AT HOME PEOPLE:  TOYAH'S TREASURES 

Fresh from her 80s revival tour, Toyah Willcox takes Steven Smith around her London home

You bought the house in West London eight years ago for £117,000. What was it like when you moved in?
An empty shell and a garden that had seen better days. I couldn't wait to get started on the place. I'm a DIY queen and don't like builders and decorators getting their hands on my property. I painted the walls in a warm yellow and bought the floors from the old Sadlers Wells Theatre, which means stars of the Royal Ballet have actually danced on my living room floor! The whole place is now worth between £500,000 and £600,000, but I have no plans to sell it.

Why did you choose Chiswick?
Fate! It used to be a record company office. The owner ran into financial difficulties and needed cash quickly. I had the `readies' at the time so, as luck would have it, here I am.

You have other homes, too, but where?
I have a home in San Francisco which I share with my husband, Robert Fripp, who's a rock musician. We're a very close couple but we live apart and can go months without seeing each other. It works so well because we give each other our own space. I have another couple of homes in Worcester. I call one the office, the other my country retreat. I also plan to buy a property in Corfu because I love it there, it's so beautiful. It'll be nice for my parents to use it during their retirement.

We hear you had the place Feng Shui'd?
Yes, I did. Feng Shui is a Chinese art. The basis is living in harmony with our surroundings. The first thing I had to do was remove any cacti from the house as they give off bad energy. They're great outside as they protect the home. I also had to re-paint the black spiral staircase blue as black can cause chaos in the home. Any furniture with sharp edges had to go, too.

How do you relax at home?
I have a beautiful little garden filled with Buddhas and plants. I love to spend time gardening and relaxing. Indoors, I like to read, particularly biographies. I also love to do my aerobics at home - it's more private than going to the gym and I can choose my own music. I work out to Madonna, 

the Chemical Brothers and Fat Boy Slim. I watch TV, especially fly-on- the-wall documentaries. Louis Theroux is great, he came on tour with us. He wanted us to be a whole pile of washed out 80s icons, suffering from depression and alcoholism. When he found that most of us were successful business people he left after three days, never to return.

Where do your knick-knacks come from?
I did BBC's Holiday Programme for a year and collected bits in the Far East. The Buddhas come from Thailand, Malaysia, all over. I'm a Buddhist myself, more of a lapsed one, although I am very spiritual.

At 44, how do you manage to keep in such great shape?
I've never gone down the pop star drink and drugs route - in fact I gave up drinking altogether four years ago as it made me irrational and emotional. I've also given up dairy products and cut my calories down to 1,500 a day. We don't need to eat as much as we get older and excess turns into fat. I can't tell you how good I feel.

You're touring in Calamity Jane. What made you do it?
The theatre is my first love. I was an actress at the National Theatre when I was 18 and I've been waiting to play Calamity all my life. I've learnt to use a whip, a lassoo, even a gun. The cast is full of great youngsters who treat me like a dame of the theatre, which makes me laugh because I still feel 18. I even have Gwyneth Paltrow's bodyguard looking after me. There's talk of taking the show to Broadway, which I would love.

Toyah Willcox's favourite things -
 

BIG BUDDHA
This is the focal point in my garden. I saw it in a garden centre and the owners told me that, if I could lift it, I could have it. I was back an hour later with three guys.

GLITTER ROLLER SKATES
I wore these when I played Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream at Regent's Park Theatre. Puck is meant to fly, but in this modern version I had roller skates and a skateboard.

MOUNTED DISCS
This is great - a fan sent it to me and I love it as it reminds me of all the wacky hairdos I had back in the 80s. It could take days of preparation, with all the hair pieces.

PAN
It was 1981, and I was on my way to record Top Of The Pops as It's A Mystery was a hit. On the way through Harrow, I saw this statue of Pan, the god of music, in a shop window and I made them stop the car. I bought it for £20 and took it to Top Of The Pops with me.

CALAMITY JANE PICTURE
I look so much like my good mate Julie Peasgood in this picture and I just love the fact I'm doing the show.

People Magazine
27th October 2002