Inside 'delightful and kind' neighbour Kate Bush's Oxfordshire life

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Inside 'delightful and kind' neighbour Kate Bush's Oxfordshire life
Inside 'delightful and kind' neighbour Kate Bush's Oxfordshire life

Kate Bush secured the title of the longest gap between number one singles when a new young audience discovered her song Running Up That Hill and sent it to the top of the charts.

The song featured in the fourth series of supernatural Netflix hit Stranger Things.

Her only other chart-topping moment was 44 years ago with her debut single, Wuthering Heights, in 1978.

But the chart-topping star shuns the limelight and spends her days checking in on ailing neighbours and chatting to the postman about the weather, according to reports.

Ms Bush, 63, owns several properties across the UK but is believed to be living in the £6.4million Manor House at Clifton Hampden near Abingdon with her partner of 30 years, guitarist and music producer Dan McIntosh.

Oxford Mail:
Oxford Mail:

Their son Bertie, 24, whose birth was secret for years, appeared on stage with his mother during her residency at the Hammersmith Apollo when he was 16 in 2014 but little has been heard of him in the music industry since.

And the family are so private they have been described as 'reclusive' -  a description which irritated the singer.

In 2005, she said: "I suppose I do think I go out of my way to be a very normal person and I just find it frustrating that people think that I'm some kind of weirdo reclusive that never comes out into the world.

"Y'know, I'm a very strong person and I think that's why actually I find it really infuriating when I read, 'She had a nervous breakdown' or 'She's not very mentally stable, just a weak, frail little creature'",' she added.

Speaking to Radio France in 2005, the singer said: 'I'm not reclusive, but just try to live a normal life. And I try to just try to be... a normal person, rather than live the life of someone in the industry.

"I don't think I am weird. I just have a great sense of injustice about that because... I just work.

"I have simply chosen against the lifestyle of the music industry or the world of show-business. Excessive egos, greed for power, greed for money, neuroses, psychoses, sarcasm, cynicism ," she told a German newspaper.

Speaking to the Daily Mail more recently, postman Colin Mildenhall, 67 who delivers to Ms Bush's home almost every day said: "We talk about the garden, the weather and other normal things. She never speaks about her work and I never ask her about it.

"You would never think that she's a big star and she doesn't strike me as the sort of person who's interested in that sort of stuff. She's a very quiet person, she hardly ever leaves her home and I've never seen her walking around. She goes out to check on some of her neighbours and that's about it."

Pensioner Mr Mildenhall, who lives in a cottage opposite the main entrance to Ms Bush's house with his wife Pam, said: "She's always popping over for a chat and to see how Pam's doing, because she's not been well lately. Kate is a lovely person and completely normal. I know her music is becoming popular again, but I've never spoken to her about it or asked anything about her career. To us, she's just a delightful and kind friend and neighbour."

Speaking to Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Bush Ms Bush said "the whole world’s gone mad” since Running Up That Hill went to No 1.

She added: “What’s really wonderful, I think, is this is a whole new audience who, in a lot of cases, they’ve never heard of me and I love that.

“The thought of all these really young people hearing the song for the first time and discovering it is, well, I think it’s very special.”

Running Up That Hill also went to No 1 in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland since the show aired, and achieved a new peak in the US charts at number four.

Ms Bush admitted she had not listened to the track for a “really long time” when the show’s creators asked if they could feature it but she revealed that she was already a fan of the hit Netflix show and thinks the programme has put the song in a “really special place” in the series.

In the show, Max Mayfield, played by Sadie Sink, is heard listening to the song on her Walkman as a means of grounding herself to the real world.

Ms Bush said as new fans discover the song, she likes people to “take from it what they want”.

However, she revealed that the original song idea is about a man and a woman who swap with each other to “feel what it was like from the other side”.

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