Posts Tagged ‘Birmingham Mail’

Birmingham Mail: 30 Celebrities from Birmingham

March 11th, 2017

bmail14a30 celebrities you didn’t know were from Birmingham

We take a look at the stars whose connections to the city are not as well-publicised as the likes of Ozzy Osbourne – how many of these did you know had links to Birmingham?

By now, virtually everyone must be aware that Ozzy Osbourne hails from Birmingham, as are all the other members of Black Sabbath including Tony Iommi.

Other famous faces with widely-documented links to the city include comedians Jasper Carrott and Tony Hancock, actor David Harewood (star of American drama Homeland), plus musicians Jeff Lynne, Bev Bevan, Roy Wood, Rob Halford, Toyah Willcox, Jamelia and reggae singer Pato Banton. And of course Duran Duran and girl group Fuzzbox were founded here too.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail.

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Birmingham Mail: Toyah Willcox Awarded a Star on Broad Street

December 12th, 2016

bmail16dQuadrophenia star and singer Toyah Willcox awarded a star on Broad Street

The Kings Heath born singer and actress was awarded a star on Birmingham’s Walk of Stars in Broad Street.

Singer and actress Toyah Willcox was last night Sunday December 11, awarded a star on Birmingham’s Walk of Stars in Broad Street. The 58 year old was awarded the star along with Brum born comedian Don Maclean who appeared in BBC television series Crackerjack with Michael Aspel, Peter Glaze and Jan Hunt in the 1970s.

The pair were awarded their stars during a special show hosted by Walk of Stars’ chairman Jasper Carrott at the Birmingham Rep Theatre. Toyah who was born in Kings Heath, shot to fame playing Monkey in the 1979 cult classic Quadrophenia. She also had a successful music career spanning 30 years including hits “It’s a Mystery”, “Thunder in the Mountains” and “I Want to Be Free” as well as 20 top selling albums. Toyah studied at Old Rep Drama School in Birmingham.

Looking back at her time there she said: “Already by then I was known in Birmingham for being the oddball that walked around with dyed hair. And you’ve got to remember that this is pre-punk, this was about 1973–74” At the event Toyah said “ I’m so proud and so excited. All my friends,family and fans are here. I feel Birmingham has done me proud today. I’m very grateful thank you.”

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail. View a great collection of photos from the Birmingham Walk of Stars event at Flickr. (Photo © Birmingham Mail)


Birmingham Mail: Broad Street’s Walk of Stars

November 23rd, 2016

bmail16bDon Maclean and Toyah Willcox to be honoured on Broad Street’s Walk of Stars

Panto dame and punk princess are to be given Broad Street stars at same ceremony

Punk princess Toyah Willcox and panto dame Don Maclean are the latest celebrities to be given a star on Birmingham’s Walk of Stars in Broad Street.

The pair will be awarded their stars during a special show hosted by Walk of Stars’ chairman Jasper Carrott at the Birmingham Rep from 2.30pm on Sunday, December 11. As well as performing at the show, Toyah and Don will receive their stars from Birmingham City Council leader Coun John Clancy.

More than 30 celebrities and achievers have been recognised with a star on Broad Street since Ozzy Osbourne received the first one on July 6, 2007.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail.

Birmingham Mail: International Women’s Day 2016

March 8th, 2016

bmail14a24 influential women who make you proud to be from the Midlands

On International Women’s Day here’s a look at some of those who inspire us from Birmingham and the West Midlands

Toyah Willcox: from Kings Heath, is a singer with a career spanning more than thirty years. Known for her shocking hair and individual style.

Willcox has enjoyed eight Top 40 singles, released over 20 albums, written two books, appeared in 40 stage plays and 10 films. She has also presented numerous television shows. Between 1977 and 1983 she fronted the band Toyah, before going solo. She has a star on the Kings Heath Walk of Fame.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail. (Photo © Birmingham Mail)


Birmingham Mail: Toyah Willcox On New Film Aaaaaaaah!

October 6th, 2015

bmail15aToyah Willcox on why she wasn’t terrified of the sex scenes in new film Aaaaaaaah!

Former teenage rebel stars in new film where the actors resort to grunting rather than words

Hell hath no fury like a woman with a frying pan in her hand when men are being stupid. But if you asked Toyah Willcox’s latest film character Barbara what she’s doing with it, you might not be able to understand her answer.

In the directorial debut of Sightseers’ actor and comedy star Steve Oram, the cast began with a script in English and then threw it away after breaking the words down into grunts. The result is Aaaaaaaah! – the year’s most original comedy horror, about a dysfunctional community who seem to be taking the human race backwards in south London. Although the actors look like humans and the film is a study of the human condition, the characters on screen behave and grunt like apes.

