Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Countdown 2023’

Television: Sewing Bee – Christmas Special 2023 Recap!

January 5th, 2024

It’s January 5th! It’s the last day of Christmas!! Perfect time to look back at one of the most festive TV highlights of December.

The Great British Sewing Bee – Celebrity Christmas Special – aired on Thursday 21st December on BBC1, and was watched by over 3 million viewers on the night, as well as many more on catch up/on demand services later during Christmas week and beyond. The programme was a highlight for many over the Christmas season, with Toyah being crowned the winner of the festive special and she even sang a song to close the programme.

• Browse Dreamscape’s The Great British Sewing Bee, Christmas 2023, news archive; watch a short clip of Toyah winning, courtesy of The Independent; see the ratings; and you can watch/rewatch the programme – available until December 2024 – at BBC iPlayer.

NB: Revisit all of Dreamscape’s Christmas 2023 content, including our Christmas Countdown. Right, I have a couple of hours of taking down my tree and decorations to look forward to tonight… Merry January! (Photos © BBC)

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 20: The Vow/Winter ’83

December 24th, 2023

We’ve reached the final day of our Christmas Countdown 2023…

In every waking hour I miss you, In my dreams I never kiss you, And in the shadows creatures want to hurt you, but in love and war I’ll never desert you…

Christmas 1983, Toyah was promoting The Vow, the final single for Safari Records, the Love Is The Law album, and travelling the UK on the Rebel Run Tour. Toyah, and the band, appeared on numerous TV shows in the UK and Europe through November and December, being interviewed as well as performing The Vow and Rebel Run.

The TV shows included; Pebble Mill, Did You See?, Pop Watch, Saturday Superstore, Breakfast Time, Razzmatazz, The Saturday Show, Harty, Crackerjack and Judgendbund. Other shows included in ‘The Vow’ promotion were; TVAM: Good Morning Britain and 60 Minutes.


Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 19: I Believe In Father Christmas

December 23rd, 2023

Christmas 1982, The build up/countdown to Christmas wouldn’t be complete at Dreamscape without this… I think I’ve mentioned I Believe in Father Christmas almost every December for the last 24 years, so here we go again…

Toyah covers the Greg Lake 1975 classic (which I didn’t realise also features Robert Fripp until Toyah mentioned it a few years ago on Toyah’s Christmas at the Zoo) for ITV’s Pop Goes Christmas in 1982. The programme aired on Boxing Day and also featured Musical Youth, Mari Wilson, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, The Nolans, Toto Coelo, The Mighty Wah! and Shakin’ Stevens.

According to an info board posted online, Pop Goes Christmas was only recorded less than a fortnight before it aired. Not sure if this is completely accurate. 

Toyah sounds glorious, looks amazing (wearing her Brave New World/The Changeling black contacts) and Keith Hale and Joel Bogen are having a right old festive time in the forest of lit up trees during the recording, which was introduced by David Essex. Bravo!

NB: Official Toyah posted today at Facebook and Instagram: Toyah’s 1982 version of the Greg Lake classic I Believe In Father Christmas is the perfect soundtrack for Christmas Eve Eve. Click below to stream at Spotify.

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 18: A Card From Toyah!

December 22nd, 2023

Christmas 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984. In the early eighties Toyah’s Official Fanclub – Intergalactic Ranch House – sent out Christmas cards to subscribing members each December, with Toyah taking the time to sign each and every card, which numbered around 6,000 at the height of the fanclub’s popularity.

This tradition was carried on for an extra year, in 1984, when the Intergalactic Ranch House became simply the Toyah Fanclub following Toyah leaving Safari Records after five years and signing to CBS/Portrait Records.

All four cards featured photos of Toyah, showcasing great early eighties imagery and creating a unique set of fanclub memorabilia that became collector’s items. Here’s a snapshot of a feature on the Christmas cards from an issue of Dreamscape’s fanzine.

• NB: Lovely to see Official Toyah sharing the 1984 card in festive posts at Toyah’s Official Facebook and Instagram yesterday.


Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 17: Walk Of Stars

December 21st, 2023

Christmas 2016, Toyah attended a ceremony and was inducted into the Birmingham Walk Of Stars.

Toyah said: “I am thrilled to be receiving a star on the Birmingham Walk of Stars. Having spent my childhood and teenage years in this great city, I developed my love of music and theatre here, thanks to all the great music venues and theatres available within the one city.

• See news on Toyah attending the Birmingham Walk Of Stars event here and here. (Photo © Birmingham Mail)

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 16: A Brave New Christmas!

