Flame-haired singer Carol Decker shot to fame as the lead singer of pop group T’Pau in 1987 when their huge hit China In Your Hand spent a heady five weeks at No 1.

“It was intoxicating at the height of our success,” she tells Simply Worthing. “It had been a long time coming – I was 28 when I got my first record deal and 30 when China In Your Hand was a hit – and I enjoyed every moment of it. You get feted wherever you go, people around you to do everything for you, flown in private jets to gigs around the world.

“Back then, I glided along the top of it all. We were terribly spoilt.”

Nearly 30 years later, and more than two decades after the original band split, Carol now performs with a reformed T’Pau alongside guitarist/songwriter Ronnie Rogers, her boyfriend at the height of the band’s success. The band released their fifth studio album Pleasure & Pain last February and in December finished a 31-day theatre tour of the UK with Eighties stars Go West and Nik Kershaw.

This month, they kick off their new Songs & Stories tour, and they’ll be appearing next month at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham. The tour coincides with this month’s release of Carol’s autobiography Heart and Soul, which is set to “lift the lid on the highlights and hang-ups of life in one of Britain’s most successful bands”.

“The book is not dishing the dirt on anyone or anything,” says Carol firmly. “I’m not Madonna and I’m not in the Rolling Stones. It’s a very personal story about my life and trying to make it in the music business and to finally make it and your relationship breaking up and all of that.

“It chronicles personal family issues, and then anecdotes – you know, ‘a funny thing happened to me on the way to a gig’ kind of thing.

“I had always made my friends laugh with my stories and they said you have to write a book. Then I was encouraged by a music journalist, who said my story is interesting, told me that to make it on to the global stage, being honest about the ups and downs, including the end of my relationship and the end of that kind of fame, the loss of my parents, and it all being mixed in with this huge career, is interesting.

“Yes, I would have changed a couple of things – but you’ll have to read the book to find out what.”

Born on Merseyside, Carol was educated in Shropshire, where she met the other members of the band, named after a Vulcan character in Star Trek. “I didn’t sing until I was 22 and in art school, and I joined local bands,” she recalls. Their first hit Heart and Soul was initially a flop in the UK but after hitting No 4 in America when it was featured in a Pepe Jeans ad, it also reached No 4 here. Their next single, China In Your Hand, went to No 1 across Europe as well as here, and T’Pau’s debut album Bridge of Spies went quadruple platinum in the UK, their second, called Rage, platinum and their third, The Promise, peaking at No 10 in 1991. But the band split soon after releasing their third album, although compilation albums were later released, and Carol reformed the band in 1998.

She met restaurateur Richard Coates in 1996, and after having two children, Scarlett and Dylan, married in 2006. She has also acted on stage and screen, and has appeared on TV in shows including Hit Me, Baby, One More Time, Trigger Happy TV and Just the Two of Us, and appeared in the video for Peter Kay and Matt Lucas's charity single I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) for Comic Relief's Red Nose Day in 2007.

The new Songs & Stories tour “is something completely new”, Carol says. She will be performing stripped back and intimate versions of classics that have stood the test of time.

“The fans can look forward to hearing all of the classic hits and we’ll also be telling them the stories behind the songs. It’s going to be an amazing tour,” she says.

• T’Pau appear at the Ropetackle Arts Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham, at 8pm on Saturday February 6. Tickets £18.50. Phone 01273 464440 or visit ropetacklecentre.co.uk. Heart and Soul by Carol Decker, priced £16.99, is published on January 26.