30 August, 2008

94.9 FM
28 - 29.08.2008

Gary Crowley and Toyah took over Danny Baker’s slot between 3 and 5 in the afternoon for two days while he was on holiday.

This is an edited version of the show as it was mostly people phoning in etc so I have transcripted only the parts that are relevant to Toyah.

The subjects people phoned, emailed and texted in about were favourite TV programs when they were kids, animal stories and where to go to be alone in London.


GARY: 94.9 on this Thursday afternoon, it’s good to have you along for the ride and it’s also good to have along my very special quest for this afternoon and also tomorrow afternoon as well, the lovely Toyah Willcox!


GARY: It’s nice to see you!

The pictures above are from the web 
camera in the BBC Radio London  
studio 1 during the show.

TOYAH: How are you?

GARY: I’m good and yourself?

TOYAH: Yeah really good, thank you, it’s … this is strange! I’ve got talk for two hours?!

GARY: You have but I’m alongside (Toyah laughs) and I like to think I can hold my own in that area. And the most important thing is we’ve got great listeners as well so … they’ll get on the phone and start calling and texting as well-

TOYAH: Oh I look forward to that.

GARY: Yeah definitely. Now I’m excited about what you’re about to tell me because we opened this with David Bowie and "Ashes To Ashes" but you’re doing something rather special and it’s also quite ironic also Toyah, because we’ve had Phil Daniels over the last couple of afternoons and fingers crossed we’re hoping we’ll be able to talk to him a little bit later on. But er ...

TOYAH: My career started with Phil -

GARY: Well, that’s what … remind us, remind us?

TOYAH: I got cast in a BBC2 play called "Second City First" (below) and they were a play that came from Birmingham shown in BBC2 in 1974. And I got cast as the lead in this play and Phil Daniels was my male lead. And it was first job out of drama school, I was awful in it, Phil was brilliant and Noel Edmonds was in it playing himself. Now the funny thing is Noel denies ever having done this!

GARY: Why would you do that?! I can’t believe that!

TOYAH: He doesn’t want to be associated with me … (laughs) but … Phil and I worked in Birmingham, we had a band on called Bilbo Baggins that I had to sing two songs with and the weirdest thing was the storyline, it was about a girl who was desperate to be on Top Of The Pops so she broke into the studio and lived her fantasy. And this was five years before I actually appeared on TOTP.

: Yeah -

TOYAH: And then Phil and I after Glitter went on to do Qudrophenia together which I had to fight to get the job -

GARY: Really?

TOYAH: Well, I originally screen tested with Johnny Rotten, John Lydon -

GARY: Yeah … actually before you talk about anything else because that’s something I actually forgot to ask Phil about and I have sort of read interviews with your good self where you talk about screen testing with John Lydon , what was that like? I mean what memories would you have? And would he have been good as well do think, Toyah? In his own way?

TOYAH : Well, I say this with all respect to Phil who is the only man in the world who could play it … but John Lydon was astonishing. And what was … absolutely moved me to bits was I turned up at his flat on the Kings Road and I was terrified. The director Franc Roddam said "Look I want you to do me a favour, get John Lydon through the screen test, give him acting lessons and I might give him a role."

So I went along to his flat on the Kings Road, there was unconscious people on every bit of ground surface you could see. I think there was the band called The Slits , there was some other very famous band people there, completely unconscious ... My thought : "I’m not going to be able to cope with this. I’m a middle glass girl from Birmingham and this is just too bohemian for me."

Johnny eventually came downstairs and he was the most polite beautiful articulate human being I’d met in a long time and we went through the scenes again and again and again, he was completely focused and then we said our goodbyes met up again at Shepperton and we had to do the scene where I was screen testing for the Leslie Ash role, for lead and he was screen testing for Phil’s role. And we were both terrified.

In those days you were filmed on 35 mm film, massive cameras and they’d set the track and there was this humongous camera in front of us and I’m thinking "I’m so frightened, I’m so frightened and I’ve got to get John through this!" But we did it and I thought he was magnificent. And then the message came back about three weeks later that the insurers would not touch the film if John was in it.

