Jul 3, 2015

  AAAAAAAAH still 33 (Toyah Willcox as Barbara)


HELLO THERE! I am so excited!!!!!

AHHHHHHH! will premiere at the FILM4 FRIGHTFEST on 28 August, at Leicester Square.

The cast, myself and Steve Oram will be doing a Q&A at the opening. I will be popping up here and there with Steve when the film tours cinemas in the UK in the autumn.

There will also be news about EXTREMIS this year too….more to come.

Thanks to both films I enter new territory as an actress in 2016…more to come!!!!

And……… I am back writing with Simon Darlow.


The music we are coming up with is blisteringly exhilarating.  On our first day in the studio this week we put three ideas down, straight out of the blue and they sound great. Edgy, high energy and very rocky……almost punkish.  Really Simon and I should be writing all the time, we have a synergy, an ESP, which is rare and wonderful. When we write the ideas flow effortlessly.

We have now been writing together for 37 yrs.

 Hopefully Simon will have more time to offer once his political duties ease up….he is running all over the world improving conditions for writers and tackling pirating and free downloading/streaming as Deputy Chairman of PRS. These issues are so important as massive companies manage to wangle out of paying artists any royalties.

For artists like me the internet is a God send but it would be great to earn a living from what is out there! Thank goodness I have a “live performance” career to pay the bills!

Last week I played the London Palladium with John Shuttleworth. The last and only other time I was on the Palladium stage was to perform ECHO BEACH on JIMMY TARBUCK LIVE FROM THE PALLADIUM. This was a live Sunday night variety show, which went out on ITV in 1987.

I remember it well because the dancers with me had to pull off a secretarial style skirt to reveal a rah-rah skirt and one of the dancers on the night was too zealous and tore my tights and cut my thigh with his nails, all very nerve wracking on live TV, this was then followed by a typically sexist remake off the host as I left the stage “I don’t care what anyone says about her legs I think they are great.”

These remarks have been commonplace over a 40yr career.

One of the most astounding and funniest was after a free show in KINGS LYNN MARKET PLACE where 15,000 people took the town over to see me. (2000 were expected). After 2 power cuts and an astoundingly successful and mind-blowing show the town councillor who was compering walked on stage took my mic off me and said “next year we will have a bigger and better name”……I grabbed the microphone back off him and said in no uncertain terms he was lucky to have me there.

John Shuttleworth’s show was great fun, as you’d expect. Gordon Giltrap, Chas Hodges (Chas and Dave) Bill Bailey to name a few were all brilliant. To be back on this stage singing live with the wonderful Chris Wong and Colin Hinds with me was exhilarating and erased the “tights nightmare” from my emotional memory.

Last week I was in France. My home there has become the one place I can go to where people do not walk in and disturb my creative thinking. Here in England my home with Robert has become like a train station, you never know who is in the house at what time, this drives me bonkers because when I write I don’t want casual conversations about anything.

So I escaped to France for a week to write a song for a film. I arrived at my apartment late, about 10pm and ran out to get provisions……shops were closed but there was a midsummer-night music festival on through the night which meant I could get ICE CREAM! Yipeee!

So standing in a non existent queue (the French don’t believe in queuing)  there was a boy of about 10 in front of me. He turned and looked at me and screamed and ran off with his concerned mother in pursuit. The boy was Italian and I could understand some of what he was saying. He was terrified of me and his mother was telling him to calm down in case I understood what I was saying.

chris wong colin hinds palladiumHe was refusing to come back to the queue and be anywhere near me. This made me paranoid and I wondered what had been on TV lately, as the French/Italian watch the BBC, so I am not always anonymous when I am in France.

 So I ordered my ice cream in Italian so they knew I understood them and I walked away perplexed. On asking my business partner out there, who has two daughters who have similar skin/hair to me it appears people of my skin type….olive skin, green eyes and strawberry blonde hair are considered to be Vampires.

The boy genuinely thought I was a vampire! 

My business partner said she has to shoo people away from her daughters who stare at them in fascination.

 SO….I finally get back to the UK, after a riot at NICE airport which meant I had to walk down a motorway with my luggage and through a barricade of taxi-drivers to get into the terminal. Fly to Gatwick (this took an hour and a half) then sit on the M25 for three hours and a further 3 hours to Worcestershire (I could have walked quicker) to where my husband and Bill Rieflin are awaiting my arrival.

I tell Bill the story of the boy screaming and running away from me, to which Bill replied:
“The boy was Italian? He thought you were the dwarf in DON’T LOOK NOW”.

Summer is here, I am going to make the most of it because I have a feeling the next 18months are going to be a roller coaster.

I hope to see you at REWIND. I am hosting CHESTER and PERTH, singing at Perth too!