Check out all of the new stuff in the

The Changeling Reissue

THE CHANGELING reissue was released 29.9.2023

WATCH Toyah and Robert talk about Glastonbury on
BBC BREAKFAST 21.6.2023  

WATCH Toyah on SKY ARTS Portrait Artist of the Year
Celebrities vs. Kids Special 21.6.2023

Rock Party
Toyah and Robert's Rock Party tickets are on sale

Live At Drury Lane

The CD/DVD and vinyl of the legendary Christmas Eve 1981
concert at Drury Lane, London is out now

Order from Cherry Red

Order from Amazon

Apple Music

For more info visit Official Toyah → Drury 2023

Classic Pop Magazine May/June 2023

Order Sheep Farming
140 g Vinyl

Toyah's first album Sheep Farming In Barnet was released
as a 140gm black vinyl repress on 16.6.2023

Order from Cherry Red

New In The Archive

PARKINSON, BBC1 October 1981
GET SET FOR SUMMER, BBC1 With Peter Powell July 1982
SOUNDCHECK Issue 1, 1983
HARTY, BBC1 8.3.1983
BBC RADIO ONE With Annie Nightingale and Sting 3.10.1983
BBC1 LIFE AND TIMES With Vanessa Feltz 2000
E4 THE LATE EDITION With Marcus Brigstocke 24.3.2005
BBC RADIO 2 With Rylan Clark 23.10.2021
BBC RADIO SCOTLAND With Billy Sloan 30.10.2021
METRO 60 SECONDS 2.11.2021
OK MAGAZINE 22.11.2021
MY TIME CAPSULE With Michael Fenton Stevens 24.1.2022
ON RECORD | IN CONVERSATION With Satnam Rana 12.5.2022
CHOOSE 80s @ CHILFEST 2.7.2022
HOW TO BE 60 With Kaye Adams 29.7.2022 
LOUDER THAN WAR With Nigel Carr 9.8.2022
BBC RADIO 2 BREAKFAST SHOW With Gary Davies 16.8.2022
XS NOIZE PODCAST With Mark Miller 25.8.2022
VECTIS RADIO 18.6.2023
ABSOLUTE 80s 22.6.2023


BABS: Have you thought about going to see Milton Keynes International Festival? If you haven't, I'm going to give you the best reason that you need to go. I have to be still, my 11 year old self, because the first time I saw this absolute queen on Top Of The Pops it just blew my mind. She was singing “It’s A Mystery”. It was 1981, I think, it was miss Toyah Willcox! Welcome to the show, Toyah!

TOYAH: Thank you so much. It was 1981. I remember it well, I think it was March or February

When I was watching the television, but just couldn't get over your whole look, your image, your voice, the power in it. It was like nothing else and it was just liberating for a little 10 year old girl watching. "I want to be her. If I can be anything can I be her, please?" What was it like for you?

TOYAH: It was fabulous for me. Going back to 1981 it was unheard of for a female to have brightly coloured hair. It was unheard of to have that absolutely independent image. So when I appeared on the scene on Tops Of The Pops, it had an a groundbreaking effect. Overnight I suddenly was the biggest name in Europe. I just didn't expect it. It changed my life forever

That one appearance on Top Of The Pops meant I couldn't pop down to the newsagents anymore. When I was being driven down High Streets doing radio tours, every window on the High Streets all over the UK had a poster of me, which was extraordinary

BABS: Oh, my goodness. I mean the fact that you have sustained for all of this time, Toyah, being at the top of your game. If people don't realise I want to just play them a little bit of the Isle of Wight Festival last weekend. Just have a listen to this at home

Plays of clip of Toyah and Robert performing “Rebel Yell” 18.6.2023. Watch it HERE

Oh, miss Toyah! You have them in the palm of your hand! (Toyah laughs) I watched it and I was just like oh, my God! How is she still so brilliant at this?!

(laughs) I just loved the Isle of Wight. It was extraordinary. It was really one of the highlights of the year but we're going to have a highlight at Milton Keynes on the 28th of July. We're going to make sure in that beautiful The Stables Spiegeltent that we deliver exactly the same performance for that audience

BABS: I think if people haven't seen you, they've got to come. It's very reasonably priced, £38 mark, which for festivals really good value, especially because you're going to be there. And I've got to ask is Robert playing as well, your husband?

TOYAH: This is a "Toyah and Robert Show"

BABS: Aaah! OK. If people have not seen you and Robert doing “Sunday Lunch” ... it's the best thing ever. Can I say my boyfriend particularly likes you in the gold leaf thing (below) (they both laugh) That was one of his highlights. I want to know how hard that was to do? Toyah  has basically covered her top part in just gold leaf. How it's staying on ... I don't even know!

TOYAH: I'm very good with gold leaf. I do a lot of crafting and I do quite a bit of artwork where I use gold leaf so it's not that hard to keep on. A bit of olive oil and gold leaf does the trick (they both laugh)

BABS: Some of the comments on your “Sunday Lunch” channel are just the best. Some of the men comment on there how lucky they think Robert is … They're amazing those comments and you look amazing! Absolutely amazing!

TOYAH: You're very kind. I turned 65 this year


TOYAH: I’m just starting to feel ... hmm ... it’s showing now

BABS: (laughs) What?!

I made the most of lockdown and did these really wacky films while I could (laughs) “Sunday Lunch” has really taken off globally. It’s huge and it's had on YouTube alone over 77 million hits. I think totaling up with Facebook and Tik Tok it goes up to 111 million. It's a very large identity now. We've always presented fun. The idea is that every year is the best year of your life

Robert and I, as a team, really want to do is say that life is a journey and it's a very positive journey. Every year we have is an honour and we try to make it the best year of our lives. My husband is 77, we've both got aches and pains, but we're loving what we do. We love music and we just don't see why we should be any different to who and what we were in the punk movement (they both laugh)

BABS: That's what I love about it. It's so unapologetically fabulous. It's in your face. It's sexy. It's funny. Just the two of you together. Here's the most brilliant straight man to you, isn’t he?

TOYAH: He's stunning. He's a very clever straight man because he steals the scene every time. His little face when I get up to things (Babs is cracking up laughing) I think he's one of the cutest human beings in the world

Sometimes he's just looking at me disapprovingly, which just makes him even more lovable. Other times he's afraid or he's laughing his head off. He just cannot stop being the cutest man in the world 

BABS: Oh, this makes me so happy! You're saying you're giving it the bird (the middle finger) to what people think you should be like, at whatever age. You're saying actually, no, this is who we are. We're going to do this for as long as we can and we do not care. And the numbers don't lie, do they? Because you've really connected with people

TOYAH: I think a lot of people just wanted to see this. I know so many people of my age personally. We don't feel our age and we're not ready to just stop because of our age. So we're challenging the perception of age

If anyone doesn't know who my husband Robert Fripp is he was the guitarist on David Bowie's “Heroes”. He's worked with Brian Eno. He's one of the world's top guitarists. He's produced Peter Gabriel. He worked with Blondie, Talking Heads. He's just worked with everyone in the world and is hugely respected

What we're doing on the "Toyah and Robert Show" is bringing classic, timeless rock into the auditorium. The whole idea is that this is classic rock - the way Beethoven, Mozart, Chekhov did. They're all classics, they don't age, they remain in their space eternally. Tthis is what this show is about

There's a little bit of noise about what is this show going be like? Fripp and Willcox. It’s going to have a kind of meatiness about it. When I watched you on the Isle of Wight clip I just went yeah, 100% I'm going to Milton Keynes to watch that! Absolutely!