GARY: Because of his reputation?

TOYAH: Because of his reputation. And they felt that it would be too controversial and they thought if anything went wrong, well, everyone y’know had themselves to blame.

GARY: Yeah, sure.

TOYAH: Then I got nothing! I said "there’s got to be a role for me in this film" and they said "well, no, you can’t have the lead, because y’know Leslie Ash is far more beautiful than you!" And I turned up at the offices in Wembley where Franc Roddam the director had his office on the ground floor and I banged on the window and I said "Give me a role!"

GARY: Demanded it -

TOYAH: I demanded it! And he called me in and Phil was in the office with him and Franc made me read a scene with a character called Monkey and Phil in which I had to snog Phil - well I had no problem with that at all! (Gary laughs) So Phil and I did the scene and I got the role reluctantly of Franc Roddam.

GARY: Yeah yeah …

TOYAH: Thank God I did it.

GARY: And the rest is, as they say, history.

TOYAH: Yeah!

GARY: And it’s also as we’ve found out over the last couple of afternoons when Phil’s been in the program, Toyah ... I mean the enduring appeal of it ... is absolutely phenomenal -

TOYAH: It’s absolutely astounding -

GARY: It’s touched so many peoples lives as well.

TOYAH: We do reunions every year -


GARY: That’s’ right, Phil said there was one in Brighton (above) a little bit earlier this year -

TOYAH: The youngest person there was a 14 year old boy who made his own way to Brighton as a homage to come and see where the film was made and meet us guys. He was a real cheeky chappie, he was like a young Phil Daniels and we just had so much fun with these people. And about lunch time about 200 scooters turned up on the front and closed the roads down!

GARY: Really?

TOYAH: So that anarchy is still there!

GARY: Yeah, well you know you spoke about doing that program "Glitter" with Phil, would that have been like a children’s teatime -

TOYAH: No, no, it went out on a Sunday night at 9 in the evening -

GARY: OK, because I always remember that there were rumours round about the late 70’s early 80’s that you had a role in the "Doubledeckers."

TOYAH: No it wasn’t me ...

GARY: It wasn’t you? But you do remember that rumour? I’m sure I can vividly remember reading that in the NME but that was something I thought we could get the folks call in, texting and emailing in about-

TOYAH: Yeah, well I have done many other children’s programs -

GARY: Which children’s TV shows -

TOYAH: That you rushed home for -

GARY: You know that you rushed home for and you connected with for what ever reason - which ones were they?

TOYAH: Well, you know Xmas was not Xmas if I hadn’t made the advent calendar and the tinsel candle holder on Blue Peter with my two wire hangers -

GARY: Yeah! Who would’ve been the presenters of that then?

TOYAH: Oh God, er ...

GARY: Valerie Singleton?

TOYAH: Valerie Singleton, Peter Pervis and John Noakes who I adored, they were wonderful!

GARY: Yeah, classic. So that was your one.


GARY: I know this next one is close to your heart because you’ve kind of been going through this haven’t you? You want to talk about wild animals and pet stories? Tell us more? (Toyah with her rabbit WillyFred, Below)

TOYAH: (Giggles) OK, I want to talk about how animals manage to ignore humans and I believe that there is an underground kind of community of animals we don’t know about. For example for two years there’s been a hamster in my house in Chiswick that helps itself to food, helps itself to my clothes and my shoes and occasionally I wake up at night in the bedroom and this gorgeous chesnut brown hamster is in my bedroom eating my candles - my scented candles!

GARY: They probably taste very nice!

TOYAH: And it’s obviously someone’s escaped pet. I can’t catch it, it’s as tame as they come and it rules my house! I’m not sacred of it or anything like that but I want to talk about unusual places you’ve seen animals and what are those animals because I’m convinced New York is not the only place to have alligators in the sewer system-

GARY: Yes, that’s right.

