When Kim Wilde was filmed drunkenly singing one of her biggest hits, Kids In America, on a train in 2012, few would have expected it marked a comeback for the 1980s pop star.
But after more than two million viewed the footage online, the unlikeliest of renaissances began.
The following December, Wilde capitalised on her viral success and released a Christmas album – her first UK release in almost 20 years – and now she’s back again alongside some extraterrestrial friends with Here Come The Aliens.
It’s more than three-and-a-half decades since the 57-year-old burst onto the music scene with the debut single she performed on that train.
The daughter of 1950s pop singer Marty Wilde, her synth-driven pop subscribed to the movement of the decade while also straddling the mainstream.
There were 17 top-40 singles in the 80s, 30 million records sold and support slots on tour with David Bowie before the momentum fizzled out in the mid 90s.
She retreated into her childhood love of gardening which remarkably helped inspire Here Come The Aliens when she spotted unidentifiable lights in the sky from her garden in 2009.
“I remember it was the day after Michael Jackson had died … I was playing his records all day.
“I got home about 10pm and these lights appeared.
“I was in my back garden standing on the grass looking up wondering what was going on.
“It did make a big impact on me, I still look up to the sky expecting or hoping to see something.
“I’ve not seen anything as unusual as that since.”
Her obsession with little green men started before that, however.
As an eight-year-old, she watched the first moon landing – an event referenced on the album’s tacit tile track, 1969.
“They’re out there in the stars, maybe they come from Mars,” she sings. Inspired by her own close encounter, the glam-rock stomp sees Wilde as a girl, gazing starry-eyed at black-and-white broadcasts of the landing, before turning her thoughts to distant galaxies.
Such pleasing allusions are scattered across the album where the highlight comes with Kandy Krush, the closest thing to Wilde’s touchstone hit.
She was actually writing the album prior to her Christmas episode but momentum was halted by the viral hit and her festive record took precedent.
Wilde was a little hesitant at the footage at first, she says, but revelled in the reaction once it came.
“The antlers on the head, the slurring of the words, just mammothly cocking up in public. For a lot of people I think it was just a relief that someone famous didn’t mind that happening. And it inspired me because the public were so sweet about the whole thing and had a really good laugh,” she says.
“People were phoning me up, I’d get in taxis, I’d be in a supermarket, I’d be in a crowded place on the street and people were coming up and going, ‘That was such fun, it was great to see someone let their hair down’.”
As well as framing her alien-encounter, Michael Jackson also helped Wilde realise she never wanted to be a megastar when she supported him on his Bad tour in 1988. The circus of the charade as it arrived in different towns left a bad taste in her mouth and she can recall thinking, ‘I don’t think this is for me’.
“I really love my pocket-sized career,” she says. “It’s nowhere as big as Madonna’s or Michael Jackson’s, but I love getting to sing, write songs and perform. It allows me to pay the bills. I get to travel the world, that’s a huge privilege, but I can still walk into Tesco and do the shopping, and I can still take the kids to school and we don’t need bodyguards at home.
“I don’t have to have my life crowded with strangers or people pretending to be my friend.”
Yet there is still the motivation for more success. Wilde think there’s a need for someone to break the mould in the current music scene and offer some showmanship and glamour. She wants to be that person.
“We need a Prince, and we need a Bowie, and a Freddie Mercury and we need all the ones that are gone,” she says. “I think people are ready for a bit more of visual excitement.”