that my life would be in music, and that was always a goal for me, it was always something that I seemed to be going towards.

Kim: When I did go out and buy records it was by Gladys Knight and the Pips, a song called ‘The look of love’, which I still think is a fantastic record. There’s a lot of soul music like Gladys Knight and the Pips, but there was also a lot of trashy stuff like Slade and Mud and a lot of real commercial pop. But I loved all that too. I was really into really classy music because I knew what that was about, but it didn’t stop me being a real pop fan. I loved pop music right from the moment I remember hearing it and I still do. David Essex, David Cassidy, Donny Osmond, Bay City Rollers… Gary Glitter was my favourite. I was in his fanclub.

Kim: I remember when I was at primary school I had a big crush on a little boy that lived very close to our house in Tewin, where my mum and dad live. So yes I do.

Kim: Punk at that time was a very London-based thing. It kindof came out of Chelsea, and stayed in the London area for quite a long time. But the music I really like. I really loved the Clash, I used to see them a lot at the Lyceum and various gigs. And I really liked Elvis Costello. So some of them I thought were really good and I loved some of the Sex Pistols stuff. And the Skids and stuff like that. I just didn’t get very involved in the movement, I didn’t wear punky clothes and stuff. Although I have to say when I was at art college when I started to dye my hair blonde and cut it all short at the top, I guess I was more influenced than I thought at the time. But compared to the real hardcore punks I was like a real baby.

Ricky: I wanted to be a singer and I went to a demo studio and recorded a few tracks, then went into RAK studios and Mickie Most came out, heard it and said ‘yeah, I like it’. I wanted to go into the studio and record it with a different producer, which I wasn’t too happy about. So I said, ‘yeah, we’ll do it’, because it was a record deal. So I went in there, recorded these couple of songs. I said to the guy producing me, a guy called Steve Glenn, I said ‘Steve is it alright if I bring in my sister in to do backing vocals’. He said ‘Yeah, fine, bring her in’. So Kim came in and started singing. The moment she was singing Mickie Most came in and said ‘she looks good, I like her voice as well, you know… Maybe we could do something with her’ and walked out. And then Steve looked at me and said ‘Maybe I could produce something with Kim as well’ and I thought ‘Hang on a minute! Not sure about this!’ So I went home that night and wrote ‘Kids in America’, booked two days studio time in a separate studio and recorded it with Kim, then went back to Mickie and said: ‘Look, this is a song I’ve done with Kim that I produced. What do you think of it?’ and he thought it was a smash. And so that then became the priority over my stuff.

Kim: That didn’t really come into it because from the word go we were very independent. We’d gone into the studio off our own back, we delivered the song, a hit song, ‘Kids in America’ to the record company without their interference, without their input at all. I turned up looking the way I did, I’d already dyed my hair blonde, I had my own identity, so I really had no worries about being manipulated or anything. I had a very good advantage there, because we were completely autonomous. We had our own thing right away, right from the word go. And also, I didn’t really think about things like that. If anyone was exploiting me it was me. I was very aware of my power at the time. A lot of people thought I was being manipulated but in fact it was me who was doing the manipulating (laughs)

Kim: We had a great run with RAK Records and EMI, we had so much success it was ridiculous. But by the time we got to the third album it wasn’t quite so good. The pressure, I think, eventually became unbearable to my writers, to Marty and to Ricky. You know, they really were… they’d come up with the goods so many times but- it was incredible, they came up with eight or nine smash hits on the trot, which is a really difficult thing for anybody to do, virtually impossible for two people to do on their own. We’d kind of got to a point where we just wanted, needed a rest, I think, actually, for a while. It also coincided with the end of our deal with RAK Records anyway. It was a natural end to the contract and a natural end to our creative output at the time. We needed that time to get our act together and start again, which we did. The two came together rather conveniently at the right time.

Kim: My brother was writing for the album and he was playing around with a chord progression and he recognised it. And he realised it was ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’. But at that point he was either going to write a song using the same chords or he was going to finish making a backing track for ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’. He played me the backing track and asked me what I thought, and I thought it sounded great and I remembered the song from a long time back on the radio but it wasn’t a song I had in my collection, it wasn’t a song I would play a lot. So when I went into the studio to record it, I was really fresh. I wasn’t paying homage to Diana Ross or Vanilla Fudge or anyone else who had covered it. It was really fresh in my mind, I think that’s why it’s such a fresh version of that song and why it was so successful, because it had that energy going through it. Ricky’s energy and my energy, our energy combined, not knowing the song too well. If you look at the original lyrics, we even changed them, which isn’t a very reverential thing to do to a song you’re paying homage to. Basically we just went into the studio with a lot of energy and not very much reverence, we changed quite a lot about that song and that’s why it was so successful. It was a very spontaneous idea.