From later on in the show when they return to the subject of the hamster in Toyah’s house:

GARY: A hamster that’s living -

TOYAH: In my house -

GARY: That’s right -

TOYAH: And it’s not my hamster!

GARY: (Chuckles) You’re very serious when you say that Toyah!

TOYAH: And he’s beautiful and he eats my scented candles.

GARY: Can you hear him sort of burrowing around of an evening?

TOYAH: Well, obviously there’s evidence of him in the morning, which is the only thing that worries me is the kind of cleanliness of it, I don’t put food out for him because I think that would be wrong and it might encourage other escaped pets!

But I have woken up at 2 in the morning with him in a bowl of old cereal, I mean not much cereal but he was in the bowl having breakfast at two in the morning! (Gary laughs)


GARY: Now this is another interesting one as well and I know Toyah that’s something dear to your heart: where do you go to be alone? It’s so difficult now isn’t it, in every way? Everywhere -

TOYAH: And I don’t mean it … yeah, it’s not an anti-social statement, it’s just I remember as a child that we could go out for a picnic to the country and never see another human being. And I think now people have to hide in plain sight, to find solitude and I’m talking about good solitude where you can re-tune in and think about what you want and think about how to deal with a certain problem, all that kind of … aloneness I think you have to do in front of a lot of people who are ignoring you now.

Because that idea of walking up that mountain side or walking into the country or walking into the hills, I just don’t think there is complete solitude anymore.

(To Gary) What’s interesting you’re a Londoner so you know how to find that space within people. I was walking in the Gobi desert in April (Toyah with another charity walker Dannii Minogue, above) for a charity and we weren’t even alone in the Gobi desert! I mean … I think this is quite a crowded planet. Because that concept of having a … sabbatical away from the human race … I don’t think that possible any more.


GARY: You’ve also brought in stack of your favourite records we’re going to hear between now and five -

TOYAH: And my new album -

GARY: And your new album, we’re going to get sneak preview of that, shall we play the Stones next and Jumping Jack Flash. Why have you chosen this Toyah?

TOYAH: Because I just think it’s an up – I love songs where the intro just flicks a switch in your brain and you’re just on a high as soon as soon at that intro starts.

GARY: They were a great riff band weren’t they, let’s hear it.


GARY: Did you see Bob Marley in concert?

TOYAH: I just missed him by inches because obviously during the punk period, the end of the 70’s he was gigging over here - I just never got to see him. And I kind of missed that whole thing … The Clash kind of bringing reggae to the mass consciousness -

GARY: Yeah, there was a real sort cross fertilisation in punk and reggae wasn’t there?

TOYAH: Punk was brilliant like that! Punk was multi-cultural, the first real multi-cultural movement as far as I’m concerned and they introduced audiences to so many brilliant musical styles from around the world.

GARY: Yeah, and a great time also for women in music as well-

TOYAH: Oh boy, yeah!

GARY: I mean you came through it, you know Polly, Chrissie Hynde, Siouxsie, Pauline from Penetration as well, so many great girls -

TOYAH: And they’re all back out on the road again which is really good news.


CALLER: You did mention that you went to Quadrophenia re-unions?

TOYAH: Yeah.

CALLER: I was wondering does Gary Snell … I think he’s name is Gary Snell, who played Spider, ever go there?

TOYAH: Yeah! Gary was with us last April.

CALLER: I was wondering what had happened to him because … a lot of the people in Quaodrophenia … I was 15 when it came out and it was a massive part of my life like a lot of people’s but do a lot of the people who were in it do turn up, like yourself and Phil obviously?

TOYAH: Gary (above on the left with Toyah in Brighton) runs a recording studio and I think it's Shaill, the surname, and he did ”Metal Mickey” which was a children’s show -

CALLER: I worked on that you see, that’s how I know him.

