Entertainment

David Bowie's cousin recalls star's Brixton birth and ‘quirkily creative' youth

Kristina Amadeus was four-and-a-half when Bowie was born.

David Bowie’s cousin has recalled growing up with the famed musician and the “very cold” night the star was born in south London.

Kristina Amadeus was there the evening Bowie’s mother Margaret gave birth and in 1971 she hosted Bowie at her flat in New York where she was working as a theatrical agent.

She was four-and-a-half when Bowie was born at his family’s Brixton home on January 8 1947.

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David Bowie was born in Brixton in 1947 (Yui Mok/PA)

Speaking to the Radio Times, she said: “I was in the house the night that David was born. I remember it being very cold, and hearing my Aunty Peggy shouting all night, and wondering what on earth was going on.

“The next morning, my Uncle John [Bowie’s father] put me in this stuffed armchair, right at the back so my little legs were just hanging over the side. Then he put this tiny baby in my lap, wrapped up like a sausage. That was David. I was proud as punch.

She also spoke of growing up with the well-loved figure, revealing that watching science fiction horror on television had made him scared of the dark.

She added: “David and I were close as children. He’d get me to sit on his lap and he’d wiggle his arms and legs below us, and call us an ‘octoperson’. We’d play Monopoly and squish together to watch TV.

“I remember him getting so scared of The Quatermass Experiment that he couldn’t sleep in the dark for years – he had to light a candle.”

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The house at 40 Stansfield Road, Brixton, where Bowie was born (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Bowie formed his first band at the age of 15 before going on to enjoy a career defined by reinvention and daring visual presentation.

Attempting to pinpoint the moment the star begun to explore music and art, Amadeus said that Bowie had taken an interest in painting and collage from early on.

She said: “He’d also be quirkily creative, cutting up powder puffs, and the lace edging off one of his mum’s handkerchiefs once to add to a Fuzzy Felt picture. He got into trouble for that.

“But his parents encouraged him so much, and Uncle John introduced him to many entertainers through his work (as a PR officer at children’s charity Barnardo’s).

“He’d say, ‘My son is going to be an entertainer, aren’t you, David?’ And David would be all, ‘Oh yes, Daddy.’”

Bowie died on January 10 2016 in New York following a battle with cancer.

His albums include The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Heroes and Let’s Dance.

The full interview is available in the Radio Times magazine.

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