With Toyah playing a community leader called Barbara, the story is about men’s relationships with each other and the opposite sex while trying to reach for alpha-male status. While it’s a rare 18-certificate movie with no bad language, the 79-minute film is peppered with explicit and sometimes violent sexual scenes which include dismemberment.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail.


Birmingham Mail: Birmingham Pride 2015

June 2nd, 2015

bmail14aBirmingham Pride kicks off 2015 summer calendar of gay prides

Birmingham Pride brought festival fever into the heart of Brum on Spring Bank Holiday with a party packed with pop stars from every decade.

Jimmy Somerville, Heather Small, Atomic Kitten, Jess Glynne, Example, Ms Dynamite, Toyah, Bucks Fizz, Limahl and a whole host of other acts performed in the Gay Village in one of the best ever line-ups for the event. Birmingham also has one of the best Pride line-ups in the UK.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail.

Birmingham Mail: Rula Lenska ‘I Saw Dead People’

January 13th, 2015

bmail15b‘I saw dead people’ – actress Rula Lenksa on her terrifying moment inside Toyah Willcox’s haunted house

The Celebrity Big Brother star is coming to Birmingham Hippodrome in spooky new play The Frozen Scream

The lights went out and the next thing Rula Lenksa knew, she was huddled in the corner, hysterically crying with fear. The terrifying experience happened in the Worcestershire home of singer Toyah Willcox, which Rula believes is haunted.

Such ghost stories are now uppermost in her mind as she stars in the spooky new play The Frozen Scream at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Rula, 67, remembers that Birmingham singer Toyah invited her to her 17th century house in Pershore to take part in the satellite TV series called Living with the Dead.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail.

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Birmingham Mail: Nostalgia: Millennium Memories 15 Years On

January 13th, 2015

bmail14aNostalgia: Millennium memories 15 years on – do you remember when we partied like it was 1999?

It’s been 15 years since the turn of the new millennium. We take a look back on the day Birmingham welcomed in a new year with a difference.

Can you believe it’s really been 15 years since we celebrated the new millennium?

Were you there in Centenary Square on that electric, if not a little rainy, night when Birmingham partied like it was 1999? Thousands of people turned out, bearing umbrellas, big 2000 hats and silly glasses, wigs and costumes to add to the party atmosphere. They paid up to £100 each for a ticket.

Toyah Willcox took to the stage too to help raise funds for the project, which even had the backing of the then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail.

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Birmingham Mail: Toyah Rocks On At Symphony Hall

July 3rd, 2014

bmail14eToyah Willcox is joining the Midland members of Rock Choir for two performances at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.

Toyah Willcox is taking to the stage in her home city – along with a 1,000-strong choir.

The actress and singer, who grew up in Kings Heath, is joining the Midland members of Rock Choir for two performances at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. She is taking on the gig after making friends with Caroline Redman Lusher, the founder of Rock Choir which featured on the ITV series The Choir That Rocks.

The pair were introduced by Simon Darlow, chairman of BASCA – the British Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. All three of them have written a new song which will be unveiled at the Symphony Hall gigs.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail.

Birmingham Mail: King’s Heath Walk Of Fame

June 3rd, 2014

bmail14dLook: Toyah Willcox’s Kings Heath walk of fame star is dug up

Only plaque laid on tribute pavement put into storage as Ritz Ballroom site is redeveloped

The only star laid on Kings Heath’s walk of fame has been dug up and put into storage. The tribute, to singer Toyah Willcox, was removed from its spot outside the old Ritz Ballroom in York Road after the iconic venue was gutted in a fire.

And two other stars, commissioned in honour of musician Trevor Burton and the late Olympic cyclist Tommy Godwin, have never been laid at all. Bob Prew, from the Walk of Stars scheme, said: “We were advised to remove Toyah’s star for safekeeping after the fire.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail. Toyah was included in their main page slideshow.

Birmingham Mail: 42 Reasons To Be Proud Of Birmingham

May 28th, 2014

bmail14aA new article at the Birmingham Mail, celebrating all that’s great about the city.

As our Pride of Birmingham awards are launched, we take a look at the city’s many achievements and claims to fame

11. MUSIC: Birmingham is the birthplace of heavy metal, with Black Sabbath and Judas Priest coming from the city. Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi – born and raised in Handsworth – shaped the sound when he learned to play guitar in a different way following an industrial accident that removed the tips of two of his fingers. He tuned the guitar down and relied on power chords, something guitarist Terry Butler also did – and together they produced the classic sound of metal. The later metal bands Napalm Death and Godflesh are also from Birmingham.

Also from the city are Dave Pegg (Jethro Tull, Fairport Convention), Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), and Blaze Bayley (Wolfsbane). Other music acts from Birmingham include ELO, Duran Duran, UB40, The Moody Blues, Fuzzbox, Ocean Colour Scene, The Move, Toyah Willcox, Joan Armatrading, Dexys Midnight Runners, Ruby Turner, Fine Young Cannibals, The Streets, Musical Youth, Jamelia and Pato Banton.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail.