TOYAH: OK, well Gary is into recording music, he makes radio and TV adverts and at the moment we’re focusing in putting a band together called The Quads. Which is going to be performing at the next reunion- Gary Shaill, Phil Davis, me, Trevor Laird and Phil Daniels.

GARY: Wow. And when you say The Quads, what ... 60’s stuff we’re talking-

TOYAH: Yeah, we’re just going to do a few songs, we’re going to do Selecta, we’re going to do a few Who songs, we’re going to do the Specials and it’s just for the sake of doing it because we’ve all got musical backrounds, Phil Daniels was in a band thirty years ago -

GARY: That’s right, Phil Daniels in The Cross, most definitely.

TOYAH: And this is Gary Shaill’s baby in a way.

GARY: So if people kind of stay close to your website they’ll be able to hear about that?

TOYAH: Yeah.


A caller phones in and talks about "Jubilee."

CALLER: Adam Ant was in it wasn’t he?

TOYAH: Adam Ant, I had a band with Adam’s wife called the Maneaters that did a song in Jubilee as well. 

CALLER: I do remember one song that sticks in my mind that you did which is "Angels And Demons", that was a record we liked -

TOYAH: Yeah.

CALLER: It was on an EP you did I remember?

TOYAH: Absolutely and there was a gang that named themselves the "Angels and Demons" (Toyah with the gang, below) when I did ”Trafford Tanzi” in the Mermaid Theatre 1983. There was 300 people in that gang -

GARY: Really?

TOYAH: They used to camp outside the stage door, I once had to pay for that tunnel to be re-painted because it got graffitied so much! (Toyah and Gary chuckle)

GARY: Really?

TOYAH: Yeah.


A caller phones in and talks about where to be alone in London.

CALLER: If you just need an hour or half an hour away from the world and people, seriously, it might be a bit morbid but the cemetery is the place to go!

TOYAH: I don’t think it’s morbid, I think it’s ironic!

GARY: It’s an exclusive this is!

TOYAH: Yeah, I’ve got a new album out called “In The Court Of The Crimson Queen” and this is … I put it on MySpace and it had 35 000 hits -

GARY: Go girl!

TOYAH: So this is a track called “Sensational” that’s been very popular with the MySpace community.

GARY: Let’s have a listen.

SONG: “Sensational”

GARY: You could stick that on a club now and that would have the dance floor rocking. It’s got that real sort of 80’s alternative rock feel to it hasn’t it?

TOYAH: Absolutely, that kind of American driving music, yeah yeah.


GARY: Talking of music as well, you’ve obviously got a very rich musical heritage - I mean would’ve it been punk that sort of ignited that? When would you have moved down to London first of all because -

TOYAH: I moved down to London after working with Phil Daniels on a play called "Glitter" -

GARY: Yeah -

TOYAH: And I was a member of the National Theatre company when I was 18. And I formed my first band while at the National Theatre with a writer called Joen Bogen who I had a writing partnership with for 7 years.

But I got an email here about the program that broke me and this is from Dave and he said that he remembers seeing me in an episode of ”Shoestring” (Toyah as "Toola", below) in 1981 with the brilliant Trevor Eve.

GARY: (Intrigued) Right …


TOYAH: It also had Chris Jagger in, Mick Jagger’s brother and Christopher Biggins. Now the amazing thing about Shoestring is that they used four of my tracks of an EP called “Sheep Farming In Barnet” and that broke me because I think Shoestring got about 14 million viewers-

GARY: It was a big program, Saturday night television wasn’t it?

TOYAH: Yeah, so that was it.


GARY: I want to play your Metallica track, let’s get this in now, we’re going to do “Enter Sandman” - why do you like this one?

TOYAH: Well, I just love Metallica, they put a big smile on my face. And I love the film that they made, wish I could remember the name of it, the documentary about their therapy ... (EDIT: The film was called ”Some Kind Of Moster”)

Because they were having therapy and at the same time they were selling artwork for three million and they had 200 guitars and they’re having... therapy (Mockingly). I mean if I had all that I’d be in happy heaven! And wasn’t it wonderful (the documentary), how the other half live!

