She was one of the biggest stars of the 1980s, enjoying a global smash hit with Kids in America and supporting Michael Jackson and David Bowie on tour.
Now after 14 studio albums and over 60 singles, Kim Wilde is back touring and loving life on the road more than ever.
And next summer she'll be one of the star attractions at The Brit Fest, Altrincham's brand new festival that takes place in Ashley over the weekend of July 4-6.
We caught up with Kim to reflect upon an extraordinary life in music - and get a sneak preview of what people can expect in Ashley.
ALTRINCHAM TODAY: What’s your favourite memory of playing in the Manchester area before?
KIM WILDE: I have loved gigging in Manchester many times since my career began in 1981, most recently on my Greatest Hits Tour in 2022 at The Bridgewater Hall. We especially enjoy playing Manchester as quite a few of us have family there, including our Manc keyboard player Stevie P, the atmosphere is always amazing.
AT: You were the most charted British female pop star of the 1980s - how do you look back on those times now?
KW: It was great to be a young pop star in the 80s, doing TOTP with all my fav bands, travelling all over the world doing what I loved. Music was always my focus, recording and working with my Wilde team gave me independence and security in a business that can still be very fickle. I look back with great fondness and still pinch myself that I was a part of that amazing musical decade.
AT: You’ve recently marked 40 years in the music business - how have you been enjoying your most recent chapter on stage?
KW: I’ve never enjoyed performing more than over these past few years, especially since my 'Here Come The Aliens Tour' in 2018 where I indulged in some rather fab galactic costumes! I have an amazing band, several of whom have played in my band for well over 20 years, it’s like a second family… in fact two of my family ARE in the band, Ricky Wilde the MD and my lil bro, songwriter and producer, as well as his daughter Scarlett, my backing singer and also songwriter, artist and recently a mum for the first time!
AT: What can people expect from your live show at The Brit Fest?
KW: There are seven of us on stage, we play my biggest hits with a few surprise additions! The set is very energetic and loud, we take no prisoners and love every moment we’re on stage!
AT: You famously became known as one of Britain’s best-known gardeners - why do you love it and are you still as green-fingered?
KW: Yes, I will always have green fingers since I fell in love with gardening over 20 years ago. I’m still amazed at what can grow from a tiny seed and grow veg and flowers as well as keep my own garden in check. My youngest brother Marty has a garden design business and I’m proud patron of Waste Not Want Not, a local plant nursery working with volunteers from the local community. Plants and people are a perfect partnership, plants can bring people together in the same way that music does. Beautiful!
AT: Who are your best friends on the nostalgia circuit and who will you be looking to seeing perform at The Brit Fest?
KW: I’m looking forward to seeing Hot Chocolate who shared my first record company with me (Mickie Most’s RAK Records) when my career began in 1980/81. I haven’t seen Paul Young for ages, or Nik Kershaw, can’t wait to give them a hug! Also Johnny Hates Jazz ( I sang on 'Turn Back the Clock'), The Real Thing whose gig I went to as a teenager and of course my dearest buddy Carol & T’Pau.
AT: Do you have any plans to make any more new music, and what are you looking forward to the most in 2024?
KW: Our gig sheet is already very busy for 2024. Ricky, Scarlett and myself have already started writing songs for the next album which should drop next autumn - we’re very excited about that.
Kim Wilde will be appearing as part of The Brit Fest, which takes place on July 5, 6 and 7 2024. Day tickets cost from just £60, with weekend tickets priced from £145. If you order a ticket before Christmas you'll get a FREE Brit Fest Christmas Jumper.