Peter York on Ads: If bowels are your thing, Kim's your girl

Holland & Barrett
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The Independent Online

I particularly love Brit showbiz connections. I've just seen Telstar, a brilliant new play by Nick Moran and James Hicks about Joe Meek, producer of "Telstar", "Just Like Eddie" and "Have I The Right?" It's the original Brit electro powerpop, recorded over a hat shop in Islington using anything to hand - dustbins, lavatories and a lot of reverb.

Meek is constantly dissing his competitors, Brian Epstein and Larry Parnes. Parnes always renamed his boys in a thematic way - Billy Fury, Duffy Power, Vince Eager, Georgie Fame, Dicky Pride, Johnny Gentle, Lance Fortune and Marty Wilde (Reg Smith). Wilde did a few classic covers and a lot of appearances on Oh Boy, before settling down to acting, family entertainment and baby-making.

So by 1981 we have sweet, pretty Kim Wilde and "Kids in America" - a nice bit of early Eighties Top of the Pops. It won't feature in many Top 100s, but I liked it and I liked her. But this darling girl has gone green. She's been breeding and now she's mulching. She's a gardener with columns and TV spots and all that. It's her life of course, but I'd rather she was in rackety provincial plays instead of mellowing out.

But it's terribly sensible in career terms. She's just the person to introduce women of her generation to gardening. And to greenish thoughts generally - like being the poster-girl for Holland & Barrett, the curious retail "health" chain. H&B sells vitamins, seeds, pulses, dried fruit and vegetarian meals in grimly green 1970s-looking shops.

Kim's the link - if all that big-haired pop was your then, then lavender oil is your now. It's only £2.19 - 65 per cent off - in Holland & Barrett's better than half-price sale. She looks nice - plumper, older, a likeable yummy mummy - and as she talks, twinkly effects appear to indicate fantastic value. I've always imagined the core Holland & Barrett market segment as Value-conscious Valetudinarian Veterans who worry about their bowels. They really need Kim to add a bit of historic sparkle.

Peter@sru.co.uk

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