GARY: Toyah’s sat here with a Cheshire Cat grin (Toyah laughs)


GARY: Very busy this afternoon, you’ve got an email you want to read? You’re waving it!

TOYAH: I’m waving it because it’s from a fan called Minna. She’s mentioned that she goes to the Victoria and Albert museum and I agree with her, that is such a peaceful place. But she’s just ordered my new album, and Minna, thank you.

For the next month it’s exclusively available on a web site called Remember The Eighties.com for any Toyah fans who want to know how to get the album. It’s there exclusively for you until I go on tour with Vampires Rock.

GARY: OK and we’ll be talking about that tomorrow, we heard a track from the album “Sensational” a little bit earlier on, we’ll be giving you another taster tomorrow.

Songs chosen by Toyah played during the show on Thursday: 

DAVID BOWIE: “Ashes to Ashes”
ROLLING STONES: “Jumping Jack Flash”
BOB MARLEY: “Could You Be Loved”
OASSIS: “Wonderwall”
METALLICA: “Enter Sandman”


They start the show off by talking about Panto etc.

GARY: Toyah’s alongside by the way, and I’m Gary Crowley, welcome along.

TOYAH: Good afternoon everybody!

GARY: We want to hear more of your favourite children’s TV shows because we got a great reaction to this yesterday by the way -

TOYAH: Absolutely, but talking about working with people you used to idolise -

GARY: Yeah?

TOYAH: One of my first jobs when I was a 15 year old in Birmingham was I was a dresser at the big local theatre called the Hippodrome and I dressed the whole of Dad’s Army -

GARY: Oh, wow!

TOYAH: You know, you go from watching them on the telly -

GARY: Does it get any better than that?

TOYAH: To dressing them and they were fantastic people, really great.

GARY: (They talk on top of each other) John … he would’ve been the first one that I would’ve asked about because he had such style, didn’t he?

TOYAH: He is so classic and nothing riled him or ruffled his feathers at all. You’d be in the wings with him ready to go on in the next scene, getting him a cup of tea and he’d just say (With a calm voice) “now calm down Toyah, come and sit here … come and talk me about your day” -

GARY: Yeah!

TOYAH: And he was just one of those really lovely people.


GARY: Just to remind people, in your house over in West London you’ve got a hamster?

TOYAH: I have a hamster. I mean it’s not exclusively in my house, it goes on vacation for weeks months at a time -

GARY: Puts it about?

TOYAH: It puts it about. It’s obviously escaped from somewhere but occasionally I wake up and it’s in my bedroom going through my kind of bowl of cereal which I have before I got to bed. So he re-emerged this weekend to eat my scented candles but this morning I got up and I was vacuuming, the way you, do and I came across the spider the size of my hand. Now, I don’t like spiders -

GARY: I don’t like spiders as well, yeah -

TOYAH: And I’m sorry but I cannot live with a spider. I feel nothing generous towards them and I should do because they eat flies and they’re so good … so I got the vacuum cleaner out and I vacuumed it up but it was so big! Why is (SIC) spiders so big?! Is something going on in London that making them grow?

GARY: They’ve mutated.


They’re talking about spiders and a lady who’s
husband had “spider therapy” got get rid of his fears.

TOYAH: That’s amazing because I don’t believe I could ever get rid of my fear of spiders because I went in the jungle for that well known program on ITV - ("I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!", below)

GARY: Yes, of course but you did that yes -

TOYAH: And I was absolutely freaking out at every spider I saw and I never got - it never got any better for the whole two weeks I was out there.

GARY: I mean not only are you scared of them and there’s nowhere to run but you’ve got sleep there as well. What attracted them?

TOYAH: Body heat.

GARY: What was that like?

TOYAH: Well, they warn you that in the morning if you haven’t sealed your sleeping bag properly you’re going to wake up with snakes, rats and spiders! (Chuckles) Inside your sleeping bag!

