THE HOME CHANNEL
THE HOME CHANNEL
Toyah took part in the Home Channel's "Celebrity Fantasy Homes" hosted by Gaby Roslin. They had a look at four properties in South West London. Along the way they spoke about Toyah's life as well so I've only transcripted the relevant parts.
HOST GABY ROSLIN: We’re searching to find punk icon Toyah Willcox a one-off property to match her one-off personality. Toyah Willcox is best known as an 80’s wild child. With a career spanning over 35 years including 13 Top 40 singles, not to mention a stint in the jungle on "I’m A Celebrity", she’s still the original punk princess. But her country life in Worcestershire couldn’t be further away from her punk image.
TOYAH: (Talking at her home in Pershore) It’s the friendliest, most comfortable, inviting place I have ever known in the whole of my life. I go out the front door and I’m in a town. A very lively bustling community. People, I know them all and we all say "good morning" and we’re all very supportive and very friendly, it’s that kind of community.
There is a beautiful living pattern here as well because out the back it’s just countryside. You just look over the fields and the river. So it’s very very special and very hard to replicate. I’d be surprised if I could find anywhere like this in London with my price tag.
GABY: Toyah needs to find a second home in the capital because of the demands of running her own record label, working as an actress and playing in her current band The Humans along with her legendary guitar playing husband Robert Fripp (below with Toyah).
TOYAH: I actually have lived here for nine years and just pop to London for meetings and now I’m now getting to the stage where I’m moving into what I think is the next stage of my career.
Because I’m 52 this year and really want to make the most of getting some good roles. I’m an actress, I should be acting. And I’m not a bad actress, I put bums on seats so London is still the place to be.
(Chatting in a cafe in Richmond)
GABY: Why this area? (where they are looking at the properties in Richmond, Kew and Mortlake)
TOYAH: I love being by water, I think water is fantastic. Also there is a slight feeling of countryside. There’s the community, there is a sense of knowing your neighbours in an area like this and on the water and you know you can be in the city within 20 minutes.
GABY: So much have you got to spend?
TOYAH: £600 (thousand) to £650. It’s not very much for this kind of area –
GABY: It’s a lot of money!
TOYAH: It’s a lot of money to most people, absolutely! I don’t want to loose that money, I want it to be an investment. I want to know that I’m buying a good property and without having to do too much renovation and all of that.
GABY: So you’ve got £650 000 and what is it exactly that you want?
TOYAH: I like anything quirky. Converted chapels, converted warehouses, converted factories, new build apartments on the river. I’m up for something that isn’t your bog standard kind of abode.
GABY: We’re going to have fun!
TOYAH: Yeah! Definitely!
GABY: OK! Most people don’t like one, so don’t be surprised if there’s one you don’t like. You have to be completely honest.
TOYAH: What, brutally honest?
GABY: Brutally honest.
TOYAH: OK. I’m normally a very polite and a receptive human being but for you I’ll be a complete cow! (Gaby laughs)
GABY: Thank you!
(On a houseboat)
TOYAH: You could have fun in here with a man couldn’t you? (Gaby laughs) This is the kind of place to have an affair isn’t it?
GABY: That’s very interesting! I’m not going to ask you if you had an affair but you do have an extraordinary marriage because you do live apart from your husband don’t you?
TOYAH: Yeah, and I don’t have affairs but you think about whenever you read about footballers you think why do they always have affairs in these grotty hotels, they could have something this and have lots of fun! But no, my husband is a guitar player and he is away a lot. And we don’t have a band together, which helps, we could see each other a bit more.
GABY: How long have you been married?
TOYAH: 25 years.
GABY: Happy silver wedding!
TOYAH: Yeah I know, it’s incredible!
GABY: So 25 years of not living together obviously makes a happy marriage? (article "How We Met" in The Independent)
TOYAH: As long as you’re busy and you’ve got your own identity and your own life it’s absolutely fine. But I wouldn’t recommended it to anyone.
