Earlier this week Paul Gallagher introduced us to “Kate Bush, comedian”—so why not end the week with “Kate Bush, fitness guru”? All right, I’m overselling it a little, but it’s true that in August 1981 the “extravagantly brainy spiritual sexpot,” as Robert Christgau once termed her, was featured in a segment on Looking Good, Feeling Fit, a U.K. show dedicated to well, looking good and feeling fit.
Interviewer Richard Stilgoe caught Bush while prepping for her bombastic and kinetic “Sat in Your Lap” video with dancers Stewart Arnold and Gary Hunt. As Stilgoe notes, the trio tried out the same strenuous dance routine “at least eight times while we filmed it from different angles.”
It must be admitted that Stilgoe indulges in some inane repartee, such as when he asks, “Now, in the music world there’s a lot of late nights, high living and things, and yet you do not have pimples, spots, and all the things that the rest of us get if we stay out late at night, how do you manage that?” For her part, Bush remains steadfastly humble and sensible throughout, insisting that she does indeed get spots, “everyone gets spots,” and advising viewers of the importance of using the right creams to protect your skin.
Considering that her athletic performances were as integral to her art back then as her bewitching music, it’s no surprise that Bush was in such excellent shape—as she allows at the segment’s close, “I don’t think I’m a healthy person. You see, I dance because I want to dance, not ‘cause I want to keep fit. And it’s just a sort of side thing that I happen to keep fit at the same time. I really like what I do and that that’s what it’s all about.”