So you wake up and you’ve literally got these enormous spiders called Huntsman and they are much bigger than your hand and they bite, they don’t kill you but they bite. Big pinchers underneath the main body and they’re just hanging over your head!

GARY: Rather you than me! Was it worth it - did you enjoy that experience?


TOYAH: I can’t say I enjoyed it but I did recognise it was a once in a lifetime experience and it was very very special.

GARY: Talking of which, why don’t we talk about this now very very quickly and get people calling, texting and emailing in. Because this is something I wanted to talk to you about Toyah, because I know that earlier on this year you appeared on Living TV’s “Living With The Dead”, didn’t you?

TOYAH: Well, they came to my house with a film crew. First I get a phone call saying “is your house haunted?” and my reply is, because I’m really open minded about this, I said “I think everywhere is haunted” because we leave memories in the brickwork and they said “oh OK, if we send a film crew, could we see something?”

And said “oh c’mon if you can guarantee seeing ghosts we’d all be multi-millionaires.” So the film crew came round and I invited five of my friends who were sceptic. Rula Lenska Rula Lenska, sceptic, and I live in a market town near Worchester, I invited four of the shopkeepers knowing that they just didn’t believe in that kind of thing. Well, three of them got possessed and needed dealing with!

GARY: Really?! Dealing with! Right!

TOYAH: So we can talk about that can’t we, ghosts in London. (Gary laughs)

GARY: That’s right. I mean I’ve never seen anything, I’m not saying that I’m not a believer but I’ve never seen anything but y’know you said that you kind of sense things. You also mentioned before we came on air about working in the Margate Threatre ?

(Excited) Ooh! Margate Theatre (below) is the most haunted theatre in England. I had to film there with Yvette Fielding almost 17 years ago. This is before haunted programs came into fashion. We were going to spend the night in Margate Theatre. We had problem after problem, things wouldn’t work, batteries kept running out.

But the thing that made us run from the building screaming was a light exploded in one of the filming lights and we said “pull the plug, pull the plug!” and the electrician said “the plug isn’t even in.”

GARY: Oh wow!

So the light went on by itself and the lightbulb exploded. Well, by that time we were so freaked out we just said “right, down the cameras - we’re going!” And we left (Chuckles)

GARY: So the program was never … ?

Well, we did get enough, and we got an image of a ghostly green woman in one of the boxes.


GARY: There goes Roxy Music (“Both Ends Burning”), terrific choice there Toyah, loving that one because you don’t get to hear that one as much as some of the other ones … a real treat - 

TOYAH: You know when I was a poor student that kept me going, that and “Love Is A Drug”. I can remember buying my cup of tea at the end of the school day with my KitKat, if I can say that, a biscuit with chocolate on (Realises she can’t say brand names on the BBC, Gary chuckles) and just kind of sitting there putting that on the jukebox.

GARY: They were such an important influential band weren’t they? I mean these guys, Bowie, all of those people.


They’re talking about “Tales Of The Unexpected”:

I did “Tales Of The Unexpected”-

GARY: You appeared in it?!

TOYAH: In 1980, “The Blue Marigold” (below)


GARY: Oh right. Oh really. Who was that with?

Alan … what is he called? Not Alan Bates, a very famous Hammer Horror actor, Alan somebody anyway, someone Bates, oh sorry! (Getting annoyed) Menopausal moment but anyway, might’ve been Ralph Bates?

GARY: Ralph Bates we’re talking about, yes!

But I was playing this model, which just makes me laugh coz I’m barely five foot tall and the hair was taller than me. I had this massive 1960’s kind of wig on coz it was set in the 1960’s about this model who looses her eyesight, and becomes blind basically. It was just your typical very camp “Tales Of The Unexpected.”

GARY: I used to love it, Sunday evenings, 9 o’clock. I wonder if they’re available on DVD?


