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The Telegraph – Culture/TV: It Shouldn’t Be A Big Deal

October 10th, 2018

telegraph16a‘It shouldn’t be a big deal – but it is’: what a female Doctor Who really means to women Whovians

More than eight million people tuned in Sunday night’s episode of Doctor Who – the show’s largest launch in a decade – to see Jodie Whittaker make her debut as the first female Doctor in the show’s decades-long history.  But did she pull it off?

Among those glued to their sofas were the comedians Bridget Christie and Susan Calman, authors Juno Dawson and Jenny Colgan, and the pop star Toyah Willcox – a Who fan who was once mooted for the title role herself. The Telegraph asked each of them what the arrival of a female Doctor means to them, and what they thought of Sunday’s episode.

• Continue reading at The Telegraph. (Subscription Required)

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Dreamscape Press Archive: Read Up On Toyah!

April 3rd, 2018

Check out the Dreamscape Press Archive. Classic Toyah interviews, reviews, features, articles and clippings - A huge virtual library with press from 1979 through to 2014.

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Daily Mail: The One Lesson I’ve Learned From Life

February 26th, 2018

dmail18aThe one lesson I’ve learned from life: Toyah Willcox on how you can have the same waist at 60 as you did when you were 23!

Toyah Willcox, 59, shot to fame in the Seventies as a punk singer and actress / She revealed how she spent the past three months overhauling her lifestyle / She says a tailored diet helped her lose weight and improved her energy levels

This year I turn 60, which seems astonishing to me. Yet I’ve never been much of a conformist and I see no reason to become a little old lady. I’ve realised each decade has its own purpose and, in anticipation of my seventh, I’ve spent the past three months overhauling my lifestyle.

Today I have the same waist measurement I had at 23. My energy levels are through the roof, which is good because I’m still playing festivals and I’m known for the energy of my performance. This time last year I felt very different. I was physically and mentally sluggish. I was neither as bright nor as quick as I used to be and I was unhappy with my body shape. But I don’t think it’s inevitable everything should thicken and sag, and I wasn’t willing to watch it happen.

So my husband and I decided to take control of the way we were ageing. We went to the Wildmoor Spa in Stratford to see a Harley Street specialist in DNA. We had ours closely analysed for dietary intolerances and genetic traits that influence the way we process food. Results in, we were given tailored diets to follow. It’s been a major commitment of both money and willpower. I’ve cut out wheat, dairy and all processed foods, but my husband has different rules, so though we cook together, we have different meals. At first, I lost weight because I couldn’t find much to eat, especially on restaurant menus. And I missed cake.

• Continue reading at the Daily Mail. (Photo © Clark Enwell/BackGrid)

Another Man: Jubilee Turns 40

February 22nd, 2018

How Jubilee Became the Greatest Punk Film of All Time

Today, Derek Jarman’s punk classic turns 40 – to celebrate, we track its journey from notoriety to immortality

“Punks were in the audience screaming ‘THIS AIN’T PUNK!’ and ‘WHAT A LOAD OF BOLLOCKS!’ and ‘SHIT!’” That’s how Jayne County recalled the raucous atmosphere at the premiere of Jubilee, Derek Jarman’s dark sci-fi reckoning with a dystopian England, in an interview from 2011.

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County, a veteran of the New York punk scene who cameos in the film, was no more charitable in his own assessment of Jarman’s vision, released in cinemas 40 years ago this month. “Wasted celluloid”, she called it – though the scene she starred in wasn’t half bad, naturally.

• Continue reading at Another Man.

What’s On Stage: My Top 5 Showtunes: Toyah Willcox

February 18th, 2018

wostage18aThe actress tells us the musical numbers she couldn’t live without

Toyah Willcox is best known for her career as a singer and has had eight top 40 singles from over 20 albums. Her biggest hits include “It’s a Mystery”, “Thunder in the Mountains” and “I Want to Be Free”.

Her stage credits include Calamity Jane, Amadeus and Three Men and a Horse. She is currently starring in the stage adaptation of Derek Jarman’s Jubilee – having featured in the original film – which runs at the Lyric Hammersmith until 10 March.

We caught up with Toyah and asked her: “If you were stranded on a desert island which five showtunes could you not live without?”