TOYAH: (laughs) It's a rock show. We call it a "Rock Party". The whole idea is we really want people to feel free to dance, to join in or just listen. We want the audience to identify with the energy and the music that we're presenting. I's a large band. It's three guitarists, including Robert and each guitarist is a world class guitarist so it is a rock show

BABS: Wow! What's not to love? You've got all of that and then you've got you. What other songs are you going to be covering? You’re going to obviously do some of your own songs?

Yes. We can obviously cherry-pick because there is 50 years of brilliant rock and roll out there. We take people on a journey. We start with quite light-hearted songs like “Thunder In The Mountains”, which is a Toyah song. We do “Echo Beach”, which I put back in the charts in 1985 at n:o 21. We do Blondie, but we also do Black Sabbath and Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Marc Almond

So we really mix it up. What we've found is the way we placed the songs - the audience go crazy because we go from “It's A Mystery” into Black Sabbath. It's the most beautiful juxtaposition. It works and the audience just get it

BABS: I think it's going to be an amazing show. I must ask, just in general, when you're not doing all of this and you're not doing “Sunday Lunch”- are you still acting and presenting and just in other stuff? Because you're great at that too

TOYAH: It's been very busy. Ironically, literally two months before the beginning of lockdown I had three movies coming out, which then came out during lockdown. I won best supporting actress for “The Ghost Of Borley Rectory”

In “Give Them Wings” I got the Richard Harris Award for Best Supporting Actress. So it's been very busy. And yes, both Robert and I are presenting. We're in the very beginning of pre-production of our own TV series
BABS: Brilliant! Will it be based on “Sunday Lunch” and will the gold be making an appearance? (laughs)

TOYAH: No, it's all about music and the UK

BABS: Oh, OK. Is that coming out later in the year, hopefully?

TOYAH: Oh, gosh no, it won’t be made in time. This is for next year

BABS: OK. It's just been an absolute joy to speak to you. I love “Sunday Lunch”. I've loved you since I was 10 years old


BABS: And now the fact that you're going to be on my doorstep next month is just brilliant. I can not wait, Toyah! Thank you so much for your time

Thank you and have a wonderful few weeks in between then and now

BABS: Thank you, Toyah!


LISTEN to the interview HERE



CHRIS MARTIN: You're joining us again for “My Absolute 80s”. I'm stoked beyond belief to say that Toyah is my guest this week. Toyah, welcome

TOYAH: Thank you so much. It's really good to be here

CHRIS: Is this a kimono you're wearing? It’s beautiful!

TOYAH: It is really beautiful. I bought it about four years ago. I used to live in Menton on the border of France and Italy. It was on a street stall and it was so out of place four years ago and now it's totally in fashion. I'm really glad I have it

CHRIS: Lovely silky green floral thing. You look absolutely fantastic. This show in front of us ... If you're joining us for the first time on "Absolute 80s" every song you hear - Toyah picked them. Every single one for the next hour

This is the joy of the show for me,
getting a glimpse inside our favourite artist's musical tastes and also to talk about their lives in the 80s. Toyah, shall we begin with song number one? I'm going go for the rather chipper Depeche Mode. “Just Can't Get Enough”. It is a party starter, isn't it?

TOYAH: It is a party starter but the thing about Depeche Mode is they always have quite a serious angle within their songs and within their videos. They're so amazing live. I've only ever watched DVDs of them live. I've never managed to get to see them actually live

I have so much respect for everything they've done, especially in the 80s. They were one of the first bands to hire their own stadiums and play in America. They didn't think anyone would come and the whole of America came. That really was the beginning of their megastardom. So I adore everything about Depeche Mode

DEPECHE MODE Just Can't Get Enough

CHRIS: That was back in 1981. What's going on in your head? Where does that take you back to?

TOYAH: Well, I ruled the world in 1981. The most successful female singer of the year and in 1982, because of that, I won Best Female Singer at what was the Brit Awards back then. It was an incredible year for me. All my dreams came true. I had my first Top Of The Pops

I was touring pretty much non-stop. I can remember doing a performance on Top Of The Pops, which always went out live, and having a little prop plane waiting at a private airport. Flying over to Belgium and doing a TV the next day and flying back

It was a remarkable time and it was a very different time. Culturally and technically. We didn't have mobile stones. We relied on everything working on dates being set in the calendar and just turning up. There was no way of taking a plane over to Munich to do a show that we could check in on the way. We just arrived there. We did these enormous festivals and came back. It was very exciting. Very, very young. We were full of energy. We ruled the world

I love the stories of Live Aid where they had the countdown clocks - obviously there was so many acts to get through quickly. Everyone had to be regimented. “Don't start “Bat Out Of Hell” with three minutes to go whatever you do”

I beg for those countdown clocks because even on festivals today, they say "you've only got 45 minutes, you've got to be off". And if they haven't put a countdown clock on the stage you can't look at your watch while singing to 30 000 people. It's rude (Martin laughs). We rely so much on basic things

CHRIS: I wonder if you could just go on the mic and say "anyone got the time? I have no idea where we are right now"

Oh, I've done that! (Martin laughs) I often work with backing bands I've never worked with before. You run onstage. Everyone has learned your arrangements. You go, this is a “Echo Beach!” and they start playing “It’s A Mystery” and you think oh, my God! What setlist are they using?! I had that three weeks ago. I had to turn to the bass player and say "could you tell me what song you're doing next?" It does happen!

CHRIS: Oh, my goodness me! OK, song number two. Let's stay in the early part of the decade. I'm enjoying this a lot already. Duran Duran, "The Reflex"

Whooo (excited)


CHRIS: Duran Duran. Were they one of those bands that you looked at their style and went "it doesn't matter what you release. You just look amazing. You're going to be successful"?

We're all Birmingham people. I had a show called “Look! Here!” at Pebble Mill and gave Duran Duran their first TV appearance. I was a presenter on this show and became a very famous singer while I still had this series. So I gave Duran Duran their first TV appearance with “Planet Earth”. They were bloody beautiful back then! They were just so stunningly beautiful

But what none of us realised was they would take the leap from, what was the normal number one circuit in rock, your Hammersmith Apollo's, all of those big theatres - they would take the leap into stadiums. They did it and they just have never looked back and they deserve every moment of success. They're great songwriters, they are a really good team. That team has stayed together. And they're lovely people

CHRIS: Next song we are up to Liverpool, Echo and The Bunnymen. Have you got particularly fond memories of the band or of Liverpool itself?