December 20th, 2023

Christmas 2022, Toyah announced the release of a special 10” cherry red coloured vinyl EP commemorating the classic 1982 single Brave New World. To be released in March 2023, and limited to 500 copies only.

The EP contained four tracks, all previously unreleased versions, including the long-awaited Dawn Chorus (6.55 Special Mix). The release was part of Cherry Red Records’ special ‘45s at 45’ vinyl series marking the 45th Anniversary of the label.

The Tracklist: Side One: 1. Brave New World (Razzmatazz Mix). 2. Street Creature (Razzmatazz Mix) | Side Two: 1. Dawn Chorus (6.55 Special Version), 2. Ieya 1982 (Edited Version)

• Click below to browse the EP’s page at

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 15: A Smash Hits Christmas

December 19th, 2023

Christmas 2012, BBC Radio 4 aired Neil Tennant’s Smash Hits Christmas on 20th December – a real festive pop treat for everyone who grew up in the 1980s. The programme was an interesting look back at the golden years of the UK’s biggest music magazine of the eighties. Neil recalls the golden days of, the iconic, Smash Hits magazine, when he worked as a writer in their Carnaby Street office.

There were also contributions and memories from founder and legendary magazine maker Nick Logan, editors David Hepworth and Mark Ellen, writers Miranda Sawyer and Sylvia Patterson, and from regular Smash Hits cover girl, Toyah., talking about Smash Hits in general and her Brave New World cover from the Summer of 1982.

Neil Tennant had a life as a journalist before he became famous as a Pet Shop Boy. In fact, it was on a Smash Hits trip to New York that he had his big breakthrough with the record producer Bobby O. Also included is a rare recording from the 1982 Christmas Flexidisc (a message from the stars) and probably Neil Tennant’s first recording – the music for a trailer advertising Smash Hits stickers. (Producer: Susan Marling. A Just Radio Ltd. production for BBC Radio 4). Click on any of the images in this post to listen to Neil Tennant’s Smash Hits Christmas at You Tube.

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 14: A Liberty Christmas

December 18th, 2023

Christmas 1983, and a little, albeit unconventional, festive retail therapy at one of London’s most legendary department stores – Liberty on Regent Street – made the fourth festive season of the 1980s a very memorable one for Toyah fans and viewers of Good Morning Britain on TVAM.

Toyah sporting her late 1983 – most associated with the promotion of The Vow – look, and her Brave New World video co-star Messenger (the beautiful horse), went early Christmas shopping in November…

Pop singer and actress Toyah Willcox has always wanted to do her Christmas shopping on horseback! With a little help from TV-am’s ‘Fantasy Time’, and Liberty London in Regent Street, Toyah rode a white horse called Messenger through the store.

• Watch the full TVAM clip at Toyah’s Official You Tube channel and click below to see larger versions of the screen captures of Toyah and Messenger.


Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 13: Gigs! Gigs! Gigs!

December 17th, 2023

Christmas 2019, Toyah announced that in 2020 there would be three tours – as well as numerous festival appearances – to look forward to, with the culmination of the Crimson Queen Tour, further dates for – the long-running –  Acoustic Up Close & Personal, and the joint-headlining Electric Ladies Tour, with Hazel O’Connor.

2019 ended with a lot of music to look forward to in 2020!

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 12: Musical Milestones

December 16th, 2023

Christmas 2012, Toyah guested on Marlow FM’s ‘Musical Milestones’ on The Eclectic Light Show.

She discussed her life and career in relation to music and what it has meant to her, as well as its importance in her life. Toyah also chose six pieces of her favourite music, for significant reasons which she discusses during the programme.

The music choices were by Gustav Holst (Mars, The Planet Suite), Simon & Garfunkel (Bridge Over Troubled Water), T. Rex (Ride A White Swan), David Bowie (Life On Mars), Shakespears Sister (Stay), Muse (Supermassive Black Hole).

“Music embodies your soul, it embodies your physicality, it embodies your thoughts…”

This aired on Christmas Eve that year, and at the time marlow FM didn’t have a Listen Again function so I recorded it and uploaded to Dreamscape a low quality mp3 of the 30-minute special. Click below to listen/download.

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 11: Last Christmas…

December 15th, 2023

Christmas 2022, There was tinsel, fun and music aplenty as Toyah & Robert aired a selection of specials over the Christmas weekend. On Christmas Eve morning there was an exciting and very Christmassy episode of Toyah At Home, later on that day an Upbeat Moments Of The Week helping Christmas Eve evening to continue as festively as possible.

The merriment continued with Toyah & Robert – Merry Christmas and Sunday Lunch – Jingle Those Bells!! on Christmas Day. There was also Episode 21 of Robert At Home which also aired on Christmas Eve!