• Continue reading, and see Toyah’s Top 5 showtunes, at What’s On Stage.

Metro: My London… Toyah Willcox

February 16th, 2018

metro18aToyah is interviewed in today’s print edition of the Metro.

The singer and actress loves walking from Regent’s Park to Kensington’s museums and wants to live by the BFI

Is there an area of London that you love?
The South Bank, because my first experience of London was the National Theatre in 1977. I was 18 when I joined the National, and Ian Charleson, who played Eric Liddell in Chariots Of Fire, introduced me to (film director) Derek Jarman who lived on Butler’s Wharf so lots of my formative years were spent in the area. In the late 1970s it was nothing like what it’s like now, it was derelict, there was no sign of any money going in. The National was ground-breaking for being built there at that time. Today, it’s still my favourite part of London. It’s vibrant, you have the arts on tap, it’s multicultural, it’s interesting and I love the architecture. If I could afford to I would live right next to the British Film Institute.

What are the most memorable London Stages you’ve performed on?
The Olivier (theatre) at the National Theatre is a sacred space to work in and I was one of the first people to perform on ‘the revolve’ (revolving stage) which was built in 1976, in the play Tales From The Vienna Woods. It was the first play to use the revolve, which was in its embryonic stages, and kept breaking down. When it broke it had to be operated manually by hand. The other stage is Wembley Arena, which I’ve done once. It was a dream come true. I love playing arenas and, as a performer, you have to have ticked off Wembley. It was big, it was loud, it was beautiful.

• Continue reading at Twitter. (Thanks to Talent 4 Media)

The Quietus: Derek Jarman’s Jubilee Turns 40

February 9th, 2018

jubilee12cGrieve The Capital: Derek Jarman’s Jubilee Turns 40

Derek Jarman’s film of visionary alchemy and edgeland punks now tells of a time before the gentrification of the capital when occulture and subculture sat side-by-side, says Adam Scovell

Released in Elizabeth II’s silver jubilee year of 1978 as a provocation seemingly towards just about everyone, it’s little wonder Derek Jarman’s second feature film, Jubilee, caused such an uproar. The Queen herself is mugged and killed for her crown early on in a Deptford edgeland, the punk movement still then raging over London is unconsciously sent up by some of the very people who were part of it, and the raw mixture of violence, conservative nostalgia, swipes at Catholicism and copious nudity makes it as anarchic as anything the director made afterwards.

Amongst this incredibly heady concoction of both successful and failed attempts at creating a feasible narrative world, however, sits something far more essential; a time-capsule of a period in London’s history when subcultures grew overtly and naturally due to the city’s many affordable, derelict areas.

The film begins with Elizabeth I (Jenny Runacre) and her alchemist, Dr. John Dee (Richard O’Brien), who conjures forth Ariel (David Brandon), William Shakespeare’s magical being from The Tempest. Thanks to Ariel’s powers imbued into a crystal, the trio travel forward through the cascading years, from the sixteenth-century to a brutal, dystopian vision of 1970s London. The city is ravaged but alive, the streets housing violent groups of punk girl-gangs who fend off police harassment and cause mayhem. Prams are burning and people are killed whilst bands, including Adam And The Ants and Siouxsie And The Banshees, play endlessly on television. Ritual violence is spreading as is this new form of music, ready to be co-opted by financial maniacs to sell to a brainwashed youth; providing further wealth to buy up the newly empty Buckingham Palace and turn it into a recording studio. The film is perhaps more famous for its string of cameos: Adam Ant, The Slits smashing up a car, Toyah Willcox playing Mad and too many others to name. But it’s more than the sum of its pop-culture reference points.

• Continue reading at The Quietus.

The Guardian: Your Questions Answered on Punk, Rabbits…

January 26th, 2018

guardian18aToyah Willcox webchat – your questions answered on punk, rabbits and fighting for her back catalogue

The singer and actor, who is starring in a stage version of Derek Jarman’s Jubilee, on her bucket list, how she’d explain punk to aliens and what she’d like for her 60th birthday

This has been great fun! It’s enlightening to hear your questions. Thank you so much for your time. Let’s do it again! And come and see Jubilee at the Lyric Hammersmith from 15 Feb to 10 March. Be prepared to be offended, to laugh til you hurt, to shed tears at the sheer brilliance and beauty of it.

