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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 07:51 GMT 08:51 UK
Talking Shop: Toyah Willcox
Singer, actress and TV presenter Toyah Willcox is currently touring the UK with fellow 1980s stars Martin Fry of ABC and Howard Jones on The Hitmakers Tour, taking in venues across the UK.

Toyah, 48, had hits with It's A Mystery and I Want To Be Free, in the 1980s, and has gone on to carve out an eclectic career in entertainment.


Toyah Willcox
Toyah's acting career includes a role in the 1979 film Quadrophenia

What kind of people come along to watch the shows?

Our kind of music is loved by everyone. Obviously we have the original fans and their children as well, but the audience is getting younger, thanks to things like MTV.

My generation is the generation that did not grow up and the music has come up big time with a younger generation.

They can remember the 1980s, but can't remember the bad days of politics around then. They just remember the music.

It just demonstrates the re-emergence of '80s music and its new audience.

What was it like being such a big star in the 1980s?

It was back-breaking! It's more fun now because I'm not having to churn out hit after hit. These days I just go out and enjoy it.

In the last 12 months I have had 10 re-released albums, and they are now in all the major record shops.

I have also been writing for other people - I have just done an album with Suggs - and going back into the studio to write for myself. I like being free to write.

How did you find living in the jungle in 2003's I'm A Celebrity...?

Toyah in 1982
Toyah was well known for her flamboyant look in the 1980s

It was tough. I don't think anyone going on the show realises what they are going to go through.

I was expecting a bit of a rest, a bit of sunshine, but it was freezing, I was starving and covered in leeches. At one point I had seven stuck to me.

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.

I think it's getting tougher too. 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!

What is it like being famous?

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 that some people get.

Would you like to be just starting out your career today?

I think it's very 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.


SEE ALSO
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20 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Talking Shop: Rogue Traders
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Talking Shop: Peter Mayle
13 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Talking Shop: Jon Farriss of INXS
12 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Talking Shop: Sandi Thom
04 Oct 06 |  Entertainment

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