GABY: That’s interesting. Now I’ve read so much about you and I’ve seen you talk about it, about the idea that you’ve never wanted children?
TOYAH: Even though, me, Toyah Willcox, would do anything, I just couldn’t conceive having a child. I was actually phobic about it and the fear of giving birth. I started to have dreams about giving birth when I was about 43. And that was so disturbing because I started to think have I made a terrible decision here? Because I was sterilised when I was 27 and I thought –
GABY: That’s a big thing to do!
TOYAH: A very big thing to do. And you know I really had to go on a big journey to make that decision.
GABY: Do you ever think back to being 27 and having that?
TOYAH: No, no regrets, not for me. No regret. I’ve been totally career driven since I was about 12 if that’s possible.
GABY: Gosh, we’ve got so much to talk about!
TOYAH: Yeah, and you ain’t convinced me to buy this boat yet! I want you to know that!
(Chatting in a music shop in Kew)
GABY: You’re known as pop punk princess. Were you punk?
TOYAH: Yeah, I was. Definitely punk. The thing is that back then - we’re talking about 35 years ago – you had Dusty Springfield, you had Sandie Shaw, you had The Carpenters. They were all very refined and suddenly women like me came along and we just pulled the rug under the feet of what and how women should sound and be in the music industry.
It was kind of "well here we are, we mean business". We weren’t confirming to kind of floral prints and chintz and getting married and behaving nicely. And sugar and spice and all things nice, we were completely the opposite.
(Chatting in an art deco flat in Mortlake)
GABY: One thing I want to talk to you about because you’ve written a book about it, is your face lift and all the things you’ve had done to your face. And opposite you (Toyah and Gaby are looking out the window over to the other side of the road) you have an place where you can have injectibles!
TOYAH: I noticed that outside! (laughs)
GABY: (reads list on the shop window) In fact stuff I’ve never even heard of! Have you tried that one!
TOYAH: I’ve tried everything.
GABY: Take us through what you’ve had done?
TOYAH: Well, initially I had a face lift –
GABY: After coming out of the jungle?
TOYAH: After coming out of the jungle. I had a face lift in 2004.
GABY: I’m going to interrupt you, it’s terribly rude and I a apologise: is it true that you had the face lift because Jonathan Ross said something horrible?
TOYAH: No, I mean that whole Jonathan Ross thing - the press will pick on anything with a name and make a story out of it. I did comment that when I was in the jungle I was told that Jonathan Ross said I was too ugly to be on telly anymore. And I did take that to heart. But –
GABY: But he is not like that!
TOYAH: He didn’t – he wasn’t the only person- virtually every newspaper picked up on how rough we were all looking in the jungle. I didn’t expect the backlash to be about how I looked. And for me the best revenge I had was just go and get the plastic surgeon in Europe.
GABY: But isn’t the best revenge to go prwrrrt! (blows a raspberry)
TOYAH: Well, I had the facelift and went prwrrt! (blows a raspberry)
GABY: Right. OK. So you got the best plastic surgeon and he did what?
TOYAH: He gave me what’s called a lower lift. I just had all my neck lifted and the jowls lifted.
GABY: So you had that done and have you had anything else done?
TOYAH: I had under my eyes done which could probably do with being done again. Because they’re very lined. He took an incision all along the eye and lifted all those muscles.
GABY: Urgh! Makes me go a bit funny! So you’ve had botox?
TOYAH: I have botox, I still have botox.
GABY: And do you have anything else, do you have
any other –
TOYAH: Sculpture as in injectibles, about 400 injections.
TOYAH: It’s a lot. All over the face to trigger the collagens grow again. I mean the whole reason I got my face done is to stay in music and it worked. And it worked –
GABY: Do you really think that has kept you in music - that face lift –
TOYAH: As a woman, as long I still have a voice and as long as I can still remember lyrics and still look good, you get booked.
