|60 Second Interview
Birmingham-born singer, actress and TV presenter
Toyah Willcox, 43, first came to fame as the punk movement's 'short girl
with a lisp' in the late 1970's. Star of films Quadrophenia and Jubilee,
she had hits with songs including It's A Mystery and I Want To Be Free,
and has since fronted TV shows from The Good Sex Guide Late to The Heaven
And Earth Show. She is married to fellow musician Robert Fripp.
What's your favourite job?
Making movies, because I like the whole event.
It's like you're in a circus and you're on the move.
Does that stem from making music videos?
It was before that, when I worked with Derek
Jarman in Jubilee. Then I went on to do George Cukor's TV film The Corn
Is Green - with Katherine Hepburn - and I fell in love with the complete
focus you have when you're working on a film. Nothing else exists and I
find that rather lovely.
How influenced were you by youth culture in your
choice of career?
Hugely. When you're young, youth culture is all
that exists - you don't think about anything else. The punk movement influenced
me, the mod not so much as I was too much into punk. The films at the time
like Scum, Quadrophenia, Breaking Glass...they were all youth culture films
and we all wanted to be in them.
Was Hazel Oconnor (star of Breaking Glass) a rival?
Back then, I considered her a rival, but we're
more like friends now. We moved in completely different directions. The
press would play us off against each other but that was not just between
me and Hazel, it was also between me and Paula Yates and virtually every
female on the planet. We were all enemies. I think we've all smartened
up now and don't fall for those tricks.
Do you look at your old videos and cringe?
No, I don't cringe at anything I've ever done.
I'm proud of everything.
Do you still listen to your old punk albums?
No, I haven't got the time any more.
If you recorded a song today, what would it be
I kind of like electro/techno/pop at the moment.
Kylie has hit the bullseye with her latest song. It's very 'of the moment'.
What's on your CD player?
PJ Harvey's Stories From The City, Stories From
The Sea, and Music by Madonna.
What's your health routine?
I insist on eight hours sleep a night, I don't
drink alcohol, tea or coffee. I'm a
vegetarian so I always eat fruit and veg and
I do about an hour's aerobic exercise a day.
How spiritual are you?
Not as much as I used to be. I used to be so
much more but I found I've become more and more distracted by work. That's
what keeps me going - I just enjoy my work. I've never wanted a family
in my life. A lot of people put family as a priority but I don't, which
means I have an awful lot of time on my hands to work in.
Who's been your biggest influence?
I still carry a real torch for David Bowie's
work. I also like Steven Spielberg's work, even though he can really miss
the mark sometimes. When he gets it right though, you never forget what
What did you think of AI?
I loved the last half hour, I thought it was
sensational, but would have liked him to edit the first hour and a half
And have you met Bowie?
No - my husband has done some work with him but
I have yet to meet him myself.
What's your biggest vice?
What's your best quality?
I haven't got a clue - perseverance, possibly.
What's been your most embarrassing moment?
I often lose my temper with people because I
take the wrong meaning from something. People call me the rottweiler -
there have been times where I actually put my fists up to someone when
they haven't done what I thought they'd done. I'm immensely embarrassed
Do you apologise after?
Yes (laughs) - but it's often too late.
What's your motto?
Don't dream it, be it. It's from the Rocky Horror
What would your epitaph be?
She came, she lisped, she left.
4th November 2001
Thanks to Tiff Davidson