94.9 FM
28 - 29.8.2008

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 programmes 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 - the lovely Toyah Willcox!


GARY: It’s nice to see you!

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. 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, 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

TOYAH: My career started with Phil -

GARY: Well, that’s what … remind us?

TOYAH: I got cast in a BBC2 play called "Second City First" and they were a play that came from Birmingham shown in BBC2 in 1974. I got cast as the lead in this play and Phil Daniels was my male lead

It was my 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

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
. And then Phil and I, after "Glitter", went on to do "Quadrophenia" (below) 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. I have 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 you 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. He  absolutely moved me to bits. 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 was "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. We went through the scenes again and again and again. He was completely focused. Then we said our goodbyes, met up again at Shepperton (Studios) We had to do the scene where I was screen testing for the Leshie Ash role, for lead - and he was screen testing for Phil’s role. We were both terrified

In those days you were filmed on 35 mm film, massive cameras and they’d set the track. 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. They felt that it would be too controversial and they thought if anything went wrong, well, everyone 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 Leslie Ash is far more beautiful than you!"

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! He called me in and Phil was in the office with him. 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, off Franc Roddam

GARY: Yeah …

TOYAH: Thank God I did it

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

TOYAH: Yeah!


GARY: It’s also, as we’ve found out over the last couple of afternoons, when Phil’s been in the program, Toyah ... 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 (the cast at the 40th Anniversary in July 2019, above) every year -

GARY: That’s’ right, Phil said there was one in Brighton 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 (sea) front and closed the roads down!

GARY: Really?

TOYAH: So that anarchy is still there!

GARY: Yeah. 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 70s early 80s 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. That was something I thought we could get the folks calling, texting and emailing in (to talk) 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: That you rushed home for and you connected with for whatever reason. Which ones were they?

TOYAH: Well, you know, Christmas was not Christmas 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

* * *

: 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? (below, Toyah with her rabbit WillyFred in 2011)


TOYAH: (Giggles) OK, I want to talk about how animals manage to ignore humans. 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

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: 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 -

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. The only thing that worries me is the 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: 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 we never saw another human being. I think now people have to hide in plain sight to find solitude

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 for a (cancer) charity (
The Great Walk to Beijing) and we weren’t even alone in the Gobi desert! 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

* * *

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 70s 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. 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 and Poly (Styrene), 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?


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

TOYAH: Yeah! Gary was with us last April (below with Toyah, Brighton, April 2008)

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

TOYAH: Gary runs a recording studio and I think it's "Shail", 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. 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 Shail, Phil Davis, me, Trevor Laird and Phil Daniels

GARY: Wow. And when you say The Quads, are we talking 60s stuff ?

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. 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 Shail’s baby in a way

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


* * *

A caller talks about "Jubilee":

CALLER: Adam Ant was in it, wasn’t he?

TOYAH: Adam Ant and 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 -


CALLER: It was on an EP you did, I remember? ("Four From Toyah", 1981)

TOYAH: Absolutely and there was a gang that named themselves the "Angels and Demons" 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?


* * *

A caller 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!

They about Toyah's new album

GARY: It’s an exclusive this is!

TOYAH: Yeah, I’ve got a new album out called “In The Court Of The Crimson Queen”. 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 80s alternative rock feel to it hasn’t it?

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

* * *

GARY: Talking of music as well, you’ve obviously got a very rich musical heritage. I mean would’ve it been punk that 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: 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 (and guitarist) called Joel Bogen who I had a writing partnership with for 7 years

But I got an email here about the program that broke me. This is from Dave and he said that he remembers seeing me in an episode of "Shoestring" 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 off 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 ... (The film was called "Some Kind Of Monster", 2004)

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... (mockingly) therapy. 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)

* * *

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 website called remembertheeighties.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 and 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 me 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 -

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: John Le Mesurier - 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. 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 are 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” and got get rid of his fears:

TOYAH: That’s amazing because I don’t believe I could never get rid of my fear of spiders because I went in the jungle for that well known programme on ITV - ("I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!")

GARY: Yes, of course but you did that  -

TOYAH: And I was absolutely freaking out at every spider I saw and 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?”

I 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 like Rula Lenska, who were sceptic

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. You said that you kind of sense things. You also mentioned before we came on air about working in the Margate Theatre?

(Excited) Ooh! Margate Theatre 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: 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, “Blue Marigold” (below)

GARY: 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 because I’m barely five foot tall and the hair was taller than me. I had this massive 1960s kind of wig on. It was set in the 1960s about this model who loses 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. About 4 years 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. We turn up with the artics (articulated lorries) 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 "In The Court Of The Crimson Queen" is coming out to coincide with "Vampire’s Rock" 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 - ghost stories, because we spoke earlier on to Toyah and Toyah appearing in an episode of “Living With The Dead” -

Ian Lawman was the psychic, 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. It’s a funny connection why I met Ian and then I met Toyah, it was kind of weird that ... Maybe there’s (puts on a spooky voice) something going on! 

TOYAH: 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'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 in 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 - because I did "Queen Mania" 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 (the song was "Don't Stop Me Now") 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!

* * *

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

This was the first serious rock single I bought. 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. This is about 1972 I think. 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. 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 90s and the children’s programme that really entertained me was "Brum" (above) -

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. I love children’s programmes 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 there was this one tiny little yellow car which used get out and drive around and kind of make people’s lives better. 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) 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, 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 Rowland Rivron something to do with it? Was Roland ever on that programme?

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 afternoon about programmes - doesn’t have to be a children’s programme … but programmes or people in TV shows that gave you nightmares, that scared you. Did you ever have 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 but my dad was obsessed with it and kind of pushed all of the videos in my direction.
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 can 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 the lack 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, 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. I’m a human being, everything moves on my face, I’m not a botox freeze job” and I said “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!

* * *

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 "Mastermind" 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!

Songs chosen by Toyah played during the show on Friday:

EDWYN COLLINS: Never Met a Girl Like You
ROXY MUSIC: Both Ends Burning
T REX: Ride A White Swan
MUSE: Super Massive Black Hole


Post a Comment

<< Home