(Chatting in the next property)
GABY: It’s quite interesting, you’ve made a business out of property?
TOYAH: Yeah, I do a lot of property. For me money is not something you play with. It’s the rug that can be pulled from under your foot at any time.
GABY: Am I right in thinking it was quite a good background you came from? Your father had a bit of money?
GABY: I think I read that you said he had a different Rolls Royce every month or something but he –
TOYAH: He’d buy a Rolls Royce, it would arrive, it was made for me and he’d go “do you know I don’t like the glove compartment. I’ll get another one.” Unbelievable!
GABY: Why were you a hell raiser, why did you rebel?
TOYAH: Because I hated the institution I was in!
GABY: I want to know some of the rebellious things you did?
TOYAH: Terrible things, really bad things! Once I was made to wash one the teachers cars and we stole it and left it in a used car lot!
GABY: Ohhh! How old were you? (Toyah giggles)
TOYAH: About 14. We were just so naughty! I think it was because we were all girls together and a lot of them were daughters of politicians so really spirited and really kind of wanted to rebel against our upbringing and stuff like that …
GABY: Fantastic! Loving it!
(Chatting in the next property)
GABY: This is kind of big house and I know your house in Pershore is bigger than this, it’s a huge place. Does it get quite lonely living on your own?
TOYAH: No, I love it. I hated it at first, when I first got married, my husband left after the honeymoon (laughs) That was horrible, I hated it! When you’re younger –
GABY: Did you know he was going to do that?!
TOYAH: No, not at all. And he has apologised for doing that in recent years. He said I’m so sorry I did that to you. He’s a great man, he’s a really great man, but he also has his own house in the square where we live at Pershore (Toyah in her kitchen, below) and I often find -
GABY: What you mean?! He has his own house?!
TOYAH: He’s got his own house 50 yards away –
GABY: So you don’t live together in Pershore?
TOYAH: Well, we do, but he has a completely furnished house 50 yards away and sometimes I come in and a painting has gone. Now our paintings are our investments and I say "Robert where is that painting gone?"
And he just looks at me blankly and I know it’s gone into his house. He gets his marching orders and I say "that painting has to be back there by tonight or I change the locks!"
GABY: I don’t really know to react to that story! (Toyah laughs) I mean there’s not many times in my 40 odd years that I’ve been – I don’t know what to say! The fact that you’ve got this enormous house on your own, he is over the on the side of the square and taking stuff that he likes out of your house –
TOYAH: He’s eccentric on the same level as Spike Milligan was. And I love him for it but I often say to him "you’re lucky to have found me because no one else would’ve tolerated you!"
GABY: That is just extraordinary, it’s absolutely fascinating.Do you still like to shock?
TOYAH: I don’t think it’s a question of liking to shock, it’s a question of I can’t help it. It just comes out. I think I just provoke. It’s like rebel tourettes without the swearing. (They both laugh)
GABY: You did shock when you did "Songs Of Praise". (Toyah laughs) Toyah Willcox presenting "Songs Of Praise"?! What?!
TOYAH: But at the same time I was presenting "The Good Sex Guide Live." I mean can believe that? On Sunday "Songs Of Praise" and then on Friday nights "The Good Sex Guide Late" or whatever it was called. Yes. So talk about extremes. And then I was the narrator of the "Teletubbies."
GABY: Of course you were! (shocked)
TOYAH: Do you know they only time I’ve ever had to have security on the street is because of "Teletubbies."
GABY: I’d completely forgotten!
TOYAH: Everywhere I went, all over the world I’d get mobbed.
GABY: Say it! Say it!
TOYAH: (in the TV voice) “Over the hills and far away, Teletubbies come out to play. The sun is stetting in the sky, Teletubbies say goodbye!”
GABY: (does the Teletubbie voice) Eh-o!
TOYAH: That’s all I ever did! And I was getting mobbed for it because my name is one of the first names in the credits.