Kim: I had moved from my parents home, because I was still living at home when I had ‘Cambodia’ and ‘View from a bridge’ and I was still going home… So by that time I had left for living in London. The reason I did that was really because I wanted to start developing my own life and also my own songwriting, which is what  I did. So when we signed to MCA, I was writing on the first album on MCA, on the ‘Teases & Dares’ album, so that was really the first album I wrote on. On ‘Another Step’ I wrote even more. I wrote with my guitarist Steve Byrd, who I still write with today, and play with today. So yes, I had things to say, I had things I wanted to say. My heroes and heroines were songwriters. My favourite songwriter was Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder. I thought I’m never going to write a song as good as any song they can write. So I didn’t write for a long time because I thought there was no point. Because if you can’t write a great song like they can write, then why bother trying? But eventually I thought if you don’t try you’ll never find out. And now it’s become the most important part of my career now. Because I could forego fame and I could forego every other part of my career but I would never stop songwriting.

Kim: Of course I wanted to see who was buying my records and I wanted to meet my audience and have contact with them. Every performer who makes music wants to sing live, I’m just the same as everybody else. And up to that point I was beginning to be perceived as a video pop star, so I wanted to change that perception. It was in fact one of the main areas of disagreement between me and RAK Records, my first record company. Because myself- we really wanted to go do live music and they were very reluctant in backing us up. Again we took the lead and put a tour together and went out and found our audience and I’ve never looked back. I think live performance is an incredible part of my career. One of the times when I feel happiest is when I’m in front of an audience. And opening for Michael Jackson just gave me much more confidence than I could ever hope for. It really changed my life. My whole approach to performing live transformed when I learned from Michael Jackson. It made me feel that my best performances are yet to come as a result of that time.

Nick Boyles: She’s incredibly industrious, she’s very hard working, she’s very accommodating and I see my job as basically trying to make what is a very difficult job as comfortable and easy as I possibly can and that I see as my function.

Joyce: There is no problem with the fact that Kim is my daughter and the fact that we’re in management because we just work as a team, it is a team. It isn’t just the Wilde family, it’s the Wilde family and Nick Boyles, but not just Nick Boyles, we have other people outside this building that work with us, a lot of very precious people to us. It’s a massive organization which works well. You have your emotional moments obviously, and then yes, I’ll go back into the role of mum, but I’m used to wearing all these different hats.

Nick Boyles: I would certainly tell her not to stop, but I would suggest to her that she shouldn’t stop purely and simply because I think she’d miss it more than she could ever imagine. She’s been working very hard for 12 years, she has a tremendous career and quite apart from the fact that I’m sure a lot of people out there would be very disappointed I think above all I suppose I’m accountable to her and I think she’d be very disappointed too. If she ever did it I think she’d probably change her mind within a year or so. I think it’s in the blood.

Kim: ‘Close’ had been so successful and we just couldn’t believe it when ‘Love Moves’ wasn’t successful for us. We put so much work into it and I think the songs are really strong, so I think the album itself still stands, it’s a really strong album. And it was very disappointing at the time that it didn’t do well. But it didn’t really come too much as a big surprise, because my career before then had always been very up and down. So it wasn’t a complete shock. But it was very disappointing. I think on retrospect I too, myself, I had started to lose my ambition. My ambition was never huge to begin with. I was never full of it. I just wanted to make music, I didn’t have any great ambition to be a star. So I never had an abundance to start off with. When I started to lose some, there was virtually none left (laughs). All that was left was the fact that I love music and I wanted to carry on writing it. But it wasn’t enough. To be a pop star you have to compete and you have to have ambition whether you like it or not. So I think the vital ingredient that was missing from that whole period was really coming from… not coming, rather, from me. I kindof lost my ambtion.

