Room 113

1 January 1988

Interview with Kim Wilde.

London, Saturday, 3.15 pm, psychologist Oliver James, consults Kim Wilde.

When you were a little girl, you’d look up to your father.
I always looked up to both my parents.

Your mother wasn’t any sort of pop business person?
She was, yeah she was a singer and a dancer. When she met my dad she was. But she gave it all up for me and my brother. I’ve never understood that but I’m eternally grateful.

You can’t picture yourself doing that?
Well I suppose, you know she says it’s different when you fall in love with someone it all seems right somehow, you know that’s very rosy and wonderful, but I suppose she’s speaking from her experience. She fell in love with my dad it seemed to her that was enough for her. She’d done her career and she wanted to devote herself to me and to my brother. It’s not something that I’ve done obviously.

Can you remember what sort of child you were, when you were sort of 6, 7, 8. What sort of personality you had at that age?
I was well-liked. Kids liked me. I was quite funny. Dreadful at maths. Fell in love when I was 8 (laughs). Or 9. I was a very intense little girl, I think. Very emotional. All kinds of things were going on then.

So you used to get very worked up about things?
Very, yeah, I mean I… falling in love is the most… is the one thing you can get worked up about. I certainly did that.

Do you remember the first time you saw this boy?
Yes, yes.

What happened?
I just saw his beautiful blonde hair, and I thought ‘wow, he’s something else’.

Is it difficult being the daughter of a famous person? Have you found that?
I won’t say no and I won’t say yes. What are your experiences of famous daughters? I’ve hardly met any actually. I mean, daughters of famous people. I don’t know many daughters to famous people myself.

I mean the interesting thing is you’d expect… if they related to you as a man you’d expect that they would say ‘You’ll never come up to my father’. But the funny thing is, often…
Oh you mean, I would say to a man… you’re not as good as my dad.

Most of them wouldn’t be. (Laughs) He’s a very funny man. Most people haven’t got that sense of humour. I suppose I’m displaying classic symptoms now.

How did you feel on day 1 the last time you fell in love?
It was great (laughs). Yes, very nice.

What was nice about it?
A lot of it I’d say probably is in my mind, ‘cos love to me is a very beautiful thing. And the reality of it is usually much less than beautiful. So I guess I get disappointed a lot because it’s not like the films… Sounds very naive but I’m sure it runs through all our heads.

Do you think you’re a very romantic person.
(Breathes in sharply) Yes. I’m the person that sits down and listens to the Julie London and Frank Sinatra albums. I mean, you’re talking to a very romantic person here. But I’m also a realistic romantic when I want to be. And I’ve had enough experience of the kind of romance… The kind of romance that I’ve experienced is enough to let me know that it wasn’t enough.

People say falling in love is a bit like an illness.
Well yes. There was that too.

Because you lose your head.
Well, yes and feeling not as good as that person and suddenly them just seem so powerful. Could I handle that power thing? Who would be more powerful? The times that I’ve experienced that, I’ve ‘fallen in love’ I have been quite willing to relinquish all my power and to find it in that other person. And I’ve been mostly disappointed.

Is that quite frightening?
Yeah, it’s very frightening. Yes, it is very frightening, it’s horrible. Because usually it’s not very… it’s not realistic. It doesn’t work. It never works. But for a few weeks it’s quite fun. You just run the whole… you just run your body to the ground. I’m sure I’m describing what everybody has been through when they first met the person that they’re at home with and they’re in love with. It’s down to like ‘who’s making the tea’ and ‘why haven’t you done the cleaning’ and ‘I don’t like that brand of baked beans, darling’.

But it might be something more real and more satisfying.
It may be, as I said to you before I’m not in love, I don’t know. I know what loving people is about but there’s a lot of people in my life that I love very deeply but apparently it’s a different kind of love that you have with a guy, so they tell me. But I, you know, I don’t know about that but I love people very deeply and it’s a very warm feeling. It’s a very secure feeling and I suppose I’m looking for the feeling I have with my friends and my family, I’m looking for that in a man. A kind of nice feeling. But you wouldn’t mind, sort of… (laughs) I wanted to say ‘you want to do in front of your guy what you do in front of your girlfriends’.

Like that Prince song, ‘If I was your girlfriend’.
Yeah. I like that song.Yeah, but I wouldn’t let my girlfriend do some of the things he was saying that a girlfriend does. No way. They wouldn’t want to anyway.

People who are rich, attractive and famous – isn’t it very hard for partners to hold on to that because they have so much power in the situation just by virtue of being rich, attractive and famous. So you have power inevitably because of those things. Is that true?
Well, I don’t know about that but surely it’s important what’s going on between the two people when the power isn’t an issue and the wealth and the looks. When you’re lying in bed or it’s dark and you can’t see the power or the wealth or anything. You’re just with someone. Those things ought to transcend all those other things.

And I suppose that some viewers watching might imagine, ‘Yeah, that’s all very well but it’s easy enough for you to chuck someone and get someone else if you want’.
Chuck someone? I haven’t heard that expression since I was at secondary school. Chuck.

I’m very immature. But, I mean, that you could…
Yes, men can be disposable to me because there are so many of them and I’m powerful and I can get rid of them at willy-nilly. I suppose maybe I could, I’ve heard some people are like that. I’m not.

I’m not saying use them as disposable things but it must colour the relationship. Think of it from the man’s point of view. A man who goes out with you, is in quite a vulnerable position in a way, he’s got to feel.
Vulnerable. That explains it all. (Laughs) I knew I was doing something wrong.

Can you imagine yourself ever getting married?
I can’t imagine it no. I mean I think I will, but I can’t imagine what it would be like. I don’t really see the aisle. And I don’t see a white dress really. And I don’t see those vows coming out of my mouth the way that they were written. But then I didn’t ever see myself writing a song and I did that, so you never know.