• Continue reading at The Guardian.

The Guardian: Toyah Willcox Webchat

January 19th, 2018

guardian18aThe singer and actor, who is starring in a stage version of Derek Jarman’s punk movie Jubilee, will answer your questions at 1.30pm GMT on Monday 22 January

Toyah Willcox is not a woman to be pinned down. A singer, actor, TV presenter and stock market magnate, she has been a permanent fixture in British culture since the age of 19, when she played flame-haired pyromaniac Mad in Derek Jarman’s 1978 punk film Jubilee.

Since then, she has recorded 24 albums and had 13 Top 40 singles, including It’s a Mystery and I Want to Be Free. She has also appeared in more than 40 plays and 15 films, including Quadrophenia, The Ebony Tower (opposite Laurence Olivier) and The Corn is Green (with Katharine Hepburn). On TV, she’s been a religious affairs reporter for The Heaven and Earth Show, narrated Teletubbies and done a stint on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!

Now, she is returning to Jubilee in a new stage adaptation at the Lyric Hammersmith in London. She takes on the role of the time-travelling queen who arrives in a dystopia where a new generation seethes with anger at the establishment. “At the time it was made, it was utterly outrageous,” Willcox has said of the original film, describing it as a story of “women who are trying to kind of kill everything that controls them or that has exploited them … It’s a very resonant story today. Nothing’s changed except the technology.”

• Continue reading at The Guardian.

Daily Mail: Toyah Answers Our Most Probing Questions

February 20th, 2017

dailymail17d‘People expect me to be tall after seeing me with that big hair’: Toyah Willcox gives her definitive answers to our most probing questions

We ask a celebrity a set of devilishly probing questions – and only accept THE definitive answer. This week it’s actress and singer Toyah Willcox’s turn

The prized possession you value above all others… My notebooks. I think very fast and visually and I have to write down an idea right away or it will be lost forever.

The biggest regret you wish you could amend… Not learning the piano and guitar when I was really young. The height of a child’s learning is before ten, so I missed out.

The book that holds an everlasting resonance… Keith Richards’ autobiography Life. I love how he’s lived life to the full on his own terms.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Woman for a day… I’d steal the fat cats’ bonuses and pay off all student loans.

• Continue reading at the Daily Mail.

Daily Mail: Toyah Willcox Stuns On Stage

January 31st, 2017

dailymail17aToyah featured in another slightly odd article by the Daily Mail yesterday. A great selection of photos, though, from Saturday’s Loving The 80s gig in Warrington.

Toyah Willcox, 58, puts on an eye-popping display as she slips into figure-flaunting one-piece for performance

Her punk sartorial displays became iconic throughout the eighties.

Although working a more demure style three decades on, singer Toyah Willcox still managed to pay tribute to her racy ensembles of yesteryear as she stepped out in a very revealing blue body on Saturday. The 58-year-old songstress was sure to flaunt her ample assets in the figure-flaunting number as she performed her classic Loving The 80′s at Parr Hall in Warrington.

The jersey cobalt blue one-piece hinted at her undergarments as she wowed the crowds with her vocal talents while showcasing her petite frame in a waist cinching navy midi skirt. Not aware of her ample display, she continued her quirky style as she accessorised her stage attire with head-turning gold cuffs that worked their way up her forearms, while wrapping a matching futuristic collar that rested above her bust. Adding height to her diminutive frame, she slipped on a pair of black heeled boots alongside her black denier tights.

Despite being known for her ever changing ‘do in the eighties, Toyah left her glossy locks blonde for the evening’s proceedings as her trademark fringe accentuated her youthful complexion. Toyah completed her beauty look with a dusting of bronzer across her cheeks while she worked a dramatic smokey eye for the electrifying performance. The Anthem hitmaker’s appearance comes after she revealed the unorthdox secret to keeping her 30 year marriage alive, admitting that she and her husband have separate houses.

• Continue reading at the Daily Mail. (Photos © Jules Annan/Barcroft Media)

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Cornfield Publishing: An Interview with Toyah Willcox

January 24th, 2017

80sinvasion17bThis month our Content Editor, Charlie O’Neill had the chance to catch up with Toyah Willcox ahead of the ‘80’s Invasion Tour’.

