80s hitmaker Toyah hits the road 

Singer Toyah Willcox has joined other stars from the 1980s on the Hitmakers Tour, taking in several UK venues. 

Toyah, who had hits with 'It's A Mystery' and 'I Want To Be Free', says the music is a hit with everyone: "My generation are the generation that did not grow up", says the 48-year-old musician, actress and presenter. "Obviously we have the original fans and their children as well, but the audience is getting younger, thanks to things like MTV." 

The Hitmakers Tour comes hot on the heels of a resurgence in the popularity of 80s music and fashion - something Toyah is revelling in. 

"The music has come up big time with a younger generation," she says. "They can remember the 80s but can't remember the bad days of politics around then. They just remember the music." 

Toyah, who rose to fame in the late 1970s and 1980s, says she is enjoying her music career as she begins the Hitmakers Tour of the UK. 

"These days I just go out and enjoy it," says Toyah, who has scored several Top 40 hits. "In the last 12 months I have had 10 re-released albums and they are now in all the major record shops. It's more fun now because I'm not having to churn out hit after hit... it was back breaking." 

Toyah starred in ITV's I'm A Celebrity... in 2003. "I was expecting a bit of a rest, a bit of sunshine, but it was freezing. I was starving and covered in leeches. I'm sure the audience think we go off to a hotel for a meal every night and have a nice bath. You don't. You stink. it was tough. I don't envy anyone going on it now - In fact I get a thrill out of knowing what they are going to be going through!" 

Toyah says she enjoys the fame her career has brought. She has been in the public eye since the laste 1970s when her music and film career first took off. 

"I'm a big fan of attention and I don't have a problem with being in magazines, and I play the celebrity game anyway. But I'm a woman over the age of 30, and I have an established career, so don't have that terrible intrusion." 

Toyah says she would not want to be starting today: "I think it's different today. in my day there were independent record labels and you could be very successful with them. To have longevity these days you have to be very talented, and I'm not sure the labels are promoting longevity. 

"The music industry is going through a huge change, and I don't think anyone is sure how it is going to play out." 

BBC Ceefax
16th October 2006
Thanks to Zoe Clow