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Birmingham Mail: Doctor Who’s A Real Turn-On

November 19th, 2013


Toyah talks Doctor Who, in a new article by the Birmingham Mail/Sunday Mercury, ahead of its 50th Anniversary episode this weekend. (Text originally published in Behind The Sofa)

Brummie chart star turned stage singer Toyah Willcox admits that she can’t wait for Saturday’s big Doctor Who special.

Brummie chart star turned stage singer Toyah Willcox admits that she can’t wait for Saturday’s big Doctor Who special. Because she’s TURNED ON by the telly Time Lord, who’ll be played in the 50th anniversary adventure by no fewer than three actors.

Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt will all appear as incarnations of Britain’s best-loved sci-fi star – and viewers may also be treated to fleeting glimpses of all the other Doctors who have graced the Tardis over the years.

And that’s great news for Toyah, 55, who was born in Kings Heath. “When I was a ratty pubescent teen I started to find the whole concept of Doctor Who highly erotic,” she admits. “And I still do!” The singer says that the show played a big part in her Second City childhood. “Haven’t we all hidden behind the sofa when Doctor Who was on the telly?” she asks.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail/Sunday Mercury.

Toyah Newsy Bits & Pieces!

October 15th, 2013


The Toyah Willcox Interview Archive: There’s now a full transcript of Toyah’s ‘ne1fm’ radio interview, which aired yesterday, at the Archive – Visit here…

Birmingham Mail: Music Memories: Midlands gigs and UK pop charts from October 15, 1983: Also hitting stores this week 30 years ago was Toyah’s new album Love Is The Law. A tour was on the cards for Toyah but for the moment the Birmingham punk singer was in France filming a TV adaptation of John Fowles’ short story The Ebony Tower, alongside Sir Laurence Olivier and Greta Scacchi – Continue reading…

Brum: Toyah briefly mentions Brum in the above ‘ne1fm’ interview so now is as good a time as any to post a link to this page dedicated to the BBC series, full of facts and trivia – Visit here…

Those We Left Behind: Post Apocalypse XXVI – Toyah and Post Apocalyptic Skater Chic in ‘Rebel Run’ and ‘Love is the Law’ (1983): Looking for all the world like she had rocked up in some Italian Post Apocalypse ‘epic’ (The New Barbarians, 2019 After the Fall of New York, Exterminators of the Year 3000 etc), this is Toyah, in 1983, promoting her single ‘Rebel Run’ and the accompanying album ‘Love is the Law’ – Continue reading…

Twitter/Instagram: Keep up to date with all things Love Is The Law & More by following Toyah at Twitter and Instagram. There’s sure to be updates from Toyah during the tour.

Titania Girl!: Personally I don’t think so but there are a few people (mainly on Twitter) of the opinion that the lovely Sheridan Smith looks sort of Toyah-esque as Titania in the new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, currently playing at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End. (NB: Toyah has also played Titania, as well as Hippolyta and Hermia in various productions of the play). View the photo here…

Birmingham Mail: Who Will Be The Next Star?

April 12th, 2013

Could Toyah be the next star on another Midlands “Walk of Fame”? There’s a possibility it may happen.

Who will be the next star on the Birmingham Broad Street Walk of fame?

Front-runners include athlete Denise Lewis, members of Duran Duran, TV presenter Cat Deeley, singer Toyah Willcox – and surely there must be a place for Led Zeppelin soon.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail.

King’s Heath Walk Of Fame: News on Fire

March 30th, 2013

Further news reports and articles on the fire, and aftermath in King’s Heath earlier this week. To summarise; the building was detroyed beyond repair and will be demolished. The Civic Society Musical Heritage Plate and Toyah’s star both have survived the blaze, seem to be in reasonable condition and will be removed from the site today and tomorrow. (Thanks to Bob Prew)

BBC News: Kings Heath remembers Ritz Ballroom following fire.

Birmingham Mail: Kings Heath Walk of Stars to go ahead despite savage fire at famous former music venue: Kings Heath resident Trevor Burton, a founding member of 1960s rock band The Move, is due to be the second celebrity inducted onto the Walk in June, following Toyah Willcox.

Leicester Bangs: Legendary gig venue destroyed in Birmingham Kings Heath fire: A Kings Heath Walk of Fame, honouring the area’s musical and comedy heritage, had also been planned to start outside the building with a star marking singer Toyah Willcox.

King’s Heath Walk Of Fame: “Fire at Kings Heath Venue where The Beatles one played”.

Learning To Say Nothing: Burning down the house…: It would seem that living in this part of Birmingham is rapidly becoming a hazardous business.