I don't know the band. I've never met the band or worked or been on the bill with the band. But “The Killing Moon” is an absolute cultural classic. Again, I have so much respect for the longevity of this band. Their audience is totally dedicated and they're winning new audience all the time

Some of my most exciting experiences as a live performer have been at Liverpool. I remember once turning up to do an interview for Radio City and we couldn't get to the station because there were crowds everywhere. I actually wound down my window in the car and I said “we're trying to get to such and such street”, but we can't. What's going on?" and the whole crowd turned around and said “we're waiting for you!” (Chris laughs)

They closed the streets, there was thousands of them. I had to be led by firemen through this crowd into a building, up onto the balcony and I had to go out on the balcony and wave to everyone so that the streets might clear and the traffic could continue to move around Liverpool

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN The Killing Moon

CHRIS: Toyah was just regaling us with stories of being mobbed in Liverpool. Echo and The Bunnymen. That song - it's an exercise in space, isn't it?

TOYAH: People often talk about the simplicity of the right ingredients. The Rolling Stones has it. Every song that they've ever released is on the surface simplistic but actually it's brilliant. You've only got the necessary ingredients to make a Michelin star meal and “The Killing Moon” is one of those songs

It has everything that is needed and nothing more. But also what is very classic about it is the video. The video is something that helps you remember the song. It's about space and surrealism and it's absolutely perfect

CHRIS: Speaking of space surrealism and a fantastic video - should we go to David Bowie's “Ashes to Ashes” next?

TOYAH: When I first heard this, the sound design of the song is so amazing. And then Bowie was very clever on the video to use the biggest cult people in London at the time, which was Steve Strange and all of the new romantics that were important. Everyone on that video was an absolute trend leader in London at the time

It’s a beautiful video and this is what Bowie was very clever at. The song itself refers back to “Major Tom”, which was his first major hit. (The lyrics) “Ground Control to Major Tom”, (in) “Space Oddity” (1969) It was such a clever link. Clever song. I've been in love with it ever since. It's a song that takes me right back to the 80s more than any other song

DAVID BOWIE Ashes To Ashes

CHRIS: There’s a sort of thread to the songs you’ve chosen. Pop but there's a darkness to them. Tthat is a real sweet spot for me in music where the darkness lies in pop. The minor chords, the threat

There is a brightness too though, to some of your choices. I think this next one is a bit of marketing genius from Prince. It was released about a week and a half before Valentine's Day. Did you know that?

TOYAH: No, I had no idea at all!

CHRIS: “Kiss”. Clever swine!

TOYAH: I believe that he didn't like this song. I believe that he felt it was too obvious. But my theory is that sometimes the most obvious is the cleverest. And as you say this was released just before Valentine's Day

The glorious thing about this song is everyone wants to dance to it. Whether you're a heavy metaller, or you're a new romantic - everyone wants to dance to this song. Prince may have believed it wasn't the best song he ever wrote but it's one of the most memorable he ever wrote

It's just so simple. “All I want is your kiss”. It’s one word, and it even has only one syllable. I'm a lyricist. How do you make a word like kiss work? It's on the downbeat, it's just kiss. It's simple. It's a brilliant piece of songwriting


CHRIS: We’ve talked about what it’s like to be Toyah in respects of presenting and songwriting and the many facets to your life. I have to say your voice has been echoing through my house more than I expected this year. My little boy, who's four, has found “Brum”! (below) (Toyah laughs) I sat down with him thinking I’ve not watched this in years. Wait a minute! They know that voice!

(puts on the narrative voice of “Brum”) “It’s a big day in the city! Brum brum brum!” (Chris laughs) I loved doing that series! It was created by Anne Wood and she went on to create “Teletubbies”. I was the narrator at the top of “Teletubbies” as well. I love doing voiceovers. I enjoy it so much!

CHRIS: I enjoy it. I've never had any designs on being an actor in my life. But if someone says "be this type of person, be this character" - you can just have fun in 30 second bursts. Just pretending and playing. It is pure joy, isn't it? It's escapism

I absolutely adore acting. It's something I could never ever walk away from. I love working with camera and the whole family of a crew. It's very rewarding and very intense, but you lose yourself in it

It's exactly the same experience for me in front of the microphone on stage. It's the only moment where no one can send me an email. No one can phone me. No one can ask me a favour. It's my time and I really love it

CHRIS: As somebody, who was quite young in the 80s, I would love to hear your perspective on George Michael and him going solo after Wham! Obviously artists do this all the time. Did you look at him and think yeah, he's got every ounce of star quality. He cannot be anything other than an enormous success ... or was there any doubt?

TOYAH: It's a very good question because Wham! was a very beautiful boy band with Michael and Andrew. They were fantastic at what they did. I slightly regret that I never appreciated Wham! because I was a punk rocker - but I do now. We were encouraged to take the mickey out of each other. I reviewed Wham! on one of their last gigs for Radio One at Hammersmith Odeon. I was a great show. It was really a beautiful show

Halfway through it the curtains closed and George came out through the curtains and sang “Careless Whisper”. It blew me away. Because at that point you knew he was going to be a world superstar. That was my review. I said “Careless Whisper” is the song that's going to make him a solo artist. As time went on, as the 80s moved into the 90s he started to do the most extraordinary work. But he also started to become very uncomfortable with his fame

I was one of these people that wish that he could have appreciated how unique and how brilliant his songwriting and his voice was. I remember Frank Sinatra doing an open letter to him saying “George, take yourself seriously. You are utterly unique”. And now we don't have him anymore. I'm actually heartbroken because he was just so special


CHRIS: He’s having a great pop career and then just to rock it with an acoustic ... That's just perfect. And looking like that when he did it as well!

TOYAH: He’s the most perfect man!

He is. To another front man. I know more than a couple of people who absolutely swoon over Michael Hutchence, INXS

TOYAH: They were kind of the love child of Prince meets Keith Moon (Chris laughs) Everything was based on beat and rhythmic syllables around that beat and the extraordinary beauty of Michael Hutchence. I feel really protective towards his legacy because he is no longer here to talk for himself

But the songs and the band were utterly amazing. And by all accounts he was a beautiful human being. A wonderful human being that came under attack in public life for his extraordinary beauty

There’s a story that Helena Christiansen (his girlfriend at the time) tells about a taxi driver getting out of the taxi and punching his lights out for no reason at all. Now, what you have to remember with really famous beautiful men, they're a threat to every other man on the planet who wants to spread their seed

Michael Hutchence had to stick up for himself the whole time. He did it like a poet. He did it like (John) Keats, he did it with words. I think he's a remarkable human being from history that we must never forget

INXS Need You Tonight

If you've just tuned in and you've thought this music tonight has been absolutely incredible ... well ... you can thank Toyah for every single song choice. Toyah has joined me for "My Absolute 80s" but also taken on - there's some bravery in this, Toyah - taking on Grace Jones', “Slave To The Rhythm” (above) and executing it brilliantly, I must say

