Willcox: I've had a facelift... now I want a
tummy tuck and my boobs removed because I can't
Toyah Willcox has
never been afraid to speak her mind, and, now
she's turned 50, the former high priestess of
punk doesn't show any signs of changing.
Married, but without children, Toyah makes a
declaration that would horrify some women.
'I've had a face-lift,
I've had a hormone implant and now I want a
hysterectomy,' she says. 'My husband doesn't want
me to, but I might just have one and not tell
She also admits she'd like
a tummy tuck and, in a shocking revelation, wants
her boobs completely removed because she can't
Toyah likes to shock. She is, by her own
admission, 'a bit of an attention-seeker'. During
her 20s, she was the most outrageous and most
successful punk rocker of her age, with her shock
of bright pink hair and trademark lisp.
But she had a horrific childhood blighted by
illness. Born with a twisted spine, clawed feet,
a clubbed right foot, one leg two inches shorter
than the other and no hip sockets, she endured
years of painful operations and physiotherapy.
Five years ago, she regaled the public with a
gruesome account of the cosmetic surgery she'd
had done in her book, Diary Of A Facelift.
And now she is determined to prove that life
begins at 50, which is partly why she wants a
hysterectomy, to rid herself finally of the
debilitating battle she has had to control
hormonal imbalances in her body.
'My 30s were a nightmare because I was so
uncomfortable. If I could have unzipped myself
and stepped out of my body, I would have done. It
is only recently I discovered I had too much
oestrogen in my body, which meant I was
permanently in physical discomfort.
'So, last year, I had a progesterone implant
surgically inserted and it has revolutionised my
life. It has made me a happy human being again.
'That's why I'm begging my husband to let me have
a hysterectomy because it would completely get
rid of all the bad memories I have of my problems
with my hormones.
But he won't let me. I'd also like a tummy tuck
and, if it was up to me, I would have my boobs
completely removed because I can't bear them.
But, again, he says "No".
That's why, if he goes away on a long tour (her
husband is Robert Fripp - guitarist with the band
King Crimson and an entrepreneur), I might just
have it done anyway and not tell him.'
The absence of children in her marriage doesn't
seem to bother her. Just months after she
married, she underwent a sterilisation op because
she is medically incapable of carrying a child
full-term due to her childhood illnesses.
'Neither Robert nor I pine for the company of a
child. I don't have any contact with children. I
have one nephew who I probably see about once
every five years.'
Then she instantly contradicts herself by saying:
'If something happened to Robert then I might
well adopt. Robert doesn't want children, but if
he died I would feel some kind of social
responsibility to have a child.
'I am very wealthy and I could nurture a child
Indeed, the couple have arranged their will so as
to leave their entire fortune to the
establishment of a musical educational trust for
As a child herself, Toyah says, she and her older
sister Nicola were 'actively discouraged' from
having children by their mother, Barbara, who
clearly resented having to give up her career as
a dancer when she became pregnant at 19 with
Nicola and then Toyah's brother, Kim.
Her complicated relationship with her mother may
have influenced her decision not to become a
mother herself. She hasn't hugged her mother
since she was 12 and can't see it ever happening.
'My mother is not a naturally happy person and is
very complex. She won't allow any of us to touch
her. Not even my father hugs her,' says Toyah.
'And, as a family, we never kiss each other. Yet
we do have a close relationship.
'Until I was seven, I was very close to my mother
because I was so ill and she had to teach me how
to walk and talk. But then she had another child,
a little girl called Fleur, who died.
'When she came home from hospital there was a bit
of a distance between us. It was never talked
'My parents come from that generation where you
just didn't talk about things like that. I think
Mum's parents were hit by a car and killed when
she was 17 - but she has never talked about it.
My father doesn't even know anything about her
Such a repressive environment may explain why
Toyah herself is such an open book and so
Financially, she is wealthy thanks to a series of
canny investments in stocks and shares and
properties in Britain, America and France.
And she is determined to get her own way - as can
be seen in her decision to have a face-lift. Her
husband didn't have any say in the matter.
Toyah didn't tell him she was having the
operation in Paris until she had already paid for
it. Then she asked him to fly from America, where
he spends most of the year, to be with her when
she came round from surgery.
'When the bandages came off, rather than pass
out, he was there having a good look. We spent a
week together in a hotel room in Paris and, to be
honest, it was like the honeymoon we had never
And so ended a phase in what is probably one of
the most bizarre, yet enduring, marriages in
showbusiness. Just seven days after they married
in 1986, Robert returned to America to work and
the couple have lived separate lives on either
side of the Atlantic ever since.
They rarely see each other for more than 12 weeks
'Ours is not a conventional marriage. The longest
I went without seeing him for was for 11 months
in 2000. I did tell him then it had to stop or
our marriage wouldn't work and now we do see more
of each other than we did.
'Neither of us worry about the other being
unfaithful. When I met him, he had a reputation
for being a womaniser, but that's a 30-year-old
reputation, so it's not something I worry about
now. As for me, men are terrified of me.
'I am the most pig stubborn, independent power
player you could meet, so I just won't play any
of their games.
'To be honest, all my male friends are gay. I am
the ultimate fag hag!'
When Toyah had her face-lift, there were
suggestions that she did it to stop Robert from
straying. She dismisses the idea. 'Cosmetic
surgery is not going to stop a wanderer
wandering,' she says, contemptuously.
In fact, she is open about her reasons for having
a face-lift. After she appeared on ITV's I'm A
Celebrity, Jonathan Ross commented that she
looked so awful she shouldn't be allowed to
appear on television. Instead of being angry, she
looked at footage of herself and agreed.
'It was a wake-up call. In this business, I
accept that 95 per cent of it is about how you
look, which is why I had a face-lift.'
Whether it is down to the facelift, Toyah
certainly seems to be in demand. She has just
finished recording an album of new music and has
20 dates left of a countrywide tour.
She is also writing for other singers and will be
seen again as the mother of the prostitute played
by Billie Piper in the second series of TV's
Secret Diary Of A Call Girl.
Whatever issues she may have had with her parents
are firmly in the past. They now live in a
cottage bought by Toyah about half a mile away
from her house. Her 88-year-old father, Beric,
often boats down the river to see his daughter.
It is an idyllic picture - a lifetime away from
her punk past and somewhere she can contemplate
her next age-defying piece of surgery.