Toyah Willcox’s surprise Benedict Cumberbatch meeting in Isle of Wight

Toyah Willcox performs at Proud Embankment's 'Cabaret All Stars'

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Toyah Willcox, 64, whose career has spanned 40 years, has opened up about going incognito and travelling to quiet holiday spots across Britain in a campervan. No stranger to being recognised by fans, the singer and actress, who burst onto the scene in the 1970s, spoke candidly about another A-list star similarly “going off grid”.

Toyah recently wrapped up filming a new production on the Isle of Wight when she spotted an A-list actor “trotting along the beach”.

The punk icon recalled: “I had a hysterical experience a couple of weeks ago, making a movie on the Isle of Wight, where we came across Benedict Cumberbatch trotting along on this beach.

“It’s a lot of people in my industry who live very private lives and we know how to do it.”

She went on to share that while training for her role she regularly swam in open waters.

“I had to train for this movie and I went to Barry in Wales in a campervan. I was cold water swimming every day and no one knew it was me. No one.”

Born in Birmingham and spending much of her young adult life in London, Toyah also opened up about her memories of holidaying in caravan parks as a child.

The TV presenter revealed this was one of the first moments she met another A-list star over five decades ago but admitted she didn’t understand the “hysteria” being just six-years-old at the time – Sir Rod Stewart visited a caravan park her family also stayed.

“It’s a little known part about my life that I think was the happiest time. It was from the moment I was born until about 25 where every weekend was spent at, what I think was paradise, and it was a caravan park called Wyre Mill Club,” Toyah commented.

“It was such a privilege to be able to have my weekends on a caravan and my life expanded.

“It became what I wanted it to be. Every Friday afternoon, when school finished at 4pm, we all bundled into a car and drove 24 miles away from Birmingham to the River Avon, where we had a caravan.”

Addressing her chance meeting with Sir Rod, she recalled: “A lot of the older kids in this community were racing drivers and built their own cars.

“My brother was one of them and Rod [Stewart] came to look at a racing car. I was six so I didn’t understand the hysteria around it.


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“He came with an actor – a B-list movie star – and we were all just standing in this field staring at these exotic people. It was all just a new experience.”

Meanwhile, Toyah has joined a star-studded line up at the Inspiration Theatre for this week’s Motorhome and Caravan Show, taking place in Birmingham at the NEC between 18-23 October.

The show will be filled with talks from celebrities and adventurers, including comedian Rowland Rivron, TV presenters Simon Reeve, Josie Gibson and Jeff Brazier and 80s popstar Toyah, giving visitors inspiration for their next getaway as they detail their own experiences being in the outdoors enjoying nature.

The show will also provide an array of outdoor products for visitors to choose from including, the latest campervans, motorhomes and caravans to inflatable trailer tents, bike rack attachments, awnings, folding bikes, BBQs, and travel apps to just name a few.

Speaking about the event, Toyah said: “I want to show my roots. Because I firmly believe that was the most valuable part of my upbringing. I’m showing pictures of the dilapidated caravan.

“I’m talking about the fact that the simplicity of it was our richness and that it wasn’t an expensive thing. We always holidayed in the UK and how precious the UK is and how much is available to all of us for very, very little expense.

“At this magnificent show, you’re going to see caravans and campervans for the future, even some of them are self-healing, but you can start off doing this on a relatively low budget and have a very rich life experience.”

The Motorhome and Caravan Show is the UK’s largest display of Leisure Vehicles with over 350 exhibitors showcasing the best that the industry has to offer. The Show is currently taking place at the NEC until Sunday 23rd October. Tickets are on sale now for £15.00 and can be purchased at, subject to availability.

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