Thank you. There is a history to this. My long-term writing partner wrote the original version of “Slave To The Rhythm”. It was then picked up by Trevor Horn and his writing team. Trevor then recorded it with Grace Jones. In between all of that happening, I was the demo singer on the demo that went to Holly Johnson for Frankie Goes To Hollywood to do the song and Holly turned it down

So 40 odd years on Simon Darlow and I were in the studio. We've had massive success with the last album “Posh Pop” and we said let's do “Slave To The Rhythm”. We do realise that we're covering a song that is an absolute classic by Grace Jones and Trevor Horn. We’re fully aware of that, and full of respect for it

Our version is myself, Simon Darlow and the legendary guitarist Robert Fripp, who I'm married to. Robert Fripp has come on board and we've completely reinvented the album “In The Court Of The Crimson Queen”

TOYAH Slave To The Rhythm

CHRIS: Toyah, you've been watching my smile while we've been talking. It has been utter joy doing this with you. Thank you so much. We are finishing up with one final song. A little word on R.E.M’s “The One I Love” to wrap up

TOYAH: I'm very lucky to call R.E.M friends. The drummer Bill Rieflin was a long-time friend of myself and Robert. I've made three albums with him. We used to follow him and R.E.M on the road. They’re great friends, Peter Buck and Michael Stipe. Absolutely gorgeous man. These are people in my heart

R.E.M The One I Love 

LISTEN to the interview HERE


KIEREN THOMSON: We’re in the quite a wet marquee, on Sunday afternoon. Myself and Nick are speaking to the amazing Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp. Good afternoon

TOYAH: Hello! How are you?

KIEREN: I'm very well. How are you?

TOYAH: We're good! We’re pretty high spirited at the moment, which is fantastic

ROBERT: Superb audience. I very much enjoyed playing. I was in the mood to rock out today and I think got the chance to do so

Yes, we're a guitar band and the audience totally got it, which was lovely. We saw people, who looked as if they travelled from all over the world. Robert is really big in Japan and (to Robert) you didn't see this but I think most of the front row had come from Japan see you (laughs)


TOYAH: I get to see these things

ROBERT: You see, I'm really focused on my wife, the playing and the band. Toyah interacts directly with the audience for me. It would distract me from my counting and the next bars. So I listen to my wife afterwards and she tells me whether we went down or not

NIK ATTFIELD: You've always had such an amazing energy on stage. I saw you many years ago and you were such an influence on my young life. I'm so amazed. It's brilliant that you guys are together -

TOYAH: That I can still move! (laughs)

NIK: No, not at all. It's so brilliant that you're still bringing new things musically etc. You performing together came about because of lockdown?

TOYAH: Lockdown was so successful for us with the “Sunday Lunch” brand (on YouTube) Over 111 million people visiting. We're touring
the “Sunday Lunch” in October. We’re playing music that we feel plays us. This is music we grew up with. Music we love

We discovered
through “Sunday Lunch” that the audience loves it too. So we're going out on the road doing classics that really fire us up. We're having as much a party as the audience is

Which is amazing, great fun. Do you think if it hadn't been for “Sunday Lunch” you would've ever done this together?


ROBERT: I don’t think so, no

NIK: You’ve got one of the most famous marriages in rock and roll. You've been together a long time and had a lot of time apart, I imagine, travelling the world in your separate careers

TOYAH: I think we’d still be having time apart if it wasn't for lockdown. Robert is on the road at least three times a year. I work mainly UK, some parts of Europe but we're never in the same country

NIK: So a great opportunity to bring you together and see that talent together

ROBERT: (shouts) Yeah! Yeah! Did I sound enthusiastic? Yeah!

NIK: Yeah, absolutely!

KIEREN: You're doing “Paranoid”, “Are You Gonna Go My Way". An amazing track “Rebel Yell”

ROBERT: Oh, there’s a few you haven’t heard yet

TOYAH: “Enter Sandman”, "Kashmir”. We didn't have long enough today  

KIEREN: You've got the tour, the opportunity to do a little bit more. You're playing around the UK. You're excited to do that?


KIEREN: Maybe less wet?

Glastonbury next Sunday

KIEREN: In a more wet month

TOYAH: Yeah, but we're in a tent. Then October is the “Sunday Lunch” tour. So we're optimistic

NIK: Thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure to meet you. And we just love you on Vectis Radio

TOYAH: Thank you

ROBERT: Thank you

LISTEN to the interview HERE



JON KAY: At exactly eight o'clock the gates will open at Glastonbury for the first campers to go in. It's looking dry and sunny for most of the weekend, and that is good news for everyone who's pitching a tent

SALLY NUGENT: But maybe disappointing for people who like to go and enjoy the mud ... Some people who are definitely going to be there ... The singer Toyah Willcox and her guitarist husband Robert Fripp, who will be performing together on Sunday. They're here with us now, before you face the mud and the tents. Good morning!

TOYAH: Good morning!


TOYAH: This is the first time either of us have played Glastonbury. So excited

JON: I'm not sure the dress code is going to work (they all laugh)

We always dress like this. Even with our show, the Toyah and Robert Rock Party

SALLY: We love it!

TOYAH: We’re pretty dressed up. So it's going to be quite an experience

JON: Well, that's brilliant, isn't it? You got to be who you are. That's what Glastonbury is all about

TOYAH: I will be in six inch heels. Thigh boots, head to toe in glitter. And if we've got to go through the mud, we've got to go through the mud

SALLY: I love that. Isn't it brilliant that you haven't played Glastonbury before and now here you are with all these years of experience. You can bring that to the stage

I think we have over 100 years of experience between us (To Robert) You don't mind me saying you're 77?

ROBERT: Not at all!

TOYAH: I'm 65 so it's about time we play Glastonbury and we're really proud about it. We've done huge festivals around the world. My husband opened for the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park  -

In July 1969

I've done massive festivals across Europe and in the UK, but never Glastonbury

JON: I can feel the excitement. Robert, what is it about Glastonbury that is so exciting for you?

ROBERT: Well, I realised after the Isle Of Wight Festival on Sunday, which was a blast -

TOYAH: It was amazing

ROBERT: - that I was probably the only person on the site that actually played festivals in the 60s. I was probably the oldest person on the site anyway. In 1967, when I turned professional, we all knew that music could change the world. The the free festivals were a primary vehicle for - today you might say - social transformation

The point is, by getting together with music, a lot of people in these events had such a power. We knew the world could spin backwards and the future you could reach back and grab us

TOYAH: Everyone you've been talking to, who are waiting at the gates - they want joy, they want music, they want to make friends. And what's so special about Glastonbury it's a groundbreaking festival. Its future forward looking to the whole ecology arguments and how we can change the world. It's a great success. Glastonbury speaks for itself

SALLY: Isn't that interesting? I love what you said there, Robert. It's like the future coming back and picking you up. Showing you forwards


SALLY: You have vast experience of festivals. How have you seen them change?

