Weren't we all in love with Kim Wilde in the old days? The blonde heroine of hairspraying schoolgirls and unapproachable love of boys with pimples in their puberty with hits like 'Kids in America', 'Cambodia' and 'You keep me hangin' on' held the charts within her grasp for more than ten years.
Mrs Wilde (now married with actor Hal Fowler, two children) has returned to the forefront after her successful gardening career with the BBC (!) thanks to her revival duet with Nena. And now on Parkpop! Famous Dutch VIP's about their experiences with Kim Wilde.
The Time Bandits scored, like Wilde, big hits with 'Endless Love', 'i'm Specialized In You' and 'Live it up' in the early eighties and are performing regularly again. Singer Alides Hidding met Wilde at a concert in Ahoy'. "She played after me, I thought she was a beautiful woman. She came across like someone with her own will, she was directing everyone on stage there. Kim knew what she was doing. And now she's on Parkpop! I wish I was there!" For Hidding Kim is no longer a pure sex bomb. "She still has that certain radiance in her face, but, like most of us, it has a few wrinkles now."
Erik van der Hoff, now presenting house makeover programmes like 'The Block'and 'Erik is looking for a house', was the star of 'I save the day' as Roberto Jacketti. He has warm memories of Kim. "Once, a long time ago, we played in Turkey on a music festival where our Kim performed as well. She was of course hard to approcah, because she was a megastar in those days. There were a dozen men around her protecting her or wanting to seduce her. One night at a party in an open air disco I felt like dancing. Swinging on the dancefloor I turned around and saw Kim Wilde. She was there, dancing with her wonderful body with her arms in the air and smiling friendly at me." It was a short moment, because within seconds Van der Hoff's space was claimed by hordes of horny little men. "I wasn't assertive enough to claim my place and went, with a smile on my face, to rejoin my friends of the band."
Years later Roberto Jacketti & The Scooters played during the Lost Vast Kuipspektakel in Rotterdam. "Together with the Dolly Dots we did a song. It was great to do this in a stadium. Kim also appeared, as the headlining act. I hoped she would still recognise me. But I couldn't get closer to her that time as well. I was allowed to watch her performance from the side of the stage thanks to some technician I knew. Would I dare talk to her? Kim came on stage, the music tape started, and then slowed down. The music and singing, it was all playback. My world fell apart. And I never saw Kim again."
Gert Jonkers, fashion editor of the Volkskrant and senior editor of Fantastic Man magazine, has always had a weak spot for the 80's style icon. "Kim was the sexed up Blondie with the rather exciting look in her eyes. I can't remember a bad picture of her. The funny thing is, that now she's coming back, tight jeans are back in style. And judging from the cover of her latest album she is still true to her style of the old days: tight jeans, a striped T-shirt and a black jacket. She still looks good, even if she's a bit older now. She is a celebrity gardener as well, a good career switch isn't it?
In the nineties Wilde put her music career on hold to concentrate fully on her children and horticultural ambitions. At the BBC she worked on the programmes Better Gardens and Garden Invaders, won various gold medals for her designs and even had a plant named after her: the Kim Wilde Sweet Pea. Fellow gardener Rob Verlinden was very surprised to see Kim Wilde in the garden. "I thought, what does a singer do in a gardening show, but I found out that it is in fact her profession! In England the gardening programmes are really popular, so you would have to, you can't talk nonsense. She's of course a great person, a real English lady. Because of her work as an entertainer she can talk really well and that makes such a programme all the better. Maybe she can put her green fingers in the grass of the Zuiderpark before she gets on stage?