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


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