Kim: I’ve been making records a long time, been a pop star for a long time, it’s very competitive… After a long time of being competitive I think I lost my confidence. That was part of it, losing my self-confidence, which was a gradual thing. Also for me personally at a time in my life I started to change in a big way. I decided at that time I was gonna live away from London where I’d live through all those years – I’d lived in London for about seven years – I’d started to make a decision to come and live here and to change my life so it was really, in retrospect, I was reappraising my personal life very much and it didn’t really leave much room for my professional life, naturally enough. In retrospect I’m quite pleased that, because I was able to sort out my personal life and that in turn has had a really positive impact on my professional life. But until I had sorted my personal life out, my professional life couldn’t thrive. I had to get happy first, I had to make some changes in my personal life before everything else took care of itself. I mean, that’s where everything starts from. It’s not the other way around. I would hate to be dictated to by professional feelings, I’d rather be dictated by personal feelings. Whether that jeopardises my career or not I don’t really care.

Kim: ‘Love Is Holy’ was a song that I heard when I was working with Rick Nowels in Los Angeles. We’d already written two songs for the album together. He played it to me, he had written it with Ellen Shipley and I just thought it sounded great, the melody for me was the first thing that hit me. Also I loved the idea that love was holy, that it was someone’s religion, because in a way that’s how it feels for me. It’s the centre of my life like a religion is. I just loved it right away. And I loved the melody, I thought it was a great pop record, so for lots of reasons I love that record.

Kim: I don’t feel I’ve missed anything at all. I’ve had an incredible twelve years now. Travelled the world, met loads of great people, done what I love doing most, singing and recording and songwriting… I feel really that if I – I would have married someone if I’d met the right person. The reason that I haven’t married and haven’t got children, had a family, isn’t because I decided to have my career first, is just because I haven’t met the right man to have a family with. I think if I had, then I would have gone on with that. It’s just the way my life has been. So I’m very happy for that, because I’m still very young and I’ve achieved a lot and I feel that finally if I do decide to have a family it will be after all of my career. That is a much better time, I think, to have done, than too young. In many ways I feel very fortunate that I didn’t get tied down when I was younger because it would never have suited my personality. I don’t even know if it will fit my personality in the future. Marriage isn’t for everybody (laughs).

Kim: I felt more isolated when I lived in London, I felt more like I was in a cage when I lived in London. So since I lived here I feel more free and I feel happier. Here there is time for people, there’s time to spend, quality time to spend with my family, to spend with my friends. When I see my friends they stay overnight and we sit by the fire and we talk a lot. It’s a different time, it’s a better time for me here. I’m happier here than I’ve ever been. I still travel a lot, I still go around the world, I still meet a lot of people but I found a real serenity here and real peace. I’m really happy here. I don’t care if I am in a cage. If I am in a cage, then it’s a very nice, lovely cage. It’s great to live in a house where you can hear the rain (laughs).

Kim: All of this year I’ve been travelling. I’ve been to Australia and Japan, I’ve been to Poland, I’ve been to France, I’ve been everywhere. And I will continue to do so for the rest of the year. We will shortly be going back into the studio to record two new songs. Then next spring we will release my greatest hits album and with that we’ll probably be doing a tour, a greatest hits tour next spring, early next year, for quite a long period of time I would imagine. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. And after that, we’ll make a new album! We will continue. So I’m really looking forward to the next year and a half. It’s gonna be very busy, very constructive. It’s a lot of work but I’m looking forward to it. 

Kim Wilde Special

26 September 1990
Nordic Channel (Sweden)

30 minute Kim Wilde special featuring an interview and a few music videos.

Well if you’re gonna support anybody you may as well support someone like David Bowie, and the last time you were here touring with Michael Jackson.
Yeah, I mean there’s certainly a lot of people that I wouldn’t open for but obviously Michael Jackson and David Bowie aren’t two of them.

Have there been any differences in touring with these two different people?
Of course there are differences. I mean, I’ve had much more contact with Bowie in the past three days than I’ve had in three months with Michael Jackson. But the excitement is still pretty much the same, you know. Going out and opening for someone like Michael or David is always a challenge. It’s been going down great because I’ve had a lot of success on my own behalf, so…

Have you found any differences in the audiences, the David Bowie audiences compared to the Michael Jackson audiences, and their reactions to your music?
I think there would have been more if David Bowie was going out and doing his latest album and he would have had a more sort of hardcore following. But because it’s his greatest hits, it’s a more diverse audience, in the same way that Michael had a diverse audience. And obviously both of them have had very long careers. But mine has been quite long too, Although Bowie has been in it for 25 years, I’ve been in it for over 10. And so it works quite well. People just enjoy listening to the old songs, and I think it’s great he’s going out and doing them really. For whatever the critics may say, I think that it’s good that he’s going out and celebrating the wonderful songs that he’s had out. And it’s exactly what I’m doing.