In one of Dreamscape’s final Christmas posts of 2022, we sent a huge THANK YOU to Toyah & Robert for gifting fans and followers so much in 2022: Albums, singles, tours, reissues, blogs, Sunday Lunch, At Home, Objects Of Desire, Upbeat Moments and, essentially, just a lot of entertainment, happiness and much needed… joy!

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 10: The Great British Panto

December 14th, 2023

Christmas 2016, saw Toyah Willcox and the Great British Panto take place. The festive event was held at the Victoria & Albert Museum, aka the V&A, London. A fascinating event, with Toyah discussing the history, origins and traditions of pantomime, as well as her own 20-year panto career.

The V&A, in anticipation of the festive event, said: “Toyah Willcox’s career has encompassed chart-hits, novels and roles on stage and screen, from working at the National Theatre to cult-classic Quadrophenia. She is also a celebrated pantomime performer, having spent many a season playing a variety of roles from Principal Boy to Wicked Queen. Join her as part of the V&A’s Christmas Festivities as she celebrates one of her and Britain’s best loved artforms. Toyah will be in conversation with Senior Curator and Pantomime Editor of the British Theatre Guide, Simon Sladen. (Photos © Damon King)


Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 9: The Great British Sewing Bee

December 13th, 2023

Christmas 2023, and Toyah is one of four celebrity guests appearing on The Great British Sewing Bee – Celebrity Christmas Special – airing on Thursday 21st December on BBC One at 9pm. It’s sure to be a seriously festive and fun programme, and a great way to spend an hour a few days before Christmas Day.

Former Christmas special sewer Kiell Smith-Bynoe takes over as host as musician Toyah Willcox, comedian Jessica Knappett and actors Kerry Godliman and Hammed Animashaun are put to the test by judges Esme Young and Patrick Grant. The celebrities begin by putting their own twist on a pattern for a stocking then turn the humble puffer jacket into food-themed children’s fancy dress. In the final challenge, the competitors create an outfit perfect for their dream Christmas Day.

Here is a newly released solo shot of Toyah from The Great British Sewing Bee. See a few more (group) photos from the programme, here. Read features on the Christmas special at Prima and TV Zone. (Photo © BBC/Love Productions)

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 8: Invasion Planet Earth

December 12th, 2023

Christmas 2019, Invasion Planet Earth – in which Toyah had/has a starring lead role and also performs the end credits title song, Step Into The New World, released as a digital single simultaneously as the film premiered – was screening in numerous cinemas around the UK.

With the tagline: They’re coming, and reviews boasting “British sci-fi at its best” and “A British classic… War Of The World meets Independence Day“, the film was being compared to enduring sci fi movie blockbusters, and is now considered a cult film.

Invasion Planet Earth – originally titled Kaleidoscope Man – had been an enduring, mammoth, film project and a labour of love for its creator, Simon Cox, for many years.

• See much more info on Invasion Planet Earth, here and here. The film is available on DVD and in digital format. NB. A few months after the original release of Step Into The New World, the song was also released on the Planetary Invasion Mix.

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 7: Top Of The Pops/Be Proud

December 11th, 2023

Christmas 2016, and BBC Four aired a repeat Top Of The Pops, which was originally broadcast in October 1982 on BBC1, which included Toyah’s studio performance of the single, Be Proud Be Loud (Be Heard). The third single of that year, and a new recording, following only one single – Brave New World – being released from The Changeling, Toyah’s studio album of 1982, and a re-recording of, previously released single, Ieya, renamed, Ieya ’82.

Toyah’s original TOTP performance – first broadcast some 41 years ago – is still an iconic, colourful, classic and completely unforgettable appearance, and has the message of Be Proud Be Loud (Be Heard) ever been more relevant than in 2023? A song way ahead of its time! On a slightly more superficial note (but still important), Toyah’s imagery for the single’s release was, still is, and always will be, utterly stunning and creative.

While the retro TOTP aired, BBC Four also tweeted: “In 1982, Toyah was so famous, she even had a lion-tailed macaque named after her on Animal Magic, and appeared on the show to meet it“.

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 6: Four More From Toyah

December 10th, 2023

Christmas 2022, and a mere 41 years after its original release, Four More From Toyah was rereleased – on expanded eight song neon violet colour vinyl mini LP. Boasting gorgeous artwork and unreleased tracks, the LP, which was remastered from the original master tapes, referenced that original release while bringing the glorious EP bang up-to-date for new and old fans alike.

The Four More From Toyah Extended EP/Mini Album was the latest in an impressive release schedule of colour Toyah vinyl LPs made available over the previous five years – and something which has also continued during 2023.

