Kylie Minogue and Christmas. Two sparkly, tidings-of-comfort-andjoy spreading phenomena that go together more delectably than a hot mince pie and brandy butter. So it’s no surprise that the 70million records-selling princess of pop is buzzing with excitement about returning to London to host A Kylie Christmas again, a live concert spectacular in its second year that has all the makings of a new festive tradition.
‘I can’t believe how much fun it was, everyone’s in this wild, merry mood,’ she tells us, back in her adopted Blighty homeland after a stint filming comedy film Flammable Children on Australia’s Gold Coast. ‘Everyone just goes for it, in for a penny, in for a pound! Last time the Royal Albert Hall, for the first time in its history, sold out of champagne, which gives you a good indication. I’m sure they’re gonna be better stocked this year.’
We first came to know Kylie, who’s been in the music biz for nearly three decades, when she played lovable mechanic Charlene on Aussie soap institution Neighbours. And while she may go merrily nuts for a cold British Crimbo nowadays, her youthful memories of the season are very different. ‘I used to associate Christmas with summertime,’ she says. ‘In Australia, school’s out for six weeks so it’s the long holiday time and it took a while to get used to this cold Christmas and people only having a few days off. ‘But I love it. I keep saying to the Aussies: “You don’t understand, the Brits go Christmas crackers!” It must be because people are missing daylight, they know they’re in for a cold few months, so they really do go bonkers. It makes it loads of fun.’
The dainty 48-year-old beauty barely seems to have aged since she first shrugged off Charlene’s overalls, so she hardly raised eyebrows when she first stepped out with beardy British actor beau Joshua Sasse, 28. The pair announced their engagement in February after a whirlwind romance. While she’s happy to gush about her ‘fantastic man’, Kylie also sounds realistic about the less dreamy realities of a relationship between two busy, professional people.
‘Yeah, it’s been an incredible year,’ she says. ‘But we’ve been apart a lot these last couple of months, so that’s never ever easy. You just have to kind of get with the real world and that happens in every relationship.’
Nevertheless, it sounds like she’s found solace in old-school, epistolic romance. You won’t catch Kylie wooing her fella on Snapchat. ‘We write letters, it’s nice to get something in the mail,’ she says. ‘Or, you know, a Fedex would arrive… With time differences it can be the wrong time to talk, so we did our best to stay connected, to feel close but keep some little surprises coming. And that was very sweet.’ But don’t buy a hat just yet, because the pair have announced they won’t get hitched until gay marriage is made legal in Australia. So where will the pop star, whose cute, catchy single At Christmas is out now, be spending the big Noël?
‘I am the master of last minute Christmas planning,’ she laughs. ‘We haven’t decided but we’re gonna be with some friends and family.’ And brace yourself at New Year, lovers, because she strongly hints she’ll be unveiling her new album (which she dubs a typical Kylie-esque dance/pop offering) at some point in 2017. One thing Kylie can make her mind up on, however, is the potential for Christmas – for all the tinsel and the bright lights and the endless pub rounds – to offer something more meaningful.
‘It does get you thinking,’ she says. ‘About who you’d like to see, who you miss. It does get you more sentimental. It’s a chance to stop and appreciate for a minute.’