Family affairs

1 November 1993

Kim and Joyce Wilde are interviewed about their family ‘business’ in music. After the interview, Kim performs her new single, ‘In my life’, solo. It is a lipsynched performance to the West End remix of the song.

Joyce, it’s very ununsual to have your mother as your manager. How did you end up doing that?
Joyce: I actually started off being manager to my own husband Marty Wilde many years ago, 34 years ago actually, and we were having a very difficult time financially, and basically, you know, I had to do it in order to pay the mortgage and look after the kids.

So I’d like to know, are you more mum than manager?
Kim: More mum (laughs).
Joyce: More mum, yeah, probably more mum.

I always think, Kim, that it’s great to have somebody in the business who is honest, so that you’re given honest opinions. So does your mum do that?
Kim: Yeah, definitely, especially in quite sensitive areas like clothes or hair or make-up and stuff. Which a lot of people say ‘darling, you look gorgeous’, you just get the sort of… people being very nice and very sweet but not very constructive. So mum can be very honest with me, but sometimes it’s quite hard to be honest with people. You don’t want to hear some things. You want to hear what you want to hear, but that’s not how it should be.

Why do you think your family is so close? What has been the binding factor in your case?
Kim: It’s a combination. Ultimately, the most important thing is mum and dad, the fact that they’re really quite crazy about each other. And it’s lots of love, it’s a foundation of love and it’s also a real commitment to the family that they made by taking us along when we were kids, making us feel like we were VIP’s. We weren’t just like ‘oh, go off to school or go off for the nanny’ or something. We had some help along the way but primarily we were made to feel that we were very important. It’s kind of in later life you realise that the family is very important and you grow up with that outlook. If you grow up with an outlook that family is irrelevant you possibly go on to have an irrelevant family of yourself.

Yours is a bit like having two families: the older two and the younger two. Did that have advantages?
Joyce: We didn’t consciously decide to have Kim and Rick and then leave a big gap like we have but we lost a lot of babies and it was due to a gynaecological error, which was put right ultimately but, and I’ll tell anyone out there if they want to have a baby don’t let anyone tell you ‘don’t have a baby’, because you must, especially in later life, go and get an opinion, another opinion like I did, because I wouldn’t have my other two children now.

You must have spent most of your life pregnant?
Joyce: Yeah, I was (laughs). I was pregnant most of my life, but you know now that I’ve got those two other children I feel very, very lucky.

Must have been quite tough for you, Kim, because obviously having established that you are a close family, to watch your mum go through all of that must have been awful at the time?
Kim: Yeah, it was very difficult. It was easy when I was there, when I started to have my career it was very difficult. But we just pulled together, it made our family very strong, we were supporting mum a hundred percent, we wanted the children as much as mum did, and that gave us the strength. And so now you look back on it, it hurts more looking back actually, than it did at the time. At the time you just get on with it.

Are you very keen to have kids yourself?
Kim: I don’t know, I think in the right circumstances children would be a fantastic experience for me. Because I really like young people very much. I don’t know what they think about me… (laughs)

Do you feel that you’ve been able to help Kim avoid some of the pitfalls that young people fall into in the business?
Joyce: I just hope that by now I’ve done my job in bringing Kim up that she has the common sense to know how to deal with that anyway, you know?