Steve Steinman joins them in the studio to talk about Vampires Rock

It’s picking up steam because you’ve got a following that comes every year and about 4 years ago, three year ago, I was on the road, I was touring with Nick Heyward and I was following this show around. And every venue my feet were sticking to the stage.

I said to the management “what’s the problem with the stage, it looks as if it’s covered in blood?” And the management would say “oh we had a massive show in yesterday, it’s so popular, it’s called Vampires Rock” and (Says to Steve) your show is selling better than any other regional show.

STEVE: Touring, one night … it’s such a big show for a night, that’s the thing where we turn up with the artic’s (Edit: "articulated lorry") and we’re in and we’re out and I like doing that. I’d hate to stay in a place for weeks or months on end. It would drive me mad.


GARY: Now we’re going to play a track Toyah because as well as the cover versions you’ve also contributed a track to the show haven’t you?

Well, because my album’s coming out to coincide with Vampire’s Rock, my album’s called “In The Court Of The Crimson Queen”, we’re using a track off the album called “Lesser God”, which is about a woman saying because she feels love is she made by a lesser god? And it’s just dead right for the show, it’s serious rock.

STEVE: It’s a heavy song, it’s really really good. As soon as we heard we said “yeah, we can use this in the show.”

GARY: OK, well let’s have a listen to it: this is Toyah on BBC London on this Friday afternoon. This is “Lesser God”

SONG: “Lesser God”

GARY: I bet you love singing that Toyah, don’t you?

(Excited) I love singing it, I’ve been doing it live at some of the festivals this year and the moment the bass comes in … it’s just flying!

GARY: Flavour of what you can expect of Steve Steinman’s Vampires Rock. Steve is with us, I’ve got to ask you this aftenoon Steve, something that I thought might be pertinent to you was ghost stories, because we spoke earlier on to Toyah and Toyah appearing in an episode of “Living With The Dead” -

Ian Lawman was the physic who came along to the house and kind of felt the vibe and sorted people out when they got possessed but there is a connection here because Steve manages him -


STEVE: I’m managing Ian now and it’s a funny connection why I met Ian and then I met Toyah, it was kind of weird that, maybe there’s something going on! (Spooky voice)

Do do do doo - do do do doo ... (sings the Twilight Zone theme tune) (All laugh)

GARY: What about the pyrotechnics, is that a large part of the show?

STEVE: Yeah, you got to have them, you’ve got to have them, Toyah’s going to do “Burn In Hell.”

I open with Twisted Sister’s “Burn In Hell” -

GARY: Really?! Looking forward to that!

Yeah, I spent all last week learning it and I had so much fun because it is really dramatic and mean.

STEVE: …We’re "burning hell", there’s flames going off everywhere so I just hope we don’t set it (the stage) on fire! (All laugh) I’ve had a few near misses on the old singed trousers!

I tell you what when pyrotechnics go off around you, coz I did "Queen Mania" (above) on commercial TV and they set off about twenty pyrotechnic explosions in the intro to … what was I doing, oh I can’t remember which song I was doing but it threw me backwards and I was singing live and I thought “oh no where’s the microphone - I can’t see!”

STEVE: Yeah - they blind you-

They’re really explosive!


GARY: Another favourite of yours Toyah, this is T Rex, memories - what would a record like this bring back for you then?

This was the first serious rock single I bought and I do think Marc Bolan was a serious rock musician. I was still at school and I left school and got changed into my loon pants and my smock top and put the glitter tear drop on and this is about 1972 I think. And he just predated David Bowie so this is a really exciting period in the early seventies glitter Rock. And this is “Ride A White Swan.”

GARY: Like you said his success predated Bowie by a little while - they were good friends of course - 

TOYAH: They were good friends, they were often in the studio with Tony Visconti and I think Bolan was more threatened by Bowie and Bowie was more excepting of Bolan. But it was quite a complex relationship because Bolan was very guitar based and Bowie was theatre based and yet they were both emerging at the same time.

I think the reason Bowie sustained it, apart from living longer, was that he had this ability to change and to manipulate and to move through trends.