What have been your favourite Bowie songs?
Well, I’ve fallen in love again with ‘China girl’, which he just does great live. But they all sound wonderful to me. In fact they all work better live to me than they do on record.

I saw you yesterday evening here in Stockholm and I really got this impression that Kim is better than ever. You seem to be enjoying it more, working on stage more, the whole thing is really so tight.
Yes, it is, isn’t it? You have to want to be there, for it to work. You can’t… It doesn’t work unless you want to be there. And I had so much experience after the Michael Jackson thing and I’m so happy with the new album and I’ve become very proud of what I’ve achieved in the past. So I feel 100% about going out to a public even though they are not specifically there to see me. As you would have seen, the audience were very glad I was there, so I was very very pleased to be there.

Have there been a lot of changes in your band?
I did a few, I still have the same guitarist – because I’m still his no. 1 fan and he’s still in my band, Steve Byrd, who I’ve co-written a few songs with,  and Jeff Hammer, who is still my keyboard player. We’ve got a new rhythm section and they were recommended to us by my guitarist who I listen to and respect his opinion. Some fresh input, I think it’s important to keep that going. Because things tend to get rather stale.

You mentioned Steve, that’s interesting because he is in many ways a key person, you work with him a lot. He’s one of the people outside the Wilde family that you work with. A lot of people have the impression that it is very much a family affair, but it isn’t, there’s people like Steve and Tony Swain.
Tony Swain, who produced Close and who’s co-written half of this album with me. We have people who work for us on the other side of the fence, the business and professional side, who aren’t related. So it’s not a completely incestuous situation, it’s rather healthy I think.

How do you look at your working relationship with your brother Ricky? Has it developed during the years?
Initially Ricky and Marty were writing all the hit records for me, which was great. I hadn’t started writing then and I didn’t really have any ambitions to write at the very beginning, and then gradually I started turning on the radio and listening to songs and thinking ‘I could do this thing better than that’, you know, and that’s when I began writing. It was about four, five years into my career, right about four years into my career, and so gradually now I most of the songs on my album with Ricky, instead of Marty. But you know, Marty will still write with us in the future, he’s still a fine writer and I’m still his biggest fan. And of course there are other people like Steve and Tony Swain. And in the future I’m really looking forward to other writing projects with other artists.

As you say, actually, your dad isn’t named anywhere at all on this album, it’s the first time, I think?
It is, yeah. He was there in spirit, you know. There’s no saying that he’s not there on the next one. He just didn’t feel like writing last year, which was…. he put it all down to us then.

(Music video for ‘Can’t get enough (of your love)’ shown.)

You seem more confident now than ever before. Have I got the right impression?
Well, I certainly feel very confident. I’ve a lot to be confident about. Especially with the ‘Close’ album having done so well, and just being a generally positive thinking person, really. I’m not sort of brimming over with confidence all the time, there are moments when I doubt what’s going on, what am I doing, but they’re only healthy emotions I think, you can’t be completely forthright in your thinking, you have to question it constantly I think.

The ‘Close’ album was not a turning point but an important point in your career I think.
Very much so, yeah.

‘You came’ was played all the time everywhere. It must have been a fantastic feeling.
When we do it on the Bowie tour, the reaction is always brilliant. The reactions are always brilliant to ‘Kids in America’ as well, and ‘Cambodia’ and all the old songs. That really I find very amusing.

Is it easier to sing the old songs or the new songs?
Well it’s really strange because to me they don’t feel so old. A song like ‘Kids in America’ is still very contemporary. And I don’t feel like I’m sort of dragging up the past and dusting it down. I don’t think that it needs dusting down. With the new band and the energy that they create with the new songs it just makes it a brand new song all over again.

So actually your music isn’t subject to fads or trends is it?
No, it hasn’t really been. We haven’t jumped on fads over the last 10 years. We’ve pretty much gone on our own direction. Well obviously influenced by pop music and what’s happening now, we don’t sit in a box and just do our own thing. We love pop music and that’s our inspiration. But we do our own thing. We have our own expression. I’m glad we have.

