It was a drunken moment last Christmas which thrust eighties pop pin-up Kim Wilde back into the limelight.
Sporting a pair of reindeer antlers, Kim serenaded London tube train passengers with a boozy version of her classic 1981 hit Kids in America, accompanied by her guitarist brother Ricky as they travelled home from a Christmas party.
Their sing-a-long was captured on camera by an onlooker and posted on YouTube, which was later viewed by more than two million people.
“I had a few cranberry and lychee cocktails and didn’t realise how utterly wrecked I was at the time,” admits Kim.
“There were these antlers that a lot of the girls were wearing and I found a spare pair and put them on. I believe the antlers saved me. If I hadn’t been wearing them I would have looked like an eighties lush.”
Before the video went viral, little had been seen of singer Kim since her hey day 30 years ago. She transformed herself from sexy pop star to serious garden designer in the 1990s when she left the bustling music business behind to concentrate on motherhood.
Her music career took off once again when a duet with German star Nena in 2003 made her a singing sensation in Germany.
Since then she has been touring across Europe with her band and the YouTube episode last Christmas has helped put ideas of a Christmas album and a mini UK tour into action.
“Fortunately it hasn’t done me any harm. I thought I was watching my career disappear down the drain and I just didn’t know where it was going. Thankfully the Great British public have been very kind,” she says.
“It was mad and very funny. We had already started having ideas of putting together a Christmas album, I was a big fan of Tracey Thorn’s album Tinsel and Lights and Michael Buble’s Christmas album,” she adds.
“Germany had taken me to their hearts from 1981 when Kids In America came out but the Nena hit changed my fortunes and from then on I had a couple of record deals there. I have been under the radar here but over there I have been singing all the time with my band and we are a well oiled machine.”
Kim will be performing at Birmingham’s O2 Academy next month, just one of three dates in the UK. Her Christmas album, Wilde Winter Songbook is out this week.
“It is a very personal album, half a dozen of the songs I have written with my brother or my husband. I am a big fan of Christmas and the way that it brings friends and families together.
“Christmas is one time that unites everyone irrespective of religion. The album has an all singing all dancing rocked up version of Rocking Around The Christmas Tree with Nik Kershaw.”
Kim has remained friends with Nik since their rise to fame in the eighties and he will be joining her at her Birmingham gig. She also cites supporting Michael Jackson on tour as one of the highlights of her career.
“I have really amazing memories. He was at the height of his career and I was able to go along for the ride. I learnt a lot about performing and to raise my own personal bar. It also gave me a glimpse of what it was like to be a mega star. I was really very grateful to get home and was able to pop down to Tesco and not have to go with a bodyguard. The things I had taken for granted I really valued when I got back.”
It was perhaps this glimpse of fame which made Kim assess her own career.
“I got to a point where I thought unless you aim for mega star position what is the point in constantly getting on the rollercoaster and having another ride when the only place it will lead to is more isolation?
“I just got out of it completely. I walked away from my career and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I really love my normal life.
“I got out when I was at the top of my game but I would have walked away anyway as soon as I met my husband.
“The gardening career took off, which I wasn’t expecting, so that became a career while juggling two kids. It was wonderful and fantastic to be learning again only in a new world that didn’t depend on me being a size 8.”
But the music world once again beckoned and Kim now says she gets enough of a gardening fix from her own garden.
In the meantime she remains in the centre of a musical family, with dad, the 1950s rock and roller Marty Wilde still touring, her brother Ricky a guitarist, sister a backing singer and her two children, Harry, aged 15, and Rose Elizabeth, 13, already showing an interest in the world of music.
“Harry is a great guitar player and my daughter is a fantastic singer songwriter. Sometimes we have a bit of a jam together,” she says.
“But it is definitely not the Waltons, it is more like Duck Dynasty,” she says laughing.
And will the 53-year-old be putting on her trademark leather trousers she wore in the eighties when she comes to Birmingham?
“I have loads of leather trousers from size 8 upwards. It is amazing what you can squeeze into – the material makes you look like a size 10 – it is all smoke and mirrors. And whatever it takes, I am going to look hot.”
* Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party is at Birmingham’s O2 Academy on December 19. For tickets go to www.o2academybirmingham.co.uk or telephone 0844 477 2000. Her album Wilde Winter Songbook is out this week.