Midday with Derryn Hinch

24 February 1994
Channel Nine (Australia)

Interview about Kim’s recent activities and her career in pop business.

I was with Michael Bolton last night. Great show. My ears are still ringing, shows my age, boy it’s loud, but big voice and I was seeing him last night, knowing that I’d talk to you today, and I thought ‘What must it be like for any entertainer when you’re coming through those curtains and there’s 12,000 people just screaming. It happened to you when you were only 19.
Er, well there are 12,000 people at the gigs I’m doing on my current tour in Australia…

When you were young, ‘Kids in America’ was huge.
It’s a fantastic feeling. It’s amazing and I feel very privileged. I’m in a minority of people who will ever experience that. Standing backstage and knowing there are thousands of people waiting to see you.

Some entertainers, though, stand backstage and they so… the adrenaline starts to pour so much they always throw up. Do you get that nervous?
No, not at all. I can’t wait. Let me get out there. I love it, I love it.

When you were 19, you had ‘Kids in America’. Daughter of Marty Wilde, whom we used to refer to as Britain’s answer to Elvis Presley in those days, your dad, and so was it inevitable you would become an entertainer?
Maybe, I don’t know how inevitable these things are, I mean children sometimes do exactly the opposite of what their parents do. But I fell in love with the world of entertainment at a very young age and I used to watch my dad on stage and I used to think I’d love to do that one day. And he wasn’t exactly the most encouraging parent, in that he wanted me to go into education, and a lot of entertainers I think they feel they should really.. ‘I’ve always had a proper job’, you know. I think he saw me and he thought ‘I hope she has a proper job some day’ but.. tough, dad. You know.

So you started some backup work with your dad…

So now you’re all very busy: you write songs, your brother writes songs, your father writes songs, and your mum she’s the manager.
She’s sort of very good with dealing with money and stuff, you know, which I’m useless at. So she takes care of business, which is great. And that frees me up to be very creative and concentrate on those sorts of things.

(The music video for ‘If I can’t have you is shown.)

By your standards that was a fairly mild video clip, is it, compared to the one that was banned from children’s television?
(Kim nods, then laughs)

Is it too obvious to ask why?
Oh, I was just having a bit of adult fun really, it wasn’t… it was in the best possible taste, as always, but it was just a little risqué and I think they probably made the right decision to ban it from those children’s programmes.

You toured with Michael Jackson.
In ’88, yeah.

What was it like? Did you spend a lot of time with him?
No, he was an incredibly private man.

Wrong sex and too old.
No… (Audience mutters) But you’re right about the too old bit. We never had a few beers or anything like that, a bit dull really, but the tour itself was fantastic and we played to over 2 million people in a three month period of time. All over Europe, the UK and Ireland.

And you toured with David Bowie as well ?
And I did with Bowie, but I had a few beers with Bowie, there’s a difference.

There was a period in the late Eighties when Kim Wilde seemed to go a bit wild. It looks as though you lost some of your entertainment spirit, hadn’t you?
Yeah, definitely. I started very young, when I was about 19, and we did very very well for a number of years and then there was a period when I wasn’t doing very well at all. I got very disspirited and lost my confidence very quickly, and I wasn’t experienced or mature enough, adult enough, I don’t know what I wasn’t, but I wasn’t big enough to take it at that time. And I lost a lot of ambition. I just let it go, I thought ‘oh it’s going, it’s gone’ and I let it go without fighting for it. I only started fighting back when I did the Jackson dates and that’s when I had to because that was sink or swim. I couldn’t not fight and in front of 150,000 people.

That’s a bit like some professional tennis-players, young tennis-players who win a big tournament early on in their life, at 15, 16, 17, 18, and get to their mid-20s and find that – it’s the same sort of argument isn’t it, they had their taste a bit early and can’t fight it if they lose one.
It’s quite hard to keep your confidence high, you know, and to retain a sense of humour. But I managed it, you know. It wasn’t too major a crisis, it wasn’t a huge big deal, but there was a point where I did consider stopping doing this.

Eight years from now when you turn 30 (smiles) will there be a change in your life, will you reassess your career?
I reassess my life virtually every morning when I wake up. That’s how I live my life. I’m always analysing, always looking at it, analysing not so much but I’m always looking where it could be better. So that for me is a continuing thing. At the moment I’m just having the best time though.

It’s good to have you back in Australia and it’s good to have you perform in Australia.
Yeah, it’s the first time I’ve been doing my concerts here and I’m doing the last three in the next few days in Wollongong and in Newcastle and the Wonderland in Sydney, so… I’ve been having the best time. Best audiences. I wanna live here actually. (Laughs)