All the other things that people do are influencing you. A lot has happened in British pop music particularly lately.
All the dance rhythms and the rap and house music, that kind of stuff. I mean, obviously it influences us to a degree, but we have our own attitude towards making music. I’m very excited about what’s going on in music at the music. I especially enjoy De La Soul, and I really like Was Not Was.

(Music video for ‘It’s here’ shown.)

Looking at ‘Love moves’, the latest album, you’ve branched out a bit to new themes. One of the best songs I’ve ever heard I think is on that album, not just your songs but period, ‘World in perfect harmony’. Has a nice message to it as well. Particularly perhaps you were thinking a bit about environmental things, more so then the sort of things with the Gulf Crisis and everything now. It’s an appropriate song maybe today.
I know. It’s a very idealistic song, and perhaps naive in so many ways, but I can’t help but have positive feeling towards the future. When you’re surrounded by children, I have an 11 year old sister and a 9 year old brother, and plenty of us have children, you know you have to be positive about the future, you have to have an attitude that says ‘I’m going to make this work’. You have to. It hard though. Look around, there’s not much to encourage you to bepositive about. And that song is very, very positive. But there’s a song on the album, called ‘Who’s to blame’ which has probably a more realistic, much more melancholy, sad appraisal of the world’s situation. I think that’s why I put the two songs on the same album. I think it would have been wrong just to have one attitude on it, you know it would have been a bit naive, really.

Another song that represents maybe new themes is ‘In Hollywood’.
‘In Hollywood’ was inspired by when I was in Japan and I was constantly watching CNN – CNN, dear me – because I had a lot of time in my hotel room, you know, and there was all this stuff about Tyson and Givens and they were in a sort of battle around their divorce and their personal relationship. A ridiculous scenario, to have Robin Givens’ mother on there and I just thought it can only happen in Hollywood, you know. Terrible place to have a relationship. So really that song is about that.

Will this be something for you in the future now, that you will write more about other things than boy-girl relationships?
Yeah, I mean, half the album ‘Love moves’ is not written about love. Half of it is, but half of it isn’t. I think it’s a really healthy sprinkling of subject matter, really.

Last time we spoke, we spoke about things like clothes are very important. What were the things that determined the choice of clothes on this tour. What sort of clothes are you wearing?
As you can see, I’m still addicted to wearing black clothes. I can’t seem to shake it off. So there you go. And also you have to wear stuff that you can move in. Stuff that is flattering. I’ve been buying clothes long enough to know what works. Clothes I wear on stage are slightly different to clothes I wear off stage. Because you know you have to move and to my terrible embarrassment I’ve been on stage a few times in totally inappropriate clothes and fallen out of them, and had dresses that kept moving right up here, and I spent the whole of the show pulling my dress down. So you very quickly learn what clothes work, and look good at the same time.

Leaping around on stage and things, what do you do to keep fit?
Well I don’t smoke, and I drink little. Not a great deal. I’m not a sort of fanatic. I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t do a lot of exercise. Terrible isn’t it?

You do your training on stage?
Being on stage is a workout but I’m not on stage a lot. I tour a very small fraction of each year. But the rest of the year I might swim, and I’m a very keen skier as wel. I’m a bit of an outdoor girl really, although I might not look it.

(Music video for ‘Never trust a stranger’ shown.)

An appropriate question I would point at this point in your career. You were born into a showbiz family. At this point, when you think about ideas that you had about this business before you went into it yourself, have many of the things come true for you or have you had a lot of surprises, things you didn’t expect?
Mostly surprises. I didn’t really get into this business with any preconceived ideas. I was really brought up with it, showbusiness or whatever you call it, the record industry, the pop world, whatever you call it, there was always a reality, it wasn’t something I’d had fantasies about. So I didn’t have any fantasies about meeting famous people or being in glamour situations, being in the back of a cadillac or doing any of those things really. For me it was always work. That is how I saw my father approach it. I knew he was in love with music, he still is, and I too am, but it is a job after all, I’m not just floating around on this earth having fun, I have a job too. Like you, and like you (looks into the camera). So I do my work and I do my job and I separate the two.

We love to see your job turning out so well Kim. Like I say it was a real pleasure to see you yesterday, great album, thanks very much for talking to us.

Star Test

12 January 1989
Channel 4 (UK)

A 25 minute program in which Kim is interviewed by a computer. She has to choose categories themselves, and then a selection of questions is posed to her. It is a very calm, composed interview, in an almost futuristic setting.