Firstly, Happy New Year. Did you have a nice Christmas? What did you get up to over the festive period?

TOYAH: Thank you and the same to you! I had the best Christmas ever, it was absolutely lovely. We were both home from a year of touring. And, we just had family time and for me that’s what Christmas always will be. It was very gentle and perfect. It’s the only time of year, where no matter what happens, whatever distractions, and you always make room for family. Its catch up time.

Do you have any New Years resolutions set or any goals you are aiming to achieve this year?

TOYAH: My New Years resolutions usually go into about 3 pages of dialogue with myself! Basically, I just want to keep developing and moving forward. I don’t want to just rest on my laurels. So, my new years resolutions are always linked to creative writing, painting, developing ideas and examining ideas, brining them into fruition. My New Years resolutions are always boringly predictable, but they are for me, nagging myself to hit my goals.

• Continue reading the interview at Cornfield Publishing.

Louder Than War: Interview: Jordan Mooney

January 19th, 2017

ltwjm17aInterview: Jordan Mooney : the iconic face of punk on then and now and Star Trek

Certainly personifying and symbolizing the face of “Punk” from a female point of view, “Jordan” caused a sophisticated anarchy that revolutionized equality in music for women at a time when it pretended to be a male profession. Beyond that she was, and still is a, heroine who dares to evoke the threat of imagination. Jordan defied sensibility and at the same time defined it.

Celebrated for her audacious fashion sense, her musical abilities, and her courageous and tantalizing artistic view, Jordan was privy to the most sacred Punk bands to ever emerge, including a close relationship with “The Sex Pistols”. She was also the very first manager of “Adam and the Ants”. She had a supreme role in Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s SEX boutique, and starred as the lead in one of the most impacting films of the time, Derek Jarman’s ” Jubilee”.

• Continue reading at Louder Than War. View details on Jordan in Conversation, with John Robb, taking place at Home Cinema, Manchester on Saturday 21st January, here.

Mysterious Girl: Toyah talks to Northern Soul

December 14th, 2016

northernsoul16a“There is a mindset when it comes to competitive combat and I think I might have that.”

Toyah Willcox will always be associated with early 80s pop, punk and new romanticism – and that’s no bad thing. With her flaming sunset hair, rebellious lyrics and tribal synths, she is unforgettable. But what isn’t always remembered is that this versatile all-rounder has acted opposite greats like Sir Laurence Olivier and Katharine Hepburn, worked for directors like George Cukor and Derek Jarman, and had success in children’s TV as Barmy Aunt Boomerang and as a narrator of Teletubbies.

Nevertheless, the call of the 80s is hard to resist and so, next Spring, Toyah will join Paul Young, Martika and China Crisis for the 80s Invasion tour. It’s a tempting proposition. But I wonder if Toyah’s boundless energy is still in good supply.

“That enthusiasm is just a natural part of who I am,” she says. “I don’t believe in working on anything half-heartedly. If people are good enough to work with you, you have to give them 150 per cent in return. You can’t become an actress and have limitations or boundaries, that just feels contradictory to me. Diversity is a very rewarding thing because you see different aspects of human life and come into contact with things that you would never have otherwise discovered. As a writer, that’s vital for me because we all tend to live in a bit of a bubble. With Teletubbies I was doing a favour for a friend who never thought it would ever see the light of day. Of course she couldn’t have been more wrong as it became one of the BBC‘s most successful programmes.”

• Continue reading at Northern Soul.

DM/Event: Toyah Willcox Reveals Her Cultural Favourites

October 10th, 2016

dmrk13a‘Of current artists, I love FKA Twigs. She blows me away’: Punk queen Toyah Willcox reveals her cultural favourites

Which former punk queen’s taste ranges from Bilbo Baggins to Bill and Ben, from Henry V to Half A Sixpence? It’s a mystery no more…

My movie magic

Growing up in Birmingham, my mum would take my sister, brother and me to see musicals like The Sound Of Music, Half A Sixpence, or My Fair Lady at the big theatres. They were very formative cinematic experiences.

A film I can watch over and over again is the 2007 Sean Penn-directed movie, Into The Wild. I am passionate about hill-walking, and going off into nature on my own.

• Continue reading at the Daily Mail/Event.