Spinning Around: The Kylie Minogue Story
Kylie began her acting career at the age of nine, when she starred in an Australian airport drama called Skyways, coincidentally alongside a young Jason Donovan. This led her onto roles in The Sullivans and a popular teenage drama called The Henderson Kids, but it wasn't until she played Charlene Mitchell in Neighbours that she really began to make a name for herself. As the relationship between Charlene and Scott Robinson (Jason Donovan) grew, so did the popularity of Kylie and the show itself, to the point that the characters' wedding episode became the most viewed show in Australian television history.
In 1987, Kylie sang 'The Locomotion' at a charity concert, and was invited to record the song professionally by a music producer. It shot to the top of the Australian chart and stayed there for seven weeks, giving her the incentive to consider a career in music. This took her to London, where she worked with successful producing team Stock, Aitken and Waterman. They wrote her a pop classic, and a massive Number One hit, in 'I Should Be So Lucky', and many more pop tunes followed, including 'Got To Be Certain', 'Hand On Your Heart' and 'Wouldn't Change A Thing'. They sold hundreds of thousands of copies, and she became an immensely popular artist.
The turn of the 1990s saw Kylie star in her first film, The Delinquents; her performance in a rather average movie impressed many. Additionally, her music began to progress from mainstream pop to harder dance tracks like 'Better The Devil You Know', as she took greater control of her sound and image from Stock Aitken Waterman. This was caused by Kylie dating the renegade INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, which was a bitter pill for her previous boyfriend and Neighbours co-star Jason Donovan to swallow. They both attended Hutchence's 1997 funeral.
In early 1993, Kylie took a big step by leaving Pete Waterman's record company to move to dance label Deconstruction. This gave her greater musical freedom, and allowed her to write more songs herself, as well as working with established dance producers and other artists like James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers, who produced her minor hit 'Some Kind Of Bliss'. She also duetted with offbeat Australian singer Nick Cave on the dark ballad 'Where The Wild Roses Grow', which he had written with Kylie in mind; he also persuaded her to recite the lyrics to 'I Should Be So Lucky' at the 1996 Poetry Olympics.
Kylie continued to experiment with her music in 1997, as she released her 'Impossible Princess' album. However, the record-buying public were cynical about her attempts to become a serious artist, and the album was met with poor sales; as a result, Deconstruction Records dropped her from its label. She was quickly taken on by a new label, Parlophone, and hit Number One in June 2000 with the first release on her new label, 'Spinning Around', due in no small part to the pair of hotpants she wore in the song's video. Her year ended on a high when she performed 'Dancing Queen' at the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games to an audience of four billion people, and she took on the role of the Green Fairy in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge.
Kylie scored more success late last year with the masterful 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head', which not only stormed to Number One in the UK, but became her first American hit since 'The Locomotion'. Her album 'Fever' reached No.3 Stateside, so to capitalise on her revival there, she is currently in the middle of a hectic promotional stint across the country. As for the future, Kylie has her eye on touring, more acting roles, and the biggest role of all; motherhood.
This programme has been made by Wise Buddah Productions, who specialise in making music programmes and studies of particular artists. They invariably do a pretty good job of them, and this one is no exception; every important aspect of Kylie Minogue's career has been well researched and is included in reasonable, but not excessive, depth, and plenty of archive news reports, videos and television appearances crop up along the way. The depth of the programme is created, though, by the number of stars who pay lip service to Kylie throughout; James Dean Bradfield of the Manics, Natalie Imbruglia, Shaznay Lewis from the All Saints, Baz Luhrmann, respected dance DJ Mike Pickering, and even Bono puts in an appearance to heap praise on 'I Should Be So Lucky'. Mark Little and Jono Coleman do as well, more's the pity, but Kylie's comments throughout the show are the most important, and she comes across as being pretty level-headed about the immense success she's had.
All of the above make this a must-watch for any big pop music fan.
Spinning Around: The Kylie Minogue Story airs on Saturday 11th May at 7.45pm on Channel 5.