Hello Kim.

Welcome to Star Test. Please make yourself comfortable. Relax. Enjoy yourself. Here are nine categories of questions. Please select a category by simply touching the screen.
Health & Happiness.

How important is what you wear and why?
It’s important to me. Why it’s important to me? Well, I think what you wear is kind of an expression of how you see life and so I think it’s important to communicate that to other people. We are after all all living together. I don’t see this world is full of isolated human beings just going through life for themselves, so I think it’s important to communicate and clothes can do that, as well as other things.

What small things in life really make you feel good?
Flying kites, children, buying penny sweets in sweetshops, waking up and seeing the sunshine, like this morning…

When was the last time you laughed till you cried?
It was the other night, and I went out with a couple of guys who used to be in my very first band, and one of them I hadn’t seen in a very long time and he showed me a video of me doing ‘Chequered love’ on Top of the Pops in about 1982 or something, that was a very funny experience.

How fussy are you about what you eat?
Not too fussy, but I watch what I eat, I’m careful to eat things that I think are good for me, and I’m quite aware of the foods that I think are good for me. I think you have to listen to your body as far as food is concerned.

How many hours of sleep do you need?
Well, as many as possible. I have a nickname for people who know me quite well I’m known as the dormouse of rock, and eh… it’s a fairly heavy label I can tell you. And I deserve it too, I love sleeping, it’s one of my favourite pastimes. It’s very good for me.

How do you like to spend your Sundays?
I like wandering around a certain hill in London, and wandering around bric-a-brac shops, book shops and antique shops, reading papers and just relaxing.

Who makes you laugh?
My dad, my brother, and a few other people. Ben Elton makes me laugh.

Please select a category by simply touching the screen.
Bread & Butter. 

How generous are you?
I’m generous. 

What was the most expensive single item you’ve bought?
A lamp, I think. I fell in love with one when I was in Paris.

Do you worry about money?
Worry about money? I’m in a fortunate position not to worry about money.

Would you carry on working as you are now if there was no money in it?
I don’t know.

How old were you when you became financially independent?
When I had a hit with ‘Kids in America’, when I was twenty… one?

How much did you spend yesterday?
Quite a lot, actually. I bought a wedding present for a friend, I bought a present for my father who’s fifty on Saturday, I bought myself a nice pair of sunglasses because the sun’s shining at the moment, it ran into the hundreds…

How happy has money made you?
Well, it’s helped me acquire things that make me happy. On its own, of course, it doesn’t make me happy.


What’s your favourite movie?
‘Some like it hot’.

Do you take sugar in tea?

Who’s your favourite actor?
Gene Hackman.

What’s your favourite book?
Don’t have one.

Which is your favourite city?

Do you like gooseberries?

Do you prefer vodka or gin?

What’s your favourite sport?

What’s your natural haircolour?
That (points to the root of her hair).

What colour are your eyes?

What’s your favourite TV programme?
The New Statesman.

Do you like Michael Jackson?
Yes. (Laughs)

What car do you drive?
A Mitsubishi.

Where did you last go on holiday?
A few weeks ago, skiing.

Have you got green fingers?
(Looks at fingers) Yes.

Please select a category by simply touching the screen.
Inside & Out.

When do you get your best ideas?
Mostly when I’m driving in my car.

How do you cope with stress?
A little bit of exercise and… I don’t know I cope with it as well as I should.

How much do you like looking at yourself in the mirror?
It depends on what I’m looking like. There are moments when I can’t bear it and there are other moments when I think ‘mmmmmmm’.

How shy are you?
I don’t think I’m shy at all.

Is there a recurring dream you have?
Apart from the one about the bananas, there’s a dream I had about being chased, being chased relentlessly and violently… horribly. It was dreadful.

What are your irritating habits?
Well I don’t know because no-one tells me what they are.

How much do you need to be in control of things?
Oh I quite like to keep control to other people. I mean I like to have control but I’m very happy for others to have it.

What brings out the worst in you?
When I’m tired, when I’m not well and when I feel someone is undermining my intelligence. I hate that.

Reveal a secret about yourself.
Well… No I don’t think I will. There aren’t many secrets really. I’m a bit of an open book.

Now please select a new category.
Power & Glory.