ROBERT: To begin with they were all free. Primarily run by volunteers, including the Hells Angels. Today, the spirit is there but the organisation is much more professional. And if you're getting several tonnes of equipment on the stage, and turning up to an event with hundreds of thousands of people it's very good that the organisation is professional

TOYAH: Isle Of Wight (below) was just unbelievable. It was fabulous! Everyone talks about the toilets at festivals - 

SALLY: Yes, we have already mentioned them ourselves this morning, haven’t we, Jon?

The people who organise them mostly volunteers. They're absolutely fabulous. The actual audience themselves are a joy to be in front of. So this is a privilege for us

That word joy. You've used the word joy a lot and how we all have this need for joy, especially after the last few years. You spread so much joy during the pandemic with your videos, your social media

TOYAH: "Robert and Robert's Sunday Lunch", which were touring in October. Coming back to Manchester, to the Lowry. We realised during lockdown that classic rock changes people's lives and it gives people the chance to visit really good memories. For me it would be David Bowie “Life On Mars, which I first heard when I was 12. Every time I hear that song I'm taken back there

And very much the concept of what we are doing, as a very large band, is taking people back to classic rock but also introducing new generations, who have just come from the dance tent, to Led Zeppelin. We're introducing them to Black Sabbath. We're even introducing them to classic Blondie and Robert has work with Debbie Harry and Blondie. So that's the whole concept of what we're doing

SALLY: What's quite interesting now for teenagers and young people, they are more aware of classic music because of the new forms of social media like Tik Tok. All the older stuff is coming through again, isn't it?

TOYAH: It is and (there's) another beautiful thing about festivals. We played one on Friday, where I was watching a father with his son on his shoulders. The years between them seemed enormous. But at that moment in time, as this father held his little boy on his shoulders, you can see that in 20 years time they will talk about that moment. The bonding, it's so special

We heard from Boney M on Monday how their music is reaching a new generation of fans through Tik Tok

TOYAH: We easily look out at five year olds and 85 year old audience, all having a good time

JON: Looking at the crowds go through the gates at Glastonbury this morning it was really striking that the age range was enormous

TOYAH: And let's face it, we should live every year of our lives as if it's the best year of our lives. Age should not be something that we judge. As you say the gates that Glastonbury shows that's really true

SALLY: Couldn't agree more. I think the pair of you are the living breathing example of that, aren't you? It just doesn't matter, does it?

TOYAH: No, we're still pretty anarchic (Jon laughs)

SALLY: Is it your attitude or is it the music? Is it the performance? What is it?

TOYAH: It’s the music

It's my wife's energy. There is something about her classic repertoire. It’s s not old. It's alive, it’s in the moment. It’s immediate. Nothing ages with the classic repertoire

JON: Not going there camping there though, are you?

TOYAH: No! (they all laughs)

JON: You weren’t temped?


Never done it!

JON: Never camped?!

TOYAH: No, we drive overnight to avoid being in the tent (Jon laughs)

SALLY: I love that!

JON: (whispers) There are a few caravans out the back as well

TOYAH: Thank goodness!

JON: Lovely to meet you! Thank you so much for coming in and enjoy it! You’re going to!

TOYAH: We will

SALLY: What a moment!

TOYAH: Yeah!

WATCH the interview HERE



MIKE: Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp, one show business' most recognisable couples. They've had some massive hit records. Toyah on her own and Robert Fripp as a member of King Crimson. During lockdown their brilliant "Sunday Lunch" YouTube videos were incredible

They got such a reaction to those videos that they're coming to The Lowry (in Salford, 9.10.2023) to celebrate both of their careers. To find out more, I sat down with Toyah and Robert earlier this week

TOYAH: Well, when the dreaded lockdown started we just didn't know what was going on - like everyone else. We're live musicians and performing is our oxygen. Our audience is quite simply our family. We put this jive video out on a sunday lunch (time), about the 9th of April and we got 100,000 replies within five minutes from around the world. New Zealand, Bali, Manila, Hong Kong. It was all from people who were alone

We decided that we would just continue posting these "Sunday Lunch" videos, which was very absurd. We don't take ourselves seriously. It grew and grew and grew. We had 111 million visitors to Toyah YouTube channel. And we now feel we want to take this out into a live environment, touring. Myself and Robert Fripp and we just want to share the love now

MIKE: Robert, I think we're a similar age. I started in bands in the 60s and you've come through that with King Crimson and then onwards through these decades. We're here now, it's 2023. When you look at your start in rock and roll and where you are now - it just fascinates me what a journey that's been. How do you view it?

ROBERT: Well, I view myself strapping on and rocking these rock classics with my wonderful little wife. Very much like the last time I strapped on and rocked out with the League Of Gentlemen in 1965. In between I seem to have been sidetracked into writing music and playing with good musicians this strange material, which has been accepted by some but rejected by most people in the mainstream

So I might as well go back to what I began doing, which is playing great rock songs with my chums. In this case, my bestest is chum in the world, little Willcox

TOYAH: I'd like to abbreviate that answer, if I may (Robert and Mike snigger) My husband has ended up working with David Bowie. One of the main guitarists on “Scary Monsters”, on “Heroes”. He's worked with Blondie. He's actually worked with them all and they're all legendary musicians

Yeah, but none of them played “Enter Sandman” or “Paranoid” (Toyah laughs) Or “I Want To Be Free”. I mean c’mon!

You will have different musical directions. How do you decide - so it’s a proper team effort - what the actual songs are going to be?

TOYAH: They have to suit who we are. Without a shadow of a doubt we've got to do these versions absolutely brilliantly. We are doing “Enter Sandman” and we are doing “Paranoid” and they have to be Toyah and Robert doing them. So we sit down and I usually start off with a list of songs that I love. I love classic rock. Then Robert listens to it. He says “I really love that!”

And we both develop a passion for the same song and then we work out how we're going to do it. So the tour that we're doing, the Toyah and Robert "Rock Party/Sunday Lunch" tour is a celebration of how incredible heritage rock is and it is breathtaking. We're going to be covering people from David Bowie, because of Robert’s history with David Bowie ...

We're doing my hits as well. But we're also dipping our toes in with Marc Almond “Tainted Love”, Blondie. Many, many other artists that were playing the songs of

ROBERT: Metallica's “Enter Sandman” is not one that I would normally expect me to play but this popped up on the "Sunday Lunch", which is actually our highest ever viewing figures. The riffs in the in Metallica are phenomenal so rock out with that

MIKE: How are you preparing for that transition from being on YouTube as a couple to being on stage as a couple?

