'Going to Art Colege Gave Me Freedom' ; an Education in the Life of Kim Wilde, Garden Designer and Singer

By Wilde, Kim | The Independent (London, England), April 6, 2006 | Go to article overview
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'Going to Art Colege Gave Me Freedom' ; an Education in the Life of Kim Wilde, Garden Designer and Singer


Wilde, Kim, The Independent (London, England)


Kim Wilde, 45, had her first hit single in 1981 with "Kids in America". She is the daughter of Marty ("Bad Boy") Wilde. In 1999 she began presenting the television series Better Gardens, followed by Garden Invaders. Her books include Gardening With Children and, out in April, First-time Gardener.

Some kid was always hitting me round the head with a book when I went to a Greenwich school that I re-member as quite rough. When I was seven my parents put my brother Ricki and me into a boarding school in Dulwich, south London. I am not sorry to say that the appalling place has been knocked down.

Then my father, who became a songwriter, found himself with five hit records written for other artistes, such as "Ice in the Sun" for Status Quo, and bought a beautiful house in the village of Tewin, near Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. We moved from bad times to good. We went to the village school, Tewin Cowper C of E primary, where Mr Furlong was a wonderful headmaster, white-haired like Father Christmas.

Mr Webster was a wonderful music teacher who encouraged my musicality and cast me as Mary in the nativity play. My father is an atheist but he wrote a musical nativity in which Jesus was a spaceman who came to Earth. He did a few benefit concerts for the school: he, my mother, who had been a singer in the Vernon Girls, my brother and I got up and sang, Osmond-style! There was always quite a bit of fame for us as a family, which I didn't much care for.

When I was 11I went to Presdales School, a girls' grammar in Ware. I have mixed feelings about it: I loved the sport, music, English and French, but I was terrible at science and maths. The kids there were OK' they loved the fact that my mother used to open up the beers and that my father had a really cool record collection. But they wanted different things.

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