How nervous do you get before a performance?
I think I get more nervous than I realise. And I absorb it. And I don’t release it for a long time, and it’s not until months later that I realise how nervous I was and that’s kind of a classic stress symptom. It’s very dangerous, it kills people. So I ought to take care.

Who are your heroes?
Heroes… No heroes.

Were you born lucky?
I think so.

How much do you owe your fans?
I owe them a lot. Because without them, my records wouldn’t have done anything. So I owe them a lot.

What do you most like about being famous?
I like the way it gives you access to more people, in that when you walk down the street, people come up to talk to you. I feel like the world’s become my friend – well, the countries who know who I am. I think it’s very nice.

What gives you a sense of real achievement?
Going to the top of the black run on a mountain and getting to the bottom.

Did you win any prizes at school?
I won the art prize. It was a book.

How strong is your willpower?
It’s not terribly strong.

Who will you stand next to in the hall of fame?
Someone shorter than me, I think. Sheena Easton, maybe?

What is the secret of your success?
Well it’s a secret for me, whatever it is. I would have to say it’s hard work, but who would believe me?

To what extent do you need other people’s approval?
I think to quite a large extent. I’m such a little puppy.

The whole truth and nothing but…

Please concentrate hard on answering the questions in this section truthfully. If you appear not to be telling the whole truth, you will forfeit the chance to show your video. From the five questions that follow, you may pass on just two.

How much of your success do you owe to your father?
I would say an awful lot, since he co-wrote all the early hits and still writes hits for me, he wrote ‘Four letter word’, so I would say an enormous amount I owe to him.

Did you regard it as a snub that Michael Jackson didn’t mix with you more on the recent tour?
No, not at all. I swear I didn’t feel snubbed. I felt very honoured to be asked to be on the tour. And I think anyone who felt snubbed after being chosen to be on the tour for four months and given that opportunity would – I don’t know I think it would be really uncool. So, no, I didn’t feel snubbed at all. I thought it was a bit strange and not the kind of thing I would do, but I’m not him, and he ain’t me.

Does it worry you that men fantasize about you?
Worry me? (Laughs) No, it doesn’t worry me. Do they?

You now have 30 seconds to plug your latest video.
It’s a montage of images of esoteric ideas. It’s really… It’s hard to describe really. It’s more a combination of… Very esoteric and very deep. And artistic, very artistic. It’s something you can’t even put into words. It’s very difficult to say what it is really.

Now please select a new category.
Sweet & Sour.

Which is your best physical feature?
My mum and me reckon it’s my nose.

What do you most like about yourself?
I think I’m very gullible. It’s always a bit of a mystery how gullible I can be.

What sort of people make you feel uncomfortable?
Unhappy people.

Would you change anything in your life?
Not much.

Which part of your body might you choose to change?
Well… I quite like the idea of having a sort of… smaller waist. It could get smaller from my waist downwards as far as I’m concerned and I’d be most pleased.

What sort of people do you most like?
I like people who like me. I like people who are funny, warm and natural. And kind.

What do you most fear?
I fear for the world as regards to the environmental issues, I worry about that. I fear that we’re destroying it far too quickly and maybe irreversibly. I fear for the safety of our planet.

What’s the best reason for being alive?
To live your life. Can’t think of a better reason. To really live it. And share it.

Now please select a new category.
Love and passion.

What are your passions?
I have a passion for music, for people, laughing, for paintings, for people who create. For good wine.

To what extent do you let your emotions show?
To a greater extent, I think.

Who do you most love?
(Points at nose.)

Do you prefer to spend time in male or female company?
I don’t really mind. It depends on their personality.

Do you fall in love easily?
Don’t think so.

How did you feel when you last fell in love?

Who was your first love?
It was a little boy at school. Had gorgeous golden hair and right down to there (points to shoulder).

Are you romantic?
Yes. I think I am.

Did you send a card last Valentine’s day?
No, but I don’t think they’re very romantic.

Self analysis

How do you feel at the end of the interview?
Well, I’m just wondering if we’re near Portobello Road, because I quite fancy going shopping.

Has it been an interesting experience?
Who for?

Have you learned anything about yourself?

What question would you have like to have been asked?
I can’t think of one, I don’t actually like being asked questions very much.

You are now being invited to select five characteristics from the on screen menu which you feel best illustrate your personality.
Well, I think I’m ‘imaginative’, ‘out-going’, ‘sensitive’, ‘funny’ and… ‘gentle’.