A fan called Dean phoned in:

GARY: Dean’s on the line from Eltham, hello Dean!

Hi Dean!

DEAN: Hello Toyah and Gary. You’ve been talking about children’s television today and grew up in the 90’s and the children’s program that really entertained me was ”Brum”

Oh yes! Well I know all about that!

DEAN:Which Toyah narrated for all those years.

TOYAH: I narrated about three series of it.


GARY: Now Dean, I would’ve not been in watching that y’know, I love children’s programs and I’m going to discover them with my daughter but tell me about “Brum” and the story behind it? What was the appeal of it for you?

DEAN: It was a car yard and there were lots of big cars and this one tiny little yellow car which used get out and drive around and kind of make people’s lives better and it would always come back into the garage without the owner realising it had gone-

(Does the deep posh voice from the show) “It’s Brums’s day for a big adventure in one big town.” (Gary laughs) And it was filmed in Birmingham and this was a precursor to “Teletubbies” which I then went on to open as the narrator. Now that car, (above with Toyah) Dean, was worth about £20 000-

DEAN: Never!

Because it was robotic and someone stole it!

GARY: Really?!


GARY: Did they ever find it?

They never found it and they had to make a replica.

GARY: Now you mention it Dean, was Roland Rivron something to do with it, was Roland ever on that program?

I don’t remember, I narrated the first three series and then they had a child narrate it. I don’t remember Roland being on it but he has done children’s series.

GARY: We’ve also been asking about people this aftenoon about programs, doesn’t have to be a children’s program … but programs or people in TV shows that gave you nightmares, that scared you, would you ever had any?

DEAN: Oh, Doctor Who was a big one during my childhood -


GARY: That’s been a popular show.

DEAN: It wasn’t on when I was young, my dad was obsessed with it and kind of pushed all of the videos in my direction.


DEAN: But what I would love to say if I can, I became a big fan of Toyah’s music through Brum, and got interested in her through that. 

TOYAH: Oh that’s interesting!

DEAN: I’m 19 now so I’m one of your youngest fans.


DEAN: You really inspire me.

Thank you Dean! That’s fantastic!

GARY: Isn’t it weird though Dean, how something like that y’know can kind of take you on a journey, you become aware of Toyah, because she is providing the voice in “Brum” and whatever and then it takes you off in a completely different place.

DEAN: What I’d like to know is why Toyah hasn’t popped up in Dr Who yet?

GARY: Good question!

Dean, it’s not for one of trying! I turned up at the casting office which is just off Piccadilly Circus about two years ago and it’s one my knock-on-the-door jobs, y’know kind of “hello I’m Toyah, give me a job” which I’m known for.

I walked into the office and I said “look, I just want to meet you so you can see what I look like that I’m a human being that everything moves on my face, I’m not a botox freeze job” and I said y’know “can I be in Doctor Who” and they were so friendly and so brilliant and a little bit taken aback! (Laughs)

GARY: So you never know?

TOYAH: You never know, I love Dr Who, I think it’s the greatest drama on TV.
GARY: They’ve taken it in a completely new direction. Dean, many thanks for your call.

And thanks Dean for being a Toyah fan, that’s great!

DEAN: You’re welcome.

GARY: All the best, bye bye.

DEAN: Bye!


GARY: Many many thanks for coming in and doing this Toyah-

I’ve had a great time!

GARY: Good, I’ve really really enjoyed it, we’ve really enjoyed having you here as well. Just very quickly, look out for Toyah in the next series of Mastemind because you’re going to be appearing on that aren’t you and your specialist subject will be....?

David Bowie (Laughs)
GARY: Can’t wait to see that!

Toyah’s choice of songs on Friday’s show: 

EDWYN COLLINS: “Never Met a Girl Like You”
ROXY MUSIC: “Both Ends Burning”
T REX: “Ride A White Swan”
MUSE: “Super Massive Black Hole”
(Toyah said
: "It's so good!")


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