Toyah Willcox remembers trying to beat up Adam Ant: “I was a terrible scrapper”

"I had a reputation for sticking up for myself"

Toyah Willcox has recalled an altercation with Adam Ant on the set of Derek Jarman’s iconic punk film Jubilee.

Discussing her debut appearance on Top Of The Pops in 1981 for NME‘s ‘Does Rock ‘n’ Roll Kill Braincells?!’ feature, Willcox recalled being on the same bill as Ant. “Even though I knew Adam Ant and had done Jubilee with him, I was still star-struck by the whole event,” she said.

Asked about whether rumours about her once trying to beat Ant up were true, she added: “Yes! He formed a band for Jubilee that was needed in a scene called the Maneaters – I was the singer for it, and Adam’s wife, Eve, was the bassist. The problem was, I was too individualistic and I already had the Toyah Band.


“They said they needed to get a singer who was more feminine and melded in. And there was an altercation but Derek Jarman stood between us holding me at arm’s length laughing his head off! I was a terrible scrapper, but I had to be a scrapper in Birmingham. I had a reputation for sticking up for myself so there weren’t too many fights!”

Elsewhere, Willcox discussed the future of her lockdown YouTube series with husband Robert Fripp of King Crimson, which sees the pair performing flamboyant cover versions of classic track.

“We’re developing Toyah and Robert into a bigger brand. The aim is to make our site more like a TV station,” she said. We’ve loved making the content and we’re going to take it a lot further. There will be a product line, but also it’s going to start to run like Toyah and Robert TV. It’s going to become educational in a very unique way.”

The duo’s recent performances have included covers of The Who’s ‘My Generation’, Sex Pistols’ ‘Pretty Vacant’, System Of A Down’s ‘Chop Suey‘, and Aerosmith’s ‘Love In An Elevator’.

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