TOYAH: Well, we've done five secret gigs already and three of them had to call in extra security. It turned into an absolute riot. The audience got very, very excited. It is a transition. So we're very much going out there with a large band. It's a show band. It's got eight musicians -

ROBERT: Yeah, we have two keyboard players, who sing and a wonderful electronic drummer. Two guitarists -

TOYAH: Three guitarists -

ROBERT: Well, that's when you add me. And if everyone sings and it's been suggested by me that I don't join in the backing vocals on this one - there can be seven people singing and me cheering them on

So what we've developed is a very big rock show, which honours - totally by accident - 50% of the songwriters are American, 50% of English. So it's a complete celebration of this kind of heritage rock and we're calling it a "Rock Party". It is absolutely inevitable that Robert's and my humour is going to come on to that stage, but the humour isn't the carrying force. The carrying force is the shared love of music

So when we're on the road in October, we're going to use the imagery of "Sunday Lunch" as part of the projection screen production so that the posters are going to keep flashing up. What we've learned is that the posters are what people identify with

Now, if anyone's listening ,who's never seen what we do on social media - there's always a very big colourful poster in the background saying something like "Fripp's Ma Bitch" or "Bollocks". These posters are going to be up on the big screen as we're performing so we're bringing in the visuals of "Sunday Lunch" via media while doing an incredibly live rock show

ROBERT: So the question is how to honour the spirit of "Sunday Lunch"? Well, the quick answer is we're going to have fun and we're going to rock out with nothing solemn here whatsoever. We are aiming to give people a good time

Final question to the two of you. I get where you're at, Robert. My wife's my best mate, I adore the woman but she's not in the music business. I often wonder how we’d get on if she was a really successful broadcaster, which is what I do now

You two - you've got to have egos to get to where you are. You really care for one another. That always came over, funnily enough, in the kitchen videos - your affection for one another. But how do you balance that? Robert wants this or Toyah wants this

TOYAH: (they both laugh) We typically fight!

ROBERT: That's an easy one, Mike. You learn to say “yes, dear”

MIKE: Well, there we are. Can I just say it's wonderful talking to the two of you. I remember getting an Island (record company) sampler. I think it might’ve been “You Can All Join In” -

(It was) “Nice Enough To Eat”

MIKE: It had “Court Of The Crimson King” on -

ROBERT: No, it has “Schizoid Man ” -

MIKE: It did! (Toyah cackles) That's when I first discovered you. And then Toyah I've met because of radio various times since the middle of the 80s. It's brilliant talking to the two of you. A great rock and roll city, when you come to Manchester. I hope you realise that

We do. Respect

You take care, both of you. Robert, thanks for being with us. Toyah, thanks for being with us

Pleasure. Thank you, Mike

ROBERT: Bless you, Mike

Listen to the interview HERE



STEVE: We're going to start off with your first track. Bowie, “Ashes To Ashes”. Is this your favourite Bowie song? Why have you picked it?

TOYAH: It's a very powerful Bowie song for me. Bowie always punctuated the points in my life where I felt the carpet had been pulled from under my feet. The first time I heard “Life On Mars”, for instance, I was doing an audition with Phil Daniels for a play on BBC2. I sang “Life On Mars” at my first audition and got the part

With “Ashes To Ashes“ - I was already becoming a very cult, famous figure within the punk movement in 1980. I remember going away to write songs with my writing partner at that time, Joel Bogen (the guitarist of the Toyah band). We were just a bit lost. We'd been signed to a record label but we hadn't quite got the full band together

“Ashes To Ashes” came on the radio when we were in a cottage somewhere in Dorset, writing, and my whole life changed in that moment. Bowie did that for me whenever I felt lost or broken. Bowie put me back together and “Ashes To Ashes” is one of those songs

STEVE: I've always wanted to ask you about Derek Jarman. I heard that he kind of spotted you. As far as the movie “Jubilee” goes, which I've seen - it blew my teenage mind. But he said to you “I want you in this movie. I don't care who you play. I want you in here" Tell me how you met him? How it started out?

TOYAH: The actor Ian Charleson, (who was in “Chariots Of Fire”), we were both working at the National Theatre. Ian said to me "you've got to come and meet this director called Derek Jarman. He's making a movie about the punk movement and the royal family". I think the original name of the movie was going to be “Down With The Queen” and it became “Jubilee”

Derek and I and Ian had tea at his apartment. Derek's way of casting a movie was just extraordinary. He said, “look at the script. Pick your role. But you can't play "Amyl Nitrate" because that's Jordan”. Jordan, the iconic punk queen (below on the right) I picked “Mad”. I literally flipped through the script and went for the part with the most lines

But then a few weeks later Derek had to say to me that his budget had been cut, and he had to cut down the whole film to four characters. He instinctively realised that I was heartbroken that “Mad” was going to be cut from the script. Then a week later Derek phoned and said “I've given up my fee so that you can be in the film" and he put “Mad” back in

That is exactly who and what Derek was. Derek put people in a room and said “do whatever you want”. So if you can imagine, literally, where this building is that you and I talking in now, was one of the sets ... It was an old warehouse. John Mabry doing the sets. Kenny the drummer from Siouxsie and the Banshees was painting the walls

You had Adam Ant and myself, Little Nell, Jenny Runacre. We were all together just making this film happen in this kind of family atmosphere, with Derek Jarman giving us sandwiches to sustain us. And it worked. I actually believe that that film was 40 years too soon

Now, in today's climate, and with today's revolution of language, of history, of addressing the equality of everyone, and the equality of choice within everyone - Derek was there 42 years ago. Behaving like that, living like that and fighting for those rights. This film, as mad as it is, I think belongs today

STEVE: Yeah, amazing. Also these movies have gone down in cult status now. Blew my teenage mind watching that. I wasn't sure what I was watching, but I loved it and I'd never seen anything like it before

TOYAH: (There was) nothing like it. Very collage and very free thinking. As performers we're all bouncing off the walls with our energy. What I love today is so many young kids, and I'm talking about 16 - 17 year olds, are coming up to me saying “we're studying Derek Jarman. We want to make movies like that

STEVE: Brilliant. What shall we pick next? What would you like?

I think Kate Bush because Kate, quite rightly, her catalogue from 1985, which is “Hounds Of Love” is just … It's announced today that she's getting a song writing nomination as a contemporary artist for the Ivor Novello Award. It was absolutely amazing when the “Hounds Of Love” came out. It was groundbreaking. It lifted Kate from the artist that everyone felt they knew with “Babooshka” and “Wuthering Heights”

It lifted her into the stratosphere of A-list writers, even in 1985. To have it come back the way it has, and she's being discovered now by a completely new audience, I think is the most perfect trajectory for a career anyone could have

STEVE: What do you think about the whole situation with a movie or a TV show picking up on a song from years ago, using it and suddenly ... (makes an explosion sound)

TOYAH: I personally would say the record industry as it is today, where we are reliant on download sales ... that doesn't necessarily pay our way. We're all completely reliant on what's called sinks and that is your back catalogue being discovered or even your present catalogue being placed in a movie, an advert or a TV series. We’re totally reliant on it

But I feel really, really optimistic that it opens up the world of music. Every genre, every timeframe. 80s, 70s, 60s, 90s, 2000. I mean, it's all possible now and it's all happening

STEVE: Did you know Kate? Do you know her? Have your paths crossed? Can you tell me something about her?

TOYAH: When Kate had Bertie and the world didn't know about her son, Kate would come to our house. I live on the River Avon and my father would take them out on his boat. They had privacy and could play. So we know the private Kate

STEVE: What is she like? Is she otherworldly?