The Tracklist: Side One: 1. Good Morning Universe, 2. Urban Tribesmen, 3. In The Fairground, 4. The Furious Futures | Side Two: 1. Go Berserk (Tour Intro), 2. Stand Proud, 3. Clapham Junction, 4. I Want To Be Free (Roundhouse Session)

• Click below to browse the album’s page at

Christmas Countdown 2023: Day 5: Toyah At Home

December 9th, 2023

Christmas 2023, the Saturday 9th December edition of Toyah At Home was a Christmas Special – Toyah introduced the show saying “Hello everybody, Happy Christmas, it is December, it’s that magical time of the year, I hope you’re ready and have your plans all in hand for what should be, and will be, I promise you, a spectacular four weeks...”.

Toyah briefly summarised what’s to come in 2024: New music (“at least an EP“), the reissue of Love Is The Law, two movies, a radio show, tours for Toyah and Toyah & Robert, and more.

The festive Toyah At Home consisted of various clips, photos and memories, mostly with a Christmas connection: Relax/Trevor Horn; past Christmas times and memories; Toyah’s TVAM Christmas fantasy shopping trip to Liberty in London (accompanied by Messenger the Horse), to the soundtrack of The Vow; Toyah receiving her Walk Of Fame star in Birmingham in 2016 – featuring Toyah’s only ever live performance of I Believe In Father Christmas; Reminiscing about recording Love Is The Law while simultaneously starring in Trafford Tanzi, and the fans who camped outside the Mermaid Theatre; Christmas Eve at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane for The Old Grey Whistle Test‘s annual concert – Big hair, big sound, fabulous theatre“; The New Year’s Eve Radio 2 concert; and ending with I Believe In Father Christmas from the 1982 ITV show, Pop Goes Christmas.

•  Watch this festive edition of Toyah At Home here or by clicking below.

Christmas 2023 Countdown: Day 4: Starman

December 8th, 2023

Christmas 2012, Toyah guested on Steve Lamacq’s Rock College on BBC Radio 2 as ‘Guest Lecturer’, discussing how absolutely life-changing first discovering David Bowie was for her when growing up in Birmingham in the early 1970s.

Toyah talks about the legendary album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and of first glimpsing, and hearing, Bowie performing Starman on the music programme Lift Off With Ayshea.

“This was a moment that changed my life forever…”

This was such a great audio clip/opinion piece by Toyah it would’ve been a real shame to just let it disappear after its week on iPlayer back in 2012… so here it is! Click below to listen.

Christmas 2023 Countdown: Day 3: Mastermind Toyah

December 7th, 2023

Christmas 2018, Toyah became a Mastermind! She won Episode Two of Series 17 of Celebrity Mastermind, which aired on BBC1 on Saturday 22nd December.

John Humphrys put four celebrities to the test in another episode of the classic quiz, which aired across Christmas 2018 in ten episodes on BBC1.

Taking part were comedian Joe Pasquale, Newsround presenter Ricky Boleto, singer Toyah Willcox and Olympian Jeanette Kwakye. They answered questions on werewolf films, 1990s number one singles, Boudica and Disney animations.

Christmas 2023 Countdown: Day 2: Toyah’s Vintage Christmas

December 6th, 2023

Christmas 2011, Toyah presented a fantastic, three-hour, music-filled festive spectacular for the, relatively, new music channel Vintage TV.

Toyah’s Vintage Christmas was a constant that Christmas, airing numerous times through December, with Toyah introducing festive pop videos and sharing seasonal trivia. The programme was repeated in subsequent years, and Toyah would go on to present other Christmas shows – including A Very Vintage Christmas, Toyah’s Christmas At The Zoo – right through until Vintage TV ceased broadcasting in 2017.

Christmas 2023 Countdown: Day 1: Toyah’s Christmas Eve 2022

December 5th, 2023

Welcome to the first day of our Countdown To Christmas…

Christmas 2022, Toyah wished everyone a Merry Christmas Eve on Toyah At Home, on, yup, Christmas Eve. The show aired at You Tube and Facebook. It was a wonderfully festive show, adding to the excitement and anticipation that is always in the air on Christmas Eve – Such a magical day!

Toyah talked Christmas, as well as taking us back to a vintage performance of It’s A Mystery on Top Of The Pops, Christmas Day 1981. It was great to see that performance again as I could still clearly remember watching that edition of Top Of The Pops on Christmas Day all those years ago!

Toyah’s Christmas Eve At Home festive special is still available to watch/rewatch at Toyah’s official You Tube channel – Click below to return to Christmas 2022. (Image © Toyah Willcox)