TOYAH: She's incredibly bright and intelligent. Otherworldly, possibly, yes. But just a really beautiful human being. Kind. She loves other people. She loves interesting people. She's always interested in what you're doing and what you're up to

Always wants a lovely conversation. Kate never sits down and talks about Kate. Kate sits down and talks about you. Very like Derek Jarman. Just a really lovely soul who just wants to be plugged into creativity

STEVE: Amazing. How do you think she feels now after the year that she's had?

TOYAH: She thrilled

STEVE: You know? You’ve spoken to her?

TOYAH: Well, we got an email at Christmas and she said "my goodness, you wouldn't believe what's going on!" Kate's very private, and she loves the silence of her home life. She makes jam. She makes cakes. She loves being involved with Bertie’s social circle. I think it amazes her as someone, who tries to stay out of the limelight, that she's increasingly been thrown back into it

The most amazing conversation I had with her was backstage at “Before The Dawn” (Kate's concert residency at Hammersmith Apollo) in 2013. She'd just been invited to take the show to Broadway and she said "I just look forward to going home.” I love that!

STEVE: You’ve probably answered my next question. Would she go out on tour again off the back of this success?

TOYAH: I'm not answering that for her. That's her right

STEVE: Do you think she might do a couple of shows?

TOYAH: (shakes her head) That's for her to talk about. But what I will say is the most talented people in the world and I've worked with a lot of them - they're not actually terribly ambitious. My husband's Robert Fripp (below with Toyah in 1986). He's the most private, home based person I know. And Kate is very similar. Her values are with love and family, as well as creativity

STEVE: “Hounds Of Love” - what does it mean to you?

TOYAH: When I first heard "Hounds Of Love" I was on a plane going to meet my husband. He was about to propose to me and I was very vulnerable. I was in tears. I was leaving my old life to go to America. So “Hounds Of Love” to me is about the life I was about to enter into. Very broken time for me. I was leaving an old life to start a new life

STEVE: What's the next one we're going to go for?

Well, it's very linked to Kate Bush in many ways - it's Peter Gabriel. I'm going for “Sledgehammer”. His management called me in to listen to his album. I was blown away. I'm very flattered that they wanted my opinion on it. They played me “Sledgehammer” and I thought "this is fantastic!". I have loved Peter Gabriel ever since he went solo

And of course my husband produced him as a solo artist and played on “Here Comes The Flood” (1977,) I believe. So the links are all there. My husband was in the studio hen Peter and Kate did “Don't Give Up”. Peter did about 73 takes, I've been led to believe, and Kate got it right on the first take. My husband was in the studio and he was sitting there thinking “she's got it right. Just stop doing takes. She's got it right on the first take!”

STEVE: The pressure!

TOYAH: So I want to play Peter Gabriel because he inspires me. If ever I need to just open my mind up and feel really creative ... it's “Sledgehammer”. It’s “Us”, the album. Everything he does informs me of what I would like to do

STEVE: Can you remember hearing this track for the very first time because obviously now it's gone down in legendary status. How did it make you feel?

TOYAH: The first time I heard it I felt complete envy. Because this is such a complete song. The production, the vocal. The arrangement is so wonderful. I envy anyone who has that time and that focus to do it. Peter can scrap whole albums and start again but when he gets it right, my goodness, it's there for eternity

I then went to Switzerland to film a TV programme and I was in the Alps, in the snow, sitting on a balcony just looking out over the mountains. "Sledgehammer" was on a loop on my Walkman. I came away from that experience, just an hour listening to “Sledgehammer” and wrote an album called “Ophelia’s Shadow”, which was critically acclaimed in America

It's nothing to do with “Sledgehammer”, but the whole experience of Peter’s voice, his choices of how he sings words, like Bowie, how he'll deliver a line, his timing ... just unlocked me creatively. I just sat there, writing non-stop

My husband watches me do this when we watch TV. When I see Claes Bang, the actor, in a film or a drama ... they unlock me. I keep a pen and a pad next to me. My hand is just writing, writing, writing, writing. My husband says “how are you doing that? You're not even looking at the paper.” I just think certain people open a creative pathway. I never let those moments go and I can come away with 10 pages of ideas

STEVE: Of course we do need to quickly chat about the video to this track because it really is, even now, something special!

TOYAH: Groundbreaking

STEVE: He apparently sat under a sheet of glass for 16 hours in the knowledge that nobody would do that and never come close to doing it

TOYAH: This was at the time when stop frame technology was the only way to do it. There was no CGI at this time. There was no other way of doing it than animation and this is live animation. I just think he knew he was onto a good thing. He trusted the filmmakers

This is what's so beautiful about Peter’s career is that he will go off on really strange tangents that bring something back into the Zeitgeist and he creates Zeitgeist. And that's why he is who he is

STEVE: Brilliant. Which one are we going to go for next?

TOYAH: I would love to go for Marc Almond and “Tainted Love"

STEVE: I love it! Tell me about this

TOYAH: I'm touring all of this year with my husband, Robert Fripp. We’ve got Isle Of Wight, Cropedy Festival (above, Toyah at Cropedy in August 2022) and many many other festivals. And then we're touring in October, in homage to our social media hit “Sunday Lunch”

STEVE: What happened there? Tell me about that because that's exploded -

TOYAH: What we're doing for the tour is we'll have a big screen and the show will have an image and narration of looking back at the “Sunday Lunches”. But basically Robert and I are just doing an absolutely rocking tour. We're going out and doing rock music. It's a live music show

STEVE: Have you toured with him before?

TOYAH: Yes, with a band called Sunday All Over The World in 1988. But not since then. But we love working together. So people will come up, they will have a fantastic show. The show is 50% British writers, 50% English writers

11 of my songs are in the show but then we pepper the show with great rock. So we have Guns N' Roses, we have Marc Almond - which is why I want to play “Tainted Love”, because that's in our show. I cannot believe this came out as early as 1981 -

STEVE: That's amazing

TOYAH: Isn't it incredible?

STEVE: 43 years ago

When that intro begins you just need that first da da and the audience just go crazy! I've seen this. I work with Marc Almond all the time at the “Rewind” and “Let’s Rock” festivals and you just get that first da da and the whole audience is just dancing. Elated! I think that's the power of this production for Marc Almond

The video is sensational because it's the first time people wore this kind of lighting technology. So you have two dancers come in through a window and they've got a light suit on. Then they're dancing while there's the model lying in bed and Marc is projected -

STEVE: He’s a very attractive young man, if I may say so

TOYAH: Oh, he’s gorgeous! The video is just perfection and I think this song is what the 80s is about

STEVE: The album version is mixed into “Where Did Our Love Go”

TOYAH: Oh, is it? I probably have heard it

STEVE: It’s so good. And obviously this is a cover of a song by Gloria Jones. But everybody remembers this version

TOYAH: This is the definitive and artists have done it very brilliantly ever since. But Marc - his delivery is vocal. He is a torch singer. You can feel his pain in everything he does. He delivers a very beautiful pain

I think it's quite important within popular music that we recognise broken hearts. We recognise relationships that didn't last and all of that. He does it with a such a joyful song

STEVE: Which one should we go for next on your list? We could do all of these. Did it take you a long time to put this list together?

TOYAH: No, it didn't take a long time to put the list together because I think the 80s has so much to offer. I just don't think it's going to go away. These are storytelling songs. I’ve chosen INXS next, “Need You Tonight”, just because INXS by 1987 were able to strip the production back

It was about rhythm. It was about hitting the beat. And you had this gorgeous beautiful adonis on lead vocals, Michael Hutchence. There's such an innocence about what they do and yet he cannot help exude extreme sexuality

STEVE: What was it about him?

Perfect body. Perfect voice. He was flirtatious with the microphone and the camera. And of course the very famous story about Paula Yates at that time. It was the love story that everyone was intrigued by. Was it at that time or had they not met?

STEVE: The love thing with her started on “The Big Breakfast” in the 90s. So "Need You Tonight” … 10 years later they were dating and he passed away in 97' before she did

I interviewed her just before she passed away and she was actually in a very good place. Utterly beautiful. Just legendary beauty. Articulate. But she was in a good place She arrived with her friend Belinda, who protected her like a dragon, quite rightly

Paula was able to talk about everything. I was super impressed and fell in love with her like everyone did, who met her. But I think something was going on with Michael long before it was public, which is why I've picked up on it

STEVE: They were very very flirty on "The Big Breakfast". It was in bed, wasn’t it?

I think Michael couldn't believe how forward she was. But they were made for each other. You could see it. I think he's a beautiful man and (it's) a fantastic band. I've always felt protective of him ever since (he was) at the BRITS. He was presented with a prize and the person who presented it said "you're a has-been"

Fom that moment on I would fight a battle for Michael. I would fight to protect him because it was disgraceful that anyone, yet alone another artist, should abuse someone in front of such a big world audience like that. So I've always just felt really protective towards him

STEVE: What a loss. What a shame

A big loss!

STEVE: How sad. I watched the Paula Yates documentary recently

She was breathtaking

But it's great to hear what you said because everybody said the same thing that she was in a really great place and that death, if you want to call it accidental or whatever - it wasn't meant to happen

Of course it wasn't meant to happen. Looking back at Peaches (Paula’s daughter with Bob Geldof) ... (her death) wasn't meant to happen. The DNA in this family is absolutely brilliant. What would Paula be doing now? She'd just be doing magnificent things. And she was in a great place at that time

STEVE: We've done the five songs but let's pick another one because I’m having a great time

I would love to pick Alice Cooper

STEVE: What I really want to ask you, Toyah ... you were there. It's amazing to talk to somebody who was there at the punk scene. You remember it first time round. Do you think there's a chance that we could revisit anything like that? Do you think the punk scene might come back again? Or is it done and dusted?

Oh no, it's not done and dusted. I do the Rebellion Festival (below, 2017), which is a punk festival and that audience is all ages. So obviously we original punks, because I'm about to turn 65 - we're of a certain age. But that audience is all age groups. I think what's beautiful about the punk philosophy is it policed itself. In the beginning it needed to be policed. There was a sidetracking into kind of the wrong image

STEVE: Was it really genuinely anarchic?

TOYAH: Yes, absolutely! I was at the National Theatre when I was 18. I think I punked the National Theatre! I was the first punk there and it did shock people even in an establishment like the National, which is a groundbreaking theatre. But what it did for me - I'm not a conventional physical type for a woman in music. I'm very, very small. I don't have beautiful long legs. I'm just powerful. I have a lot of energy and bravado

Punk allowed me into the music industry. People really resisted it. People resisted signing me. I probably was one of the last acts signed. I got signed to an independent label called Safari about 1978 and that was quite late to get signed. My sheer will and bravado pushed me into the front runners, as it were. And only last December (the album) “Anthem” (1981) was re-released and it charted again, went straight in at number 22

So I think because I haven't had physicality in my favour … Firstly I was gender neutral at the beginning of my career. I dressed gender neutral. I thought there was absolutely no point trying to win people over by being feminine. It just wasn't going to work
STEVE: Does that mean that you were non-binary? You didn't identify as being a she?

TOYAH: I didn’t want to be identified as a gender. It was nothing to do with he or she. I just felt that people were judging me when they were writing about me as not attractive as a woman. No one that they wanted to sleep with as a woman. I found that really insulting that I was being judged purely on being attractive and not really as an up-and-coming artist. So I just started to not go that way

STEVE: Did anyone ask any questions because it would seem that people were quite accepting of “you do you”?

TOYAH: People were genuinely fascinated that I had the guts to not play the game of being that cute little woman. I was very aggressive in how I moved through my career. Not violent, but strident. People were genuinely fascinated

My clothes designer was a woman called Melissa Caplan, who designed for Bananarama, Adam Ant, Steve Strange, and possibly Marc Almond at that time. Her remit was I want to be gender neutral. I am a human being not an agenda

STEVE: Tell me about Alice Cooper, and why you want this song?

TOYAH: “School's Out”. I love this song. And funnily enough, my husband loves this song. We covered it in our “Sunday Lunch” social media. Oh no, it's “Poison”!

STEVE: Just explain what “Sunday Lunch” is just in case people haven't seen it or don't know what it is

It’s on the Toyah You Tube channel and every Sunday at 12 noon we post 90 seconds of performance from Toyah and Robert. In the lockdown years this was huge around the world. It's still huge now!

STEVE: Is that when it started? During the pandemic?

TOYAH: Yes. We did it because we posted one film of us dancing, April the 19th 2020 and we instantly got replies from around the world. From New Zealand, from Bali, from Hong Kong. So we continued to do it every Sunday. We've had 111 million visits

STEVE: Wow, that's impressive

TOYAH: We're now having a documentary made about us, which is filming for the next 12 months, following us on on our tours

STEVE: You do this track? You do “Poison”?

TOYAH: On the tour we're going to do “School’s Out”. We did this track on "Sunday Lunch" and Alice Cooper was sent it. He was played it live on his broadcast. His band said “you need to see this.” We were made to watch him watching it live

He was like, “Oh, what is this?” I sent a message to him ... “I'm really sorry about this, Alice, but you do not know what you mean to me. As a teenager in the early 70s and today. You've proven to me that you can just go through life being strong, doing what you believe in

STEVE: What did he say back?

TOYAH: He was so gracious

STEVE: Is he lovely?

TOYAH: He laughed his head off at the “Sunday Lunch” because I was dressed as a nurse and I think he was really embarrassed by it. But he was really lovely

STEVE: An absolute pleasure. Toyah Willcox. Lots of love

Thank you. Lots of love and see you on the road

STEVE: See you there. Maybe at Glastonbury, maybe not. We don't know. It could happen … I'm getting a look (they